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But the gap between this nicely shot, neatly gift wrapped package and messy human reality feels equally wide.
Eastwood, forsaking his deliberate rhythms for something speedier and wordier, turns J. Edgar into a dramatic essay about how the law and repression, ..
The film is more interested in offering a thoughtful character study than delivering hard and fast reconstructions.
While J. Edgar manages to provide an intriguing look at one of the countrys most fascinating icons, a peek into the evolution of the FBI, and delivers ..
But that script was shepherded by Gus van Sant, a director with visual panache and a sense of humor two things Eastwood sorely lacks here.
At least Leonardo DiCaprio, grounded and sure, has commitment to spare.His portrayal of Hoover is undeniably terrific.
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Though just as memorable as the key relationships it depicts, J. Edgars style contrasts sharply with its core passions.
Eastwoods film says more about its director than its subject, and sadly, what it says isnt flattering.
This is conceptually interesting, but its clumsily delivered by Eastwood, whose movie is a succession of dull interior scenes, expository conversation ..
If only Clint Eastwoods J. Edgar had been a little more camp a goosed up biopic about the law enforcement bulldog who served under six presidents (fam ..
One thing this is not is a fast paced crime epic, nor is it a particularly dishy biopic.
Its overly sentimental and dramatic, with swelling mood music and some awkwardly touching scenes between Hoover and his life long gay love and right h ..
We Got This Covered
Unfortunately the ambitious film never digs deep enough to cover profoundly what it brings up about Hoovers megalomaniac power trip.
Usually the tautest of directors, Clint Eastwood has gone all slack here, allowing his subject to get completely away from him.
The Globe And Mail
Laramie Movie Scope: J. Edgar Interesting biographical film about a powerful, but sad little man by Robert Roten, Film Critic November 23, 2011 J. Edg ..
That Eastwood plays the scandals and speculation with utter solemnity only serves to undermine their tabloid feel.
Mark Reviews Movies
Both bring believable nuances to their respective characters, and the sometimes strained, sometimes touching chemistry between the two gives the film ..
Handsomely mounted but otherwise devoid of passion and insight, J. Edgar is a bizarre attempt to catch a shadow, providing the audience with spicy bed ..
Although hardly flawless, Eastwoods biopic is his richest, most ambitious movie since the Letters From Iwo Jima Flags of Our Fathers duo, if not Unfor ..
Two years ago, Eastwood revisited the biopic genre with the interesting, if not entirely successful Invictus; if anything, that movie simply bit off m ..
Combust Ible Celluloid
In dark and weighted images, Eastwood charts Hoovers rise and all consuming myth building.
But the abiding bond between Hoover and Tolson grounds much of this beautifully filmed history in emotion.
As a result, what should have been a fascinating film turns out to be a mess and while it may not be the worst thing that Eastwood has done as a direc ..
E Film Critic
Clint Eastwood and Dustin Lance Black have made the man who could so easily and fiercely dismiss the other as evil not so easy for us to dismiss.
Spirituality And Practice
As much as he wants to emulate Jimmy Cagney, Hoover appears during a couple of FBI team arrests to be too anxious to use his weapon.
Coming out of a preview screening of J. Edgar, Clint Eastwoods new biopic about the founder of the modern FBI, I overheard a young woman ask her date, ..
All this shape shifting is intended to make us comprehend, if not admire, a sacred monster a worthy companion to Orson Welless Charles Foster Kane.It ..
This far from perfect film is hobbled by uneven performances and a script studded with historical bullet points. But its a strong tribute to Eastwoods ..
And without any real emotional connection, its depressing rather than moving.
Shadows On The Wall
Eastwoods film is an excellent portrait of Hoover the man, but is less successful as a portrait of his times.
But Eastwoods portrait of Hoovers many contradictions rarely goes beyond conventional biography.
This films echoes of Hitchcocks Psycho are striking, almost as if America is turning into a huge Bates motel with peepholes.But are these echoes inten ..
But it stops short of suggesting a physically consummated affair.
Future cultural historians may be saying the same thing about J Edgar itself.
The tenderness that Hammers Tolson extends to Hooverscrupulous, sometimes harshly pragmatic, but always lovingis such that its not impossible for us t ..
The more tolerable of these is Clint Eastwoods back handed tribute to the founder of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, portrayed over many decades by Leonardo ..
Hoover remains a mystery, which is fine, but a little more guidance in navigating his life would have been helpful.That can be frustrating but not fat ..
The portrait is not sensationalistic and while I wouldnt go so far as to call it sympathetic, neither would I call it unsympathetic.
Its a vigorous, capable performance, one that carries the film and breathes new life into the old tradition of plain real folk achieving retroactive a ..
Or are certain kinds of faces harder to artificially age than others
Throughout J. Edgar it is what is left unspoken than we feel most painfully.
It feels bound to its era and its got the color drained sets and faces to prove it.
The performances are worth coming out for (and to note, the feather light script must have made it easy to breeze through scenes without cracking the ..
Eastwoods film is firm in its refusal to cheapen and tarnish by inventing salacious scenes.
