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J. EDGAR

 
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At Theaters: 11/9/2011 On Video: 2/21/2012
Rated: R Length: 2 hr. 17 min.
Internet: Web Site Movie ID: 579990
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.
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Storyline Heading
During his lifetime, J. Edgar Hoover would rise to be the most powerful man in America. As head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years, he would stop at nothing to protect his country. Through eight presidents and three wars, Hoover waged battle against threats both real and perceived, often bending the rules to keep his countrymen safe. His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the admiration of the world his most coveted, if ever elusive, prize.
DETAILED STORYLINE
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Movie Type (Genre) Heading
Drama - This is a slow, talky biopic that is a big showcase for star Leonardo DiCaprio. Although about the FBI, action is at a minimum. Older viewers are the target. Naomi Watts and other name stars have smaller supporting parts. Violence, language, and gay themes make the film inappropriate for children.

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Cast and Crew Heading
Leonardo DiCaprio INCEPTION, SHUTTER ISLAND, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD
Naomi Watts DREAM HOUSE, FAIR GAME
Armie Hammer BILLY THE EARLY YEARS
Josh Lucas LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, POSEIDON, GLORY ROAD, STEALTH
Judi Dench NINE, QUANTUM OF SOLACE, NOTES ON A SCANDAL
Dir/Prod: Clint Eastwood HEREAFTER, INVICTUS, GRAN TORINO, THE CHANGELING
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Production Notes Heading
About The Production
Old Hoover
Young Hoover
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Content Heading
PROFANITY: 1 F-word; a couple of others.
SEX/NUDITY: Sex noises; a kiss between men.
VIOLENCE: Shootings and beatings with some blood.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some alcohol and tobacco.
ACTION: Some gunplay.
COMEDY: None
DETAILED CONTENT
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Critic's Review Heading

Berardinelli, Internet Critic Full Review
Good What J. Edgar lacks is drive. It is at times too staid and straightforward. It skims along the surface rather than delving beneath the roiling waters of Hoover's personality to provide a more potent glimpse of the man. Hoover is as much an enigma at the end of the movie as he is at the beginning. In many ways, this is a text book account of his life in that it provides a competent biography without adding much in the way of color or passion.

Roger Ebert Full Review
Very Good As a period biopic, "J. Edgar" is masterful. Few films span seven decades this comfortably. The sets, the props, the clothes, and details, look effortlessly right, and note how Eastwood handles the many supporting roles (some of them depicting famous people). These minor characters are all to some degree relating to Hoover's formidable public image. It's a nice touch, the way Eastwood and DiCaprio create a character who seems to be a dead zone and make him electrifying in other actors' reaction shots.

USA Today Full Review
Good Consequently, audiences get a nuanced portrait. Eastwood certainly focuses on what Hoover is known best for — his wiretaps and secret files. Yet by seeing his interactions with those closest to him, audiences get a glimpse into Hoover's tortured psyche. What emerges is a portrait of a man often selfish and childish in his insistence on absolute loyalty, whose moral outrage was largely built on baseless fears.

Note: The rating above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.

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Opinion Heading

Based on an Exit Polling of 106 Moviegoers

Ages Age Group
How
Many
Your Probability of
Enjoying This Movie
*
Would
Recommend
Movie To Friends
20-29Yg Adults (M)
4
High
75%
20-29Yg Adults (F)
4
Fairly High
100%
30+Adults (M)
44
High
91%
30+Adults (F)
54
Fairly High
87%
*Possible Ratings: Very High, High, Fairly High, About 50/50, Fairly Low, Low, Very Low.

About Our Opinions

Be sure to read the DETAILED OPINIONS
The positive and negative comments made by moviegoers are very
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OPINION GRAPH

OPINION OVERVIEW
The following is the original "What's Worth Watching" write-up for this movie.

Moviegoer Opinions:

Based on a theater exit polling of 106 moviegoers:
TWENTYSOMETHINGS:Three of the four males loved "J. Edgar." Three of the ladies enjoyed it very much with one loving it. The fourth one rated it average, which isn't too bad.
ADULTS: These are not real strong reviews but they clearly show that most everyone enjoyed "J. Edgar," at least to some degree. For this type of movie, I would say these are pretty good reviews. Close to half the males and females loved it. Quite a few more rated it above average (Very Good). Unfortunately, there were quite a few males and females who only rated it as "Good/Average," which is a bit disappointing but not too bad. A fair number of females even rated it below average or lower. After seeing this movie, my suggestion is, if you enjoy viewing biographies, you will very likely enjoy "J. Edgar."

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D ETAILED S TORYLINE
Hoover was a man who placed great value on secrets—particularly those of others—and was not afraid to use that information to exert authority over the leading figures in the nation. Understanding that knowledge is power and fear poses opportunity, he used both to gain unprecedented influence and to build a reputation that was both formidable and untouchable. He was as guarded in his private life as he was in his public one, allowing only a small and protective inner circle into his confidence. His closest colleague, Clyde Tolson, was also his constant companion. His secretary, Helen Gandy, who was perhaps most privy to Hoover's designs, remained loyal to the end…and beyond. Only Hoover's mother, who served as his inspiration and his conscience, would leave him, her passing truly crushing to the son who forever sought her love and approval.

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