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Running Time:
2 hours, 3 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for some violent content.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
An old-fashioned Civil War courtroom drama made with scrupulous attention to detail without ever becoming very compelling.

Additional Info:
Robin Wright ... Mary Surratt
James McAvoy ... Frederick Aiken
Evan Rachel Wood ... Anna Surratt
Alexis Bledel ... Sarah Weston
Justin Long ... Nicholas Baker
Tom Wilkinson ... Reverdy Johnson
Norman Reedus ... Lewis Payne
Kevin Kline ... Edwin Stanton
Danny Huston ... Joseph Holt
Stephen Root ... John Lloyd
Toby Kebbell ... John Wilkes Booth

The Conspirator
The Conspirator starring Robin Wright: DVD Cover The accused co-conspirator in the murder of president Abraham Lincoln is Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), the mother of one of the accused and proprietress of a boarding house where the plotters regularly met. At the urging of Senator Reverdy Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), who’s concerned that she’s being railroaded by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (Kevin Kline) and his military tribunal headed by General Hunter (Colm Meaney), Union Officer and lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) reluctantly agrees to defend her, despite the long odds.

The film directed by Robert Redford centers on Aiken’s growing conviction that Surratt might not be guilty and his efforts to prod the court into acting in a genuinely just fashion, or at least to show mercy toward his client, who faces the possibility of becoming the first woman to be executed in US history. To succeed he must overcome the influence of Stanton, who’s determined to end the political turmoil caused by the assassination by swift retributive sentences against all the accused. He must also deal with the increasing animosity of the public to his efforts, including old army friends like Nicholas Baker (Justin Long), whose life he was instrumental in saving on the battlefield.

Although The Conspirator may be attractively mounted, have beautiful period design and be factually accurate, it lacks dramatic urgency. Even at the climax when there should be a good deal of tension about whether a reprieve will be granted to Surratt or not, it never becomes very compelling. 

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