Its another largely fascinating, if disappointingly flawed chapter in Eastwoods fantastic late period.
Yet Eastwood, like J. Edgar, never forges an emotional connection.
J. Edgar often times seems to glorify its subject while Clint Eastwood delivers yet another cinematic humdrum affair for the year that dares to be dul ..
Starring an impressive Leonardo DiCaprio and crafted with Clint Eastwoods usual impeccable professionalism, J. Edgar gets its power from the way the d ..
An acclaimed movie star gunning for an Oscar.No, not The Iron Lady but J. Edgar, in which Leonardo DiCaprio is similarly slathered in aging make up to ..
As a colorful chapter in American infamy, its a story worth telling in a better, more suspenseful film, but J. Edgar does not hang together.
Though intelligent, the movie may be too restrained and too balanced for its own good, a result of Eastwoods measured strategy, his carefulness in cov ..
Its biggest achievement is to look at recent US history through a personal and distinctively gay lens.
Eastwoods film radiates self seriousness, from its lugubrious pacing to its washed out color palette to its familiar biopic structure of an important ..
Las Vegas Weekly
An occasionally dull and rarely engaging run of the mill biopic, J. Edgar plays things far too safe for a story about one of the most polarizing figur ..
The complicated story of the Bureau is dramatized in flashes, as an emanation of Hoovers will.This technique is inadequate as history but almost inevi ..
By the end of the film, its become a tragic love story about two men who like to wear heavy latex appliances and never touch each other.
And in the end this clunky film is still likely to leave you thinking: Show me something I didnt know about J. Edgar Hoover.
Blogs Indie Wire
J. Edgar movie review Leonardo DiCaprio is not the first name that springs to mind as the embodiment of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hooverunlike, ..
Blogs Indie Wire
A well acted but unfocused study of one of the 20th centurys most colourful characters.
Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.
While its probably unwise to evoke Citizen Kane, Black crafts a solve the person narrative that, like Kane, acknowledges the ultimate unknowability of ..
J. Edgar is a flawed but worthy biopic seemingly constrained by a lack of access to its enigmatic subjects well kept secrets.
Eastwood and DiCaprio have delivered a nuanced story about a man, a mythos, and an institution that relies on the facts rather than the legend.
But what do we take from a movie thats beautifully crafted and earnest to a fault
The picture also has a visual appeal in the way it captures period detail.
The result is sometimes difficult to watch but cannot be faulted for its boldness in producing a complex portrait of an uncompromising man.
Eye For Film
Its a perfectly mediocre picture typical of award season, running too long with some good performances but lacking a definitive punch.
It doesnt quite hang together, but its worth seeing for what works.
Maki At The Movies
Making a movie that fully captures this complex man is certainly a challenge for any filmmakers.
Three Movie Buffs
Even after a stroke, Tolson remains Hoovers largely ineffectual conscience.
Thats fine to recognize the publics lack of information; however, a biopic should understand the what and why of private moments.J.Edgar instead prese ..
Red Eye Chicago
With a running time of just over eight hours, its widely considered the most boring movie ever made.
Doing so is a history lesson for a generation who never heard of the man.
Not even Leo in top form can stop you clock watching during this lengthy biopic.
As they progress in age through the storyand even despite a ghastly make up job on Hammer that is as unconvincing as DiCaprios is authenticHammers sub ..
Dustin Put Man
The fact that one of the lovers is someone you wouldnt want at your dinner table means that the film is handsome, well crafted, well acted, but, ultim ..
Old fashioned is not a bad thing and J. Edgar is an old fashioned biopic.
Old fashioned is not a bad thing and J. Edgar is an old fashioned biopic.
It is at times too staid and straightforward.It skims along the surface rather than delving beneath the roiling waters of Hoovers personality to provi ..
The sort of staidly respectable, competently directed biopic that gives a bad name to competently directed biopics, and possibly to respectability.
Eastwood and Blacks project is ambitious and exerts a certain fascination, but its attempts to cover so much thematic and historic ground are not exac ..
At its most interesting, the movie raises the specter of Hoovers megalomania and forces us to consider where we might see it in this turbulent, defens ..
Larsen On Film
Makes cases for and against Hoover, without really making us care either way...an interesting failure, a movie that tries to do too much and ends up n ..
Hollywood And Fine
And while it didnt bother me too much, the audience I saw the film with couldnt resist giggling and groaning.
Like being ordered to have long hair and smile on stage, but wondering how to smile with a trombone in your mouth.Or repeatedly told youre not good en ..
J. Edgar should have been an absorbing exploration into one of the most polarising and enigmatic figures of the 20th century.Instead its a plodding, m ..
Matts Movie Reviews
Those are the moments that provide J. Edgar with its worth, but, like Tolson, any emotional commitment is rewarded with little more than a frustrating ..
Its just about the man cut into random, unconnected bits and pieces.
Disappointingly, it skips World War II and the McCarthy Witch Hunts altogether.
J. Edgar Synopsis As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered.
Clint Eastwoods J. Edgar is a remarkably cheerless affairgrim, disjointed, and paced like a snail funeral.
At the age of 81, Clint Eastwood is experiencing a rare but prolonged decline in his illustrious career.
