The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7 ★★

The title says it all: a film about the trial of the Chicago 7.

Thinking of the riots of 1968, what comes to mind is the police violence and the brutality with which the protesters were greeted. Considering recent events, this topic is more current than ever. And with a cast like this, what could go wrong?

I think for me it was the whole set-up. This film really wasn't about the protest but about the trial that followed (well duh, see title). It was educative to see that side of events but a long court-drama wasn't what I had hoped. Sure you see some flashback to the protest too, but it's not in the epicentre.

Baron Cohen is captivating, and I didn't expect that. However, many other actors were clearly not used to their full potential (Eddie Redmayne, John Carroll Lynch, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, John Doman just to name a few). The whole story is told in a quite mundane and patchy way, and the many characters don't have the time to evolve into something interesting.

All the film really manages to do is to convince the audience that the trial was a joke, which it clearly was. But I think a long court-drama like this should have other ambitions too. I don't understand how this film has got such great reviews.