[Screen It]


(2011) (James McAvoy, Robin Wright Penn) (PG-13)

Alcohol/Drugs Moderate
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Extreme
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons Extreme
Imitative Behavior Mild
Jump Scenes Minor
Music (Scary/Tense) Moderate
Music (Inappropriate) None
Profanity Mild
Sex/Nudity Minor
Smoking Mild
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Heavy

Drama: A former Union army captain reluctantly agrees to defend Mary Surratt in the military trial that's trying to convict her of conspiracy regarding the assassination of President Lincoln.
It's 1865, the Civil War is over, and Union soldiers such as Frederick Aiken (JAMES McAVOY), Nicholas Baker (JUSTIN LONG) and William Hamilton (JAMES BADGE DALE) are celebrating the victory along with the likes of Frederick's girlfriend, Sarah Weston (ALEXIS BLEDEL). That celebration is short-lived, however, when a small group of southern sympathizers, including John Wilkes Booth (TOBY KEBBELL), Lewis Payne (NORMAN REEDUS) and John Surratt (JOHNNY SIMMONS) among others, set a plan into motion to overthrow the government. In the resulting chaos, the Secretary of State is badly wounded during the attack, while President Lincoln is assassinated.

As a result, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (KEVIN KLINE) wants all responsible tried before a military tribunal, convicted and executed, all to protect the barely reunified country. Among those arrested is Mary Surratt (ROBIN WRIGHT PENN) who runs a boarding house where her son met with his fellow conspirators. While John can't be found anywhere, and his sister Anna (EVAN RACHEL WOOD) is kept under house arrest, Mary is imprisoned.

U.S. Senator Reverdy Johnson (TOM WILKINSON) of Maryland thinks trying her in a military rather than civilian court is unconstitutional and he wants Frederick, a fellow lawyer, to defend her in the trial. The young captain wants no part of that, but Reverdy ultimately convinces him against the worried objections of the young man's friends as well as Sarah.

As the case begins under the biased eye of military tribunal head Major General David Hunter (COLM MEANEY), Frederick not only finds himself up against prosecutor Joseph Holt (DANNY HUSTON), but also pretty much the rest of the military and government. With Mary's life at stake, Frederick does what he can to try to prove her innocence in a high profile case where the outcome seems already predetermined.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or have an interest in the real-life story and historical elements of that time, it doesn't seem too likely.
For some violent content.

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