It is never less than intriguing and often entertaining, but in the end, it is more noble failure than true success.
It looks boring, it sounds boring, it feels boring, it IS boring.
The Shiz Nit
Clint Eastwoods investigation of Hoovers life and tumultuous times seeks the cold facts behind the crime fighter myths, the flesh and blood man behind ..
The funny, tender scenes between DiCaprio and Hammer are the best in the film, at least until the latters charming performance dies underneath some of ..
This is an elegant film from a classy filmmaker that will satisfy a discerning, intelligent audience.
It doesnt deliver enough authentic evidence, and the subject of the scrutiny is pretty dull most of the time.Has director Clint Eastwood turned into D ..
Perhaps a funereal tone is best suited to Hoovers tale, but that self seriousness certainly doesnt do all the silly dialogue any favours.
In Eastwoods hands, the material occupies a safe middle ground between expose and unrequited romance.
J. Edgar, Clint Eastwoods biographical portrait of FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover, is not merely a disappointing way to spend two hours and seventeen min ..
East Bay Express
Funny!).Eastwood uses different color schemes and contrasts for different time periods so its easy to tell where the movie fits on a timeline, but the ..
But if youre making a dramatic movie, then you need more confidence in Hoovers evil.The picture feels realistic (despite its studied draining away of ..
Its a serviceable film and one that those interested in that era of American history will likely enjoy.
From The Balcony
Analysis: Clint Eastwoods astoundingly prolific output as a filmmaker continues unabated with something he hasnt done since Bird, which is an honest t ..
A big batch of unidentifiable story with little entertainment value.
Eastwoods Hoover resists, indeed repels audience involvement, of either horror or a hug.
With direction as unvaried as Eastwoods, you cant tell whats purposefully bogus and whats inept.
FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture.
Fan The Fire Magazine
So yes, its a fine performance, but the picture cant quite measure up.
Well made films that showed a side of Eastwood that surprised many.
Handsome and gentle as Hammer is, its not hard to see why Tolson would make a worthy companion and confidant in Hoovers eyes.
Or Lando Weekly
The finger pointing for this disastrous Oscar pretender has to begin with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) who uses the narrative device of J. E ..
And there still museums with pay what you wish admission, if not every day, then on certain days weekly or monthly.You just have to know who offers wh ..
New York Time Out
Performances by DiCaprio, Hammer and Dench make this Eastwood film worth your two plus hours.
The Scorecard Review
The solid weight of the film lies in the fact that Hoover, at least as presented here, was not a particularly interesting or likeable individual.Along ..
Instead of being a story with teeth, it ends up being a serviceable and mildly engaging biopic.
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Eastwoods measured approach is sometimes at odds with Blacks script, which delivers its post 9/11 commentary on the abuse of power with all the subtle ..
But it happens in a last act rush thats ultimately not as effective as it might have been.J Edgar isnt a stupid movie.
Featured Specialty Father/Daughter Film Reports FIRST THURSDAYS FILM FESTIVAL Selection: CARDBOARD CADET Hello!
Film Festival Today
Plenty of films rely on great acting, stylistic directing, gorgeous cinematography or even giant explosions to make themselves great.Most rely on some ..
Here in Clint Eastwoods new, handsomely crafted and slow burning biopic Hoover is played with scenery chewing gusto by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Liver Pool Echo
The storyline for The Descendants sounds rather glum, but Payne manages to squeeze quite a bit of humor out of the scenario.
There are aspects of Hoovers life that could have been blown out of proportion for all the wrong reasons, but DiCaprio and Eastwood have carefully put ..
The Popcorn Junkie
The film is interesting but not compelling, about a protagonist who is neither likable nor despicable.
And its a strange day indeed when you find yourself wishing Clint Eastwood had gone to Danny DeVito or Oliver Stone for advice about how to make a fil ..
Not really a convincing and three dimensional portrait of the life of Hoover.
And Armie Hammers makeup, seen later in the film, is downright awful, barely hiding his youth.While Im reticent to fully slough J. Edgar off as a wast ..
Blu Ray Ign
On the surface, that decision ought to payoff big time in the drama consistency file; as it turns out, going down that cinematic path is the films maj ..
James Wegg Review
As a film, it doesnt quite work: Its so careful that it rarely rises above bland, even though its central figure is anything but.
But a movie has to know what it thinks.This is not like an ambiguous ending in a movie about ambiguity.
Movie City News
Once the shock of the age makeup wears off (for some, this may be never), you can detect a solid performance from DiCaprio as both the young and old H ..
Sign On Sandiego
The first is as dull and emotionally bland as the color schemedark blue, black and deep brown.
Windy City Media Group
Between the cross dressing and pleas of Please dont leave me, Clyde! brace yourself to see the vulnerable underbelly, literally and figuratively, of a ..
Eastwood shoots in his trademark under lit style, the cast shrouded in mists of darkness, which affords the film a dusty enigmatic air.
J. Edgar Hoover himself was no slouch in the Remarkable Men with Secrets sweepstakes, but Eastwoods movie is itself so allergic to scandal and impropr ..
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