​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

THE CONSPIRATOR (2010)

The Conspirator (2010) is an engrossing look at a little-known piece of history (little-known to me, anyhow). When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, John Wilkes Booth was not a lone gunman, but part of a conspiracy to kill Lincoln, his VP and the Secretary of State. Seven men and one woman were arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the trio. Lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy), who fought with honor for the North in the just-completed Civil War, is persuaded to d...efend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright). She owns the boarding house where Booth and the others met to make their plans. The deck is stacked against her – what the military tribunal really wants is her son John who has fled far away. She has been denied a civilian trial (a violation of her constitutional rights) and a rush to judgement is desired by war secretary Kevin Kline. McAvoy comes around to see how unfair the proceedings are and tries his best to defend her as it starts to affect his reputation – how can he represent someone seen as guilty as heck of plotting to kill the country’s beloved President! Director Robert Redford resists the urge to spice this up and make it a typical courtroom drama and goes for a measured, even story where we don’t know if she’s actually guilty but we sure see both sides of the issue. McAvoy is solid as Aiken, as is Danny Huston as the prosecution attorney. Wright is restrained to good effect as the defendant – what secrets is she hiding? The Conspirator is a good, intelligent film that had escaped my attention until now. So it’s only fitting that I bring it to your attention. #59 of 2017.

TLA one-word review: honest