Aaron Sorkin directs Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in this dramatic recreation of a Sixties civil rights landmark case where political activists where put of trial for the violence their protest ended in.
A pageant of well attuned casting and smart dialogue this should be a backboard shattering slam dunk. Sorkin, in his political and courtroom wheelhouse, letting illuminated, impassioned people monologue, dialogue and make statements. It never really thickens though. Scene after scene pass out abruptly never finding their ultimate point. The fine work by the leads is usurped by showier one or two scene roles from Michael Keaton and John Doman. Frank Langella’s dangerously combative judge all but dominates the movie. You walk away knowing you have seen an intelligent film but not entirely sure why you were supposed to care. The Bobby Seale narrative feels like the more Hollywood friendly tale to tell but here it is a garnish to the white nerds of history. Very watchable but somehow not worthy of the pedigree of those involved.
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