The Conspirator
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Atmospheric, illuminating and affecting, The Conspirator captivates like an untold story -- one that you can't believe you've never heard until now, and won't soon forget."
‑ Christine Champ,
"A bracing courtroom drama whose every scene seems wreathed in mist, dust motes and cigar smoke, the better to suggest a nation befogged by grief."
‑ John Anderson, Newsday
"Robert Redford teams with The American Film Company for The Conspirator, a project better left to the History Channel than the big screen."
‑ Billy Tatum, We Got This Covered
"The Conspirator deserves a lot more praise than it got on initial release: yes it is slow in parts and even provocatively tentative, but it is intricately crafted, a wonderful example of precision and attention to detail."
‑ Simon Gallagher, What Culture
"The Conspirator conveys the heaviness of its story and its setting -- a torn nation desperate to heal the lingering wounds on both sides after the close of the Civil War."
‑ Neil Pond, American Profile
"Once the ideological cat is out of the bag, the drama is degraded to the level of a historical pageant."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"There's a stiffness that keeps the story from packing a punch. Still, it's handsomely mounted, and at its best moments has the patina of a Masterpiece Theater production."
‑ Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Wonderfully cast and carefully shot, there's barely a hint of a great filmmaker working with a fraction of his normal budget in this period piece..."
‑ Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"full review at Movies for the Masses"
‑ Joseph Proimakis, Movies for the Masses
"A talky and often-stodgy film that will please history buffs but leave ordinary viewers a touch cold."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Leaves us feeling as empty as a raided tomb."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"The nightmare of Lincoln's assassination, and its immediate aftermath, is effectively delivered, and Wright, shrouded in black, her face a mask of indomitable sorrow, gives great gravity to what might otherwise have been a waxworks historical reenactment."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"If nothing else, this is certain to have a long life playing in middle school history classes for decades to come."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"While the film is pretty heavy-handed in framing the story in political terms, it is a compelling historical drama that will be news to many Americans."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Not one to shy away from political themes (after all, he starred in "The Candidate," "All the President's Men" and "Lions for Lambs,"...Redford can't help but make us think about the times we live in now."
‑ Michael A. Smith, MediaMikes
More reviews for The Conspirator on Rotten Tomatoes

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