3/4

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 [2020] ★★★

I love courtroom dramas and I love legendary writer Aaron Sorkin. So what do you get when you fuse the two together? Fireworks. That’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” in a nutshell, a completely absorbing, high octane courtroom drama that hardly misses a beat. Sorkin also directs here, and he has assembled a first-rate cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Frank Langella  and Michael Keaton to bring this slice of history back to life. The time is 1969 and 7 people are charged  with conspiracy, following a series of protests in Chicago. The film mostly takes place in the courtroom, which means fans of Sorkin should know to expect a talkfest. But when the trial is intense, and issues of patriotism and loyalty come into play, it’s almost never boring. The cast delivers the goods, but it’s Mark Rylance, once again, who stood out for me as a lawyer trying his very best to defend the “Chicago 7”. I wasn’t familiar with all these colorful characters, and I have no idea how accurate the whole thing is, but Sorkin has made a solid piece of entertainment that leaves you with much food for thought. I say this with full confidence: expect multiple nominations come Oscar time.

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