J. Edgar 2011

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(127) IMDb 6.6/10
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As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. With a career steeped in scandal and a controversial private life, the legendary director of the FBI retained his post as keeper of the country's secrets (and many of ...

Starring:
Leonardo DiCaprio,Naomi Watts
Runtime:
2 hours, 11 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Historical
Director Clint Eastwood
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts
Supporting actors Josh Lucas, Lea Thompson, Ed Westwick, Armie Hammer, Dermot Mulroney, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Donovan, Stephen Root
Studio Warner Bros.
BBFC rating Suitable for 15 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Nov. 2012
Format: DVD
Modern cinema owes Clint Eastwood a huge debt. As an actor and a director his films have been some of the brightest products of movies in an age dominated by mediocre special effects blockbusters rolled out to fill seats in multiplexes. His sureness of touch has been his greatest skill most of all in one of the greatest Western's ever "Unforgiven". His legacy is safe but sadly "J Edgar" will not add it. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts and Armie Hammer this is one long slog of a film that can't make up its mind want it wants to be. It commences almost as a complete retelling of the "FBI Story" starting on the 1919 "Red Scare" and as casting the historical figure Emma Goldman as some sort of demonic alien who deserved to be deported. There is no attempt to question the delusion that America was about to be taken over by "Bolshevism". Instead the febrile ranting's of the young Hoover are given full vent. Thus peaceful and justified events like the Seattle General Strike of 1919 are cast, as if they are about to bring down the government. Much concentration follows on the Palmer Raids and then the Lindburgh kidnapping which spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act and essentially create the FBI. The trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann the alleged kidnapper is also thoroughly dealt with.

These two events take over an hour to portray and then suddenly we jump to the JFK assassination. In that time the worst ever Bobby Kennedy lookalike has appeared two times (a later Richard Nixon lookalike is equally poor) as Eastwood's direction jumps all over any attempt at historical narrative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By THE MOVIE GUY on 13 Aug. 2013
Format: DVD
The movie opens in the 1960's. The FBI wants to investigate MLK and the SCLC, but RFK doesn't want to allow it until the FBI has a tape of JFK in a compromising position. The movie flashes back to Hoover's involvement in the Palmer Raids and the deportation of a US citizen, Emma Goldman. It uses the flashback method to show us events in the past that shaped Edgar's way of thinking. He was a stickler for details and liked science, especially that fingerprint thing. We also get a glimpse of his fight with organized crime and becoming a hero in the Lindbergh trial. The movie skirts his cross dressing save for a story told by his mother of another boy. It also touches on his homosexuality, but doesn't focus on it except for one scene (man kiss).

Leonardo DiCaprio played J.Edgar similar to how he played Howard Hughes. The script brings out the complexity of Hoover as both a genius patriot and a blackmailing diabolical man. It shows him as reluctant to spy on reporters for Nixon and someone who disliked Joe McCarthy. An interesting movie for any history buff. It connects to our present era of terrorism and extradition.

one f-bomb, the cs word, no nudity, shadow sex with noises.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BookwormEla on 3 Oct. 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how Eastwood managed to make Hoover's life story boring, but this film is mostly dull, with a few exceptions. I recently read a non-fiction history of the FBI, 'Enemies' by Tim Weiner, which was far more entertaining - I'd recommend it if you want to know how Hoover really operated. I thought Naomi Watts did a good job as Hoover's secretary, and Josh Lucas was excellent in a minor role as Charles Lindbergh, but ultimately the film tried to cover too much of Hoover's life, and thus fell prey to some of the worst ageing make-up I've seen in a film - poor Armie Hammer looked like he was wearing a mask at the end.

The framing device of having Hoover dictate his memoirs to a young man, worked quite well in tying together the dramatised episodes from his life, and pointed the fact that Hoover simply made things up if he felt it would boost his image. The parts of the film where Hoover is recalling his early career are very dark, as though shot on film stock of the period, but later scenes are better lit - this and the use of black and white is a nice conceit by Eastwood, even if it means that some of the action isn't very clear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Juliana on 30 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film was interesting and informative and portrayed the man realistically. Leonardo DiCaprio did the role justice. I've seen it before and decided to buy it as a present for my brother who also enjoyed it. It arrived on time and there were no problems.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on 21 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
I will be short on this film because it probably is one of the best by Clint Eastwood.

First the actors. They have to cover a whole life and it starts in their early twenties and ends in their late seventies with diseases and death. It is not only a question of special makeup effects but it is a question of deportment, behaviour, rhythm, flexibility, credibility at any age in their facial expressions and their language. It takes time, a lot of training and great talent to do that. If it were easy they would all do it. Very few actually can.

Second the institutional subject. The creation of the FBI. Its transformation from a semi-clandestine agency to a scientific, well trained and very effective and diligent institution. The film is clear how difficult it was to get laws passed and finances granted by Congress. Some of the arguments were opportunistic and some were logical, but they all had only one aim: to get what it needs to become the best. J. Edgar Hoover was in a way irritating in his way to serialize the action of the FBI for the nascent mass-media that the radio and the cinema were becoming. He was extremely disturbing in his umbilical ego-centeredness or ego-centricity. But that was him and the actor is able to render this cold, calculated and very tense character who had a problem with public elocution and had managed to overcome it with an extremely strict discipline.

That leads to his action and his vision of the FBI. He was extremely authoritative and manipulative. He never took no for an answer and for him one no was always a disguised and hidden yes. He accumulated information on all the people he could one day depend on, politicians, congressmen and justices or judges, to blackmail them if necessary.
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