Home The Trial Of The Chicago 7

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (15)

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Genre: Drama
Author(s): Aaron Sorkin
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Release Date: 02/10/2020 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 129mins
Country: US/UK/India
Year: 2020

Angry protesters make their voices heard against President Lyndon B Johnson outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago for his policies relating to the Vietnam War. There are ugly clashes with police and eight defendants are indicted: Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, John Froines, Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bobby Seale and Lee Weiner. The men stand trial in front of Judge Julius Hoffman.


LondonNet Film Review
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (15)

Justice isn’t simply blind in The Trial Of The Chicago 7, it’s also deaf, mute and untouched by common decency. Aaron Sorkin, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Social Network, ventures behind the camera to stylishly dramatise the aftermath of the anti-Vietnam War demonstration against President Lyndon B Johnson outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He splices black-and-white news footage of clashes between protesters and police, armed with tear gas and batons, with his own blood-soaked recreation of events in Lincoln Park…

Those unsettling scenes are related in flashback after John N Mitchell, US Attorney General for the incoming Nixon administration, lights the fuse on a high-profile trial against eight men for conspiracy to cross state lines to incite violence. Sorkin’s gift for zinging rat-a-tat dialogue is perfectly suited to a packed courtroom where fractious exchanges between legal teams and an immovable judge raise our hackles and, in one sickening scene, draw uncomfortable parallels to George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. A starry ensemble cast including Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance and Sacha Baron Cohen savour meaty, tub-thumping speeches that prick consciences and bruise over-inflated egos. As one defendants coolly observes: “It’s revolution. We may have to hurt somebody’s feelings.”

Tom Hayden (Redmayne) and Rennie Davis (Alex Sharp), leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society, plan a peaceful chorus of angry voices in tandem with thousands of members of the Youth International Party spearheaded by Abbie Hoffman (Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong). David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch), chairman of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, bolsters the impassioned throng.

The protest ends in a riot and Hayden, Davis, Hoffman, Rubin and Dellinger stand before Judge Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella) alongside Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), National Chairman of the Black Panthers, and fellow protesters John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins). Civil rights lawyer William Kunstler (Mark Rylance) and Leonard Weinglass (Ben Shenkman) represent the so-called Chicago 7 – Seale’s attorney Charles Garry is indisposed following gall bladder surgery – while the prosecution is led by Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Tom Foran (JC Mackenzie).

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 ricochets at speed between witness testimony and flashbacks, juxtaposing tensions between the various factions at the defence table with horrifying explosions of brutality in August 1968. The script is littered with razor-sharp one-liners, like when Weiner quietly acknowledges his lowly public profile next to headline-grabbing figureheads Hayden and Hoffman and quips: “This is the Academy Awards of protests and as far as I’m concerned, it’s just an honour to be nominated.” Undoubtedly, Sorkin’s polished picture will be in contention in numerous categories at next year’s Oscars. Fifty years after the fact, justice may be served with a glossy Hollywood veneer.

– Jo Planter

London Cinemas Showing The Trial Of The Chicago 7

From: Friday 16th October
To: Thursday 22nd October

Empire Walthamstow

Fri 14:20 17:20 20:10; Sun 20:10

Everyman Broadgate

Tue 17:00; Wed 15:40; Thu 16:45

Everyman Canary Wharf

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Everyman Chelsea

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Everyman Crystal Palace

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Everyman Maida Vale

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Everyman Muswell Hill

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Olympic Studios

Mon 20:50; Tue 13:30; Thu 17:30

Prince Charles Cinema

Mon 12:40; Wed 13:15 20:50; Thu 15:15

From: Friday 23rd October
To: Thursday 29th October

Everyman Maida Vale

Sun 17:00; Tue 14:30; Thu 16:45

UK and Irish Cinemas Showing The Trial Of The Chicago 7

From: Friday 16th October
To: Thursday 22nd October

Brewery Arts Centre

Fri/Thu 14:00 (Thu) 20:00

Broadway Cinema & Theatre

Fri/Sun-Thu 19:30; Sat 17:00

Derby QUAD

Fri/Sat 12:00 15:30 19:00 (Fri) 19:20 (Sat); Sun 13:30 16:30 19:30; Mon 12:00 15:00 19:15; Tue-Thu 11:30 (Thu) 12:00 (Tue/Wed) 15:30 19:15

Empire Bishop’s Stortford

Fri 14:00 16:45 19:45; Sun 19:45

Empire Catterick Garrison

Fri/Sun 16:10 (Fri) 19:20

Empire Clydebank

Fri-Sun 18:50

Empire Ipswich

Fri/Mon-Thu 13:50 16:40 19:30 (Fri); Sat 12:50 15:40; Sun 16:40 19:30

Empire Sutton

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Empire Swindon Greenbridge

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Empire Wigan

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Everyman Altrincham

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Everyman Barnet

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Everyman Birmingham

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Everyman Bristol

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Everyman Cardiff

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Everyman Chelmsford

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Everyman Clitheroe

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Everyman Esher

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Everyman Gerrards Cross

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Everyman Glasgow

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Everyman Harrogate

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Everyman Leeds

Tue 13:00; Wed 16:45

Everyman Lincoln

Tue 13:15 17:00; Wed 13:00; Thu 13:30 15:30

Everyman Liverpool

Tue 12:30 18:30; Thu 15:45

Everyman Newcastle

Tue 13:00; Wed 16:30

Everyman Oxted

Mon 16:15; Tue 17:00

Everyman Stratford-Upon-Avon

Tue 15:00; Wed 16:45

Everyman York

Tue 12:45 17:00; Wed 17:45; Thu 16:30

Parkway Cinema

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Parkway Cinema

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Perth Playhouse

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Radway Cinema

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Scott Cinemas

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Scott Cinemas

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The Light Cinema, Addlestone

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The Light Cinema, Bradford

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The Light Cinema, Cambridge

Fri 12:40 17:40 20:35; Sat 20:30; Sun 19:40; Mon/Tue/Thu 17:00 20:10; Wed 14:00 17:10 20:20

The Light Cinema, New Brighton

Fri/Sat 17:00 (Fri) 20:15; Sun 20:30; Mon/Tue/Thu 13:15 16:30 19:50; Wed 14:55 17:30

The Light Cinema, Sheffield

Fri/Mon/Thu 12:55 (Fri) 13:00 (Mon/Thu) 16:10 19:30; Sat/Sun 16:40 20:20; Tue 13:00 16:25 19:20; Wed 12:50 20:30

The Light Cinema, Stockport

Fri/Mon-Thu 14:10 (Fri/Mon/Wed/Thu) 17:10 20:00; Sat 16:45 20:20; Sun 16:45 19:40

The Light Cinema, Walsall

Fri/Mon/Tue/Thu 12:30 15:10 18:10 (Fri/Mon/Thu) 20:15 (Tue); Wed 14:30

The Light Cinema, Wisbech

Fri/Mon/Tue/Thu 20:15; Sun 20:10; Wed 19:45

From: Friday 23rd October
To: Thursday 29th October

Derby QUAD

Fri/Sat 16:00 19:30; Sun 16:20 19:15; Mon 16:00 19:15; Tue 12:00 16:30; Wed 17:00 20:00; Thu 14:00 17:15