The true story of the trial of seven protestors who were
arrested in Chicago in 1968 after police stormed the protest.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
Written and Directed by Aaron Sorkin
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch,
Ben Shenkman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Frank Langella,
Alex Sharp, J.C. MacKenzie, Danny Flaherty, Noah Robbins,
Kelvin Harrison Jr., Michael Keaton
The story of the Chicago 7 is also the story of one of the biggest travesties in the history of the American justice system. Politically motivated from the start, the defense was consistently undermined and blocked by the judge, who saw fit to throw contempt charges at anyone who questioned his unjust rulings. And it all came from a riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago; a riot that was started by police unlawfully assaulting a young college kid and evolved into a bloodbath. Who better than Aaron Sorkin to tell this story accurately and entertainingly? If just one piece of this infuriating story is true, then the American justice system is far more broken and bought than I believed it to be. And that's already quite a lot.
The cast of this film is insane, and everyone performs at their career-best. Eddie Redmayne is lights out as Tom Hayden, influential protest leader who sort of acts as the group's leader. Sacha Baron Cohen is stellar as Abbie Hoffman, a hippie radical with authority problems but a big heart. Mark Rylance is fantastic as their leader, Bill Kunstler, who grows to respect the group's ideals and despise the judge for good reason. Speaking of, while the character of Judge Julius Hoffman is a monster and there's a special spot in hell for him, Frank Langella did a terrific job. Same goes for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and the rest of this incredible cast that shine a light on a story more people need to know about, especially in these trying times.
Sorkin and Netflix released The Trial of the Chicago 7 in this political climate for a reason. The country has never been more divided in my lifetime and it certainly feels like we are unable to learn from the mistakes of our past. This film demonstrates the power of what can happen when people fight their oppressors and refuse to let corrupt governments dictate our lives. It's a phenomenal biopic and another epic win for Sorkin.