Acclaimed actor Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Academy Award-winning director Clint Eastwood's richly detailed biopic exploring the life and career of controversial FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. For nearly 50 years, Hoover (DiCaprio) fought crime as one of the most powerful law enforcers in America. During Hoover's extended stint as Director of the FBI, however, his penchant for bending the law in the name of seeking justice and using the secrets of high profile leaders to gain personal leverage won him just as many supporters as detractors. Little did many other than his loyal colleague Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer) and faithful secretary Helen Gandy (Naomi Watts) know, however, that Hoover himself was a man with many secrets to hide. Josh Lucas, Judi Dench, and Stephen Root co-star in film written by Oscar-winning Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
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Very interesting character study of a complex man and how he created the FBI. Changed my opinion of Hoover and helped me understand the time period more. Fascinating how he was able to hold the office through eight presidencies both Democrat and Republican. DiCaprio gave his usual excellent performance.
Over all, a satisfactory film but a bio-pic that is incomplete. The viewer really doesn't get to know the subject of the film as well as the scripter and film maker could have presented. Hoover was an important figure in American history and like most human beings had his contradictions as well as his admirable traits and accomplishments. Well done production as were the performances by the actors but I thought the special make-up FX used to age DiCaprio and Hammer was over done and not realistic looking and frankly, it was too over the top. The viewer learns some interesting things about Hoover's life but the scripter left out just as many -- I also had heard that Hoover died at his desk just before the new FBI Building that bears his name was completed -- also curious that he and Pres. Nixon were so much alike in some ways that they didn't like or trust each other. Worth a viewing but not one of Eastwood's best films. My Grade: C Marc L. Seattle, WA
I found this interesting since I didn't know too much about J Edgar. The two male leads were outstanding. I am sure there was quite a bit of artistic license taken but overall gave an interesting bio on the man and his life. Left you making your own conclusions to some circumstances. Made me realize how ahead of his time and how influential J Edgar was to our forensics now.