Marry Surratt was one of seven people charged with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first woman to executed by the United States Federal Government.
Handsomely appointed and with a quality cast, director Robert Redford’s ye olde companion-piece to Lions For Lambs recounts the apparently biased trial of Mary Surratt (Robin Wright), a mother charged as an accomplice in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Alongside Tom Wilkinson and Toby Kebbell, X-Man James McAvoy is dapper and disillusioned as the young lawyer whose idealism is inevitably rocked by — gasp — the corruption of power. Despite the refutations of politics-on-sleeve Redford, his stately faction induces eye rolls as moral liberalism clashes pronouncedly with the dastardly Secretary Of War (Kevin Kline) and his ‘needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few’ attitude to obliterating civil rights.
A solid historical drama that carries a few too many political messages.
Reviewed by Barry McEachen