J. Edgar

J. Edgar

J. Edgar

Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino) directs Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover, the face of law enforcement in America for almost 50 years. 

Hoover was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he stubbornly remained director until his death in 1972. A figure of fear and admiration, over the course of his career he empowered law enforcers and created a legacy of surveillance starting with the cataloguing of American fingerprints. Some of Hoover's more controversial tactics, including the compiling of secret dossiers on the eight Presidents he served, led to future FBI leaders being limited to 10-year tenures. Behind the scenes, he held professional and private secrets that would have destroyed his career.

Judi Dench plays Hoover's mother, Naomi Watts plays his secretary, and The Social Network's Arnie Hammer his close friend and confidant, Clyde Tolson. The screenplay is written by Dustin Lance Black (Milk).

2011Rating: M, contains violence and offensive language137 minsUSA
BiographyCrimeDrama
86%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Any movie in which the longtime FBI honcho features as the central character must supply some insight into what made him tick, or suffer from the reality that the Bureau's exploits were far more interesting than the bureaucrat who ran it - a dilemma J. Edgar never rises above.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Some will find it ponderous and pompous... a handsome, ambitious period drama full of modern-day parallels.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Mr. Eastwood doesn't just shift between Hoover's past and present, his intimate life and popular persona, he also puts them into dialectic play, showing repeatedly how each informed the other.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A sonorous, History Channel drone.

2.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

As a period biopic, J. Edgar is masterful. Few films span seven decades this comfortably.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A somber, enigmatic, darkly fascinating tale, and how could it be otherwise?

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Tackles its trickiest challenges with plausibility and good sense, while serving up a simmeringly caustic view of its controversial subject's behavior, public and private.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A well acted but unfocused study of one of the 20th century's most colourful characters.

3.0
0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Prim, respectful biography.

0

FBI: Frankly Boring Is

Clint's directed some great movies. THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, UNFORGIVEN, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, hell even GRAN TORINO was great for a longstanding Clint fan like me. But this? This is in the camp of Clint movies like MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF DULL & BORING - longwinded, tedious and not a patch on cheap, bogstandard biopic, THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR...

1.0
0

extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

Penned by writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk), 'J Edgar' could easily be received two ways. The first, an apt period dramatic, praised for its exhausting attention to detail and its exceptional character acting by Leonardo DiCaprio in his portrayal of the tormented protagonist J Edgar Hoover. The Second, a droll biopic with heavily over-worded dialogue,...

2.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Any movie in which the longtime FBI honcho features as the central character must supply some insight into what made him tick, or suffer from the reality that the Bureau's exploits were far more interesting than the bureaucrat who ran it - a dilemma J. Edgar never rises above.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Some will find it ponderous and pompous... a handsome, ambitious period drama full of modern-day parallels.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

Mr. Eastwood doesn't just shift between Hoover's past and present, his intimate life and popular persona, he also puts them into dialectic play, showing repeatedly how each informed the other.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A sonorous, History Channel drone.

2.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

As a period biopic, J. Edgar is masterful. Few films span seven decades this comfortably.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

A somber, enigmatic, darkly fascinating tale, and how could it be otherwise?

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Tackles its trickiest challenges with plausibility and good sense, while serving up a simmeringly caustic view of its controversial subject's behavior, public and private.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

A well acted but unfocused study of one of the 20th century's most colourful characters.

3.0
0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Prim, respectful biography.

0

FBI: Frankly Boring Is

Clint's directed some great movies. THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, UNFORGIVEN, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, hell even GRAN TORINO was great for a longstanding Clint fan like me. But this? This is in the camp of Clint movies like MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF DULL & BORING - longwinded, tedious and not a patch on cheap, bogstandard biopic, THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR...

1.0
0

extract from theaterofthecommonman.com

Penned by writer Dustin Lance Black (Milk), 'J Edgar' could easily be received two ways. The first, an apt period dramatic, praised for its exhausting attention to detail and its exceptional character acting by Leonardo DiCaprio in his portrayal of the tormented protagonist J Edgar Hoover. The Second, a droll biopic with heavily over-worded dialogue,...

2.0
0