The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7, directed by Aaron Sorkin, divulges the inner workings of the rigged court case against the suspected leaders of the Chicago protestors in 1968 protesting against the Vietnam War.

Based on the true story, The Trial of the Chicago 7 has Sorkin’s punchy writing associated with The West Wing, The Social Network, and Steve Jobs, covering this historical conversation about police brutality and civil rights.

Packed with exceptional stars in every scene, Sorkin’s courtroom drama accurately depicted how the trial was initially The Chicago Eight. The Chicago Eight included Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Leader, added to the rioters solely to bring down their reputation.

Above all, Bobble Seale had his charges dropped. However, Seale’s charges were dropped only after he was bound and gagged in the courtroom to silence him. Subsequently, to Sorkin’s credit, he does masterfully keeps Seale in a peripheral role. Doing so allowed the focus to remain on the differences between the Seven.

The key members accused as part of The Seven include Oscar-nominee Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman. Baron-Cohen utilises his comedian background to portray anarchic stand-up comedian Hoffman. His comedy thankfully juxtaposes the snappy dialogue, and add a narrative device to explain the story’s more complicated elements. Jeremy Strong is Hoffman’s aide and heartstruck Jerry Rubin; Eddie Redmayne is student civil rights activist Tom Hayden. And in addition, John Carroll Lynch is a pacifist and Cub Scouts Leader David Dellinger.

As with any good court drama, the accused would be nothing without their legal aid, and as Mark Rylance proves as William Kunstler, the debacle of civil rights and police brutality was perfectly in beat to counter Frank Legella’s ill-tempered, conservative and blinkered depiction of corrupt Judge Julius Hoffman.

Sorkin’s Liberalism to Writing

Regarding Sorkin’s writing, his punchy style rings with comedic timing and fast-pace so the two hour run time flies by. However, it doesn’t accept that we may not keep up with courtroom speak, or the fallout from the Vietnamese War. So, there are times that we are waiting for Baron Cohen’s Hoffman to bring us up to speed.

It by far isn’t Sorkin’s greatest piece of work, with The Social Network or The West Wing being both better examples. Moreover, his ability to masterfully weave character work and narrative storytelling similar to writing music. Each line, each beat, and each action has the ability to flow into the next, and Sorkin knows this. Therefore, it is a pity that there are occasional beats in The Trial of the Chicago 7 that miss their transition into the next.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I watch The Trial of the Chicago 7?

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is available to watch on Netflix.

Is The Trial of the Chicago 7 a true story?

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a 2020 American historical legal drama film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin based on the true court case.

What awards has The Trial of the Chicago 7 been nominated for?

The film earned six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Baron Cohen.

By Conor Riley

Conor is the Founder and Editor for Cinamore, a publication focused on giving power back to journalists. As a portmanteau of the word 'Cinema' and the Italian word for love 'Amore', Cinamore aims to highlight the love that we all carry for the art of the moving image.


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