Continuing with Shockya’s new mini-series The Best and Worst Films of 2011…So Far, this installment ironically includes historical dramas and car action movies on both the greatest and poorest lists. Some of these films successfully integrated historical facts with a captivating storyline and big-budget stunts with a natural bond between the cast, respectfully; unfortunately, the other movies disappointingly failed to incorporate accurate backstories or exciting chase scenes.
The Best and Worst Films of 2011…So Far also features some of the most anticipated movies of the second half of the year. The summer seems to want to step away from the historical dramas and action films to instead focus on the many ways audiences can be frightened with the horror genre. But whatever genre you’re interested in, the second half of 2011 promises to deliver as many interesting movies as the first half…but with the guaranteed few bad choices as well.
The Best So Far:
Director: Robert Redford
Actors: James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Justin Long
Theatrical Release Date: April 15; Blu-ray/DVD release date: August 16
‘The Conspirator’ follows the wake of President Lincoln’s assassination in Washington, D.C. Seven men and one woman, Mary Surratt (played by Robin Wright), are charged with helping John Wilkes Booth (played by Toby Kebbell) kill the president. New lawyer Frederick Aiken, portrayed by James McAvoy, a Union war-hero, is persuaded by former Attorney General and current U.S. Senator Reveredy Johnson, played by Tom Wilkinson, to defend Mary in front of a military tribunal.
The topic of whether or not northern states should have showed sympathy towards the southern states after the Civil War ended, and the continuous bitterness and urge to take revenge on the opposing side, are still controversial topics. But Redford rightfully decided not to place blame on either side; he keeps his viewers intrigued by allowing them to decide on their own whether or not Booth acted alone.
Redford also made the right decision in hiring McAvoy to portray Frederick. He has a natural compassion towards other people that effortlessly translates onto the screen. While Frederick bravely fought for the Union throughout the entire war, McAvoy convincingly made it seem as though Frederick truly wanted to protect Mary.
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