The Conspirator Review by Sputnik

The_Conspirator A riveting thriller, THE CONSPIRATOR tells the powerful story of a woman who would do anything to protect her family, and the man who risked everything to save her. In the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt (Wright) owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth (Toby Kebbell) and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken (McAvoy), a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son, John (Johnny Simmons). As the nation turns against her, Surratt is forced to rely on Aiken to uncover the truth and save her life.

The movie is based on the true story of Mary Surratt, the only female conspirator charged in the Abraham Lincoln assassination and the first woman to be executed by the United States government. The movie was excellent even though it was slow paced. The movie is about how Mary Surratt was tried by a military tribunal even though she was a US citizen and how Aiken had to fight a uphill battle.

Some of the military tribunal scenes were very good. James McAvoy was very good as Captain Frederick Aiken, an idealistic young war hero who reluctantly defends Surratt and in the process comes to believe in her innocence. Robin Wright was very good as Mary Surratt. Evan Rachel Wood was good as Anna Surratt, Mary Surratt’s daughter. Kevin Kline was very good as Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War. Tom Wilkinson was good as Reverdy Johnson, a former attorney general and current U.S. Senator. Alexis Bledel looked very pretty and was good as Sarah Weston, Aiken’s girlfriend. The rest of the cast was good too.

Screenplay by James D. Solomon is very good and Robert Redford’s direction is excellent. The movie is a good engrossing courtroom drama which raises important questions and is a good analogy to the post 9/11 atmosphere.

Highly Recommended

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