Seems that for every great Clint Eastwood directed movie, there are at least 2 mediocre ones. And yes, this movie is also quite mediocre. which is still not the same as something bad of course.

For a biopic this movie just doesn't tell you enough about its main subject. After watching this movie I still have no idea who J. Edgar Hoover exactly was, why he did the things the way he did and most importantly what drove him. It's not a very insightful movie but more one that only covers the surface.

Perhaps it's due to it that the movie just doesn't really know what to think about J. Edgar Hoover. The movie itself seems to be in doubt about it, whether he was a good- or a bad guy and therefore doesn't really know how to approach him. You have the feeling that because of this the movie is never going far enough with any of its presumptions and plays it safe instead.

So it's not entirely successful as a biopic but as a movie on its own, it still has plenty of value to it. It of course features a pretty interesting concept, being set in a pretty interesting time. Lots of well known people and cases of its time pass through this movie but that bring me to another problem of the movie as well.

Something that the story could has used was some more focus. It should had had a more clear main plot line in it and now instead the movie is making some too big leaps at times. Whenever you think that the movie is heading into an interesting direction, it suddenly wraps it all up and starts with something completely different. It also seems quite pointless that the movie keeps switching back and forth between the young and the old J. Edgar Hoover.

Besides, the story that it is telling just doesn't always come across as that interesting, though the movie does still present itself as a very heavy and dramatic one. It's actually a very forgettable movie, that I don't think I will ever see again. It's just not the sort of movie you pick and sit down for, for a pleasant night of movie watching. It's not a very easy or pleasant movie to watch, due to its story and the way its being told.

I can still really appreciate it for all of the skills and talent, that got put into it. I'm probably making it sound like this is a horrible movie, which just really isn't the case. Technically it still remains a well made movie, with some good cinematography, art-direction and make-up effects. I actually wouldn't be surprised if this movie ended up earning a couple of Oscar nominations, in any of those categories and perhaps in some more ones as well. This is simply the type of movie the Academy Awards love; a true historical story, about an iconic person, played by a well known actor and with a acclaimed director at the helm of it.

And even though Leonardo DiCaprio looks absolutely nothing like, the short, fat, balding, ugly J. Edgar Hoover (no matter how much make-up they throw on him) he still does a great job at becoming the character. You could tell he gave it everything and studied his subject a lot. Most of the other characters and actors in this are however, just like the entire movie, forgettable ones.

A well made- but very forgettable movie, that's worth seeing only just once really.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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