From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Conspirator - C+

Rated PG-13, 123 minutes

The new Robert Redford film "The Conspirator" tells the story of Mary Surratt, who was convicted of helping murder President Abraham Lincoln and became the first woman executed by the federal government. With an A-list cast, a worthy story and a few compelling moments, Redford's overlong, idealistic film is an intriguing look though it fails to capture a huge emotional connection. Unsurprisingly, Redford and company change some key historical details for cinematic glory. Robin Wright is Surratt, James McAvoy is her attorney Frederick Aiken and Kevin Kline is Secretary of War Edward Stanton. If you're familiar with history, you already know what happens, but Redford wants you to believe that Surratt was harshly convicted so the U.S. Government could heal an ailing country from the Civil War and Lincoln's untimely death. Some of that might be true, though we may never really know what truly happened, ala Oliver Stone's "JFK," though the mildly entertaining "The Conspirator" isn't as ridiculous as that film's theories. A few enjoyable scenes and good performances from Wright and McAvoy highlight the film, though an overlong, uneven tone, particularly in the final act, somewhat dampers the film. Worth a look maybe for history buffs, otherwise wait to rent it.

Wes’s Grade: C+
Worth Seeing: Possibly, for history buffs.