- Cast: Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Alexis Bledel, Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Kline, Norman Reedus, Jonathan Groff, Tom Wilkinson, Danny Huston, Johnny Simmons, Toby Kebbell, Stephen Root, Shea Whigham, James Badge Dale, Colm Meaney, Chris Bauer, Jim True-Frost, John Michael Weatherly, Gerald Bestrom, Marcus Hester, Jeremy Paul Tuttle, Craig Crumpton, Ron Stafford, Dennis Clark, James Kirk Sparks, John Deifer
- Director: Robert Redford
- Writers: James D. Solomon, Gregory Bernstein
- Producers: Brian Peter Falk, Bill Holderman, Robert Redford, Greg Shapiro, Robert Stone, Webster Stone
- Co Producer: James D. Solomon
- Executive Producer: Jeremiah Samuels
- Art Direction: Mark Garner
- Casting: Avy Kaufman
- Costume Design: Louise Frogley
- D.O.P.: Newton Thomas Sigel
- Editor: Craig McKay
- Makeup: John R. Bayless
- Music: Mark Isham
- Production Design: Kalina Ivanov
- Set Decoration: Melissa M. Levander
Against the turbulent backdrop of post-Civil War Washington, rookie lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) reluctantly agrees to defend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright Penn) - the lone woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln.
When his colleagues, friends, and true love begin to desert him, Aiken must rely on Mary’s spirited daughter Anna (Evan Rachel Wood) to help piece together the events leading up to the assassination.
Facing down the government he fought so heroically to defend, Aiken quickly realizes Mary may be innocent and that she is being used as bait in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped the massive manhunt: her own son, John. Unwilling to incriminate her boy, Mary refuses to cooperate as Aiken seeks to defend her by building his case against John.
With time running out, Aiken puts everything on the line in order to convince a bloodthirsty nation - and Mary, herself - to do what is right. But will this be enough to prevent the U.S. government and its people from flouting principle and exacting revenge?
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Filming Locations: Georgia, USA
- MPAA Warning: Some violent content
- Production Budget: $20 million
- Production Companies: The American Film Company, Wildwood Enterprises
- Production Schedule: October 2009 - December 2009
2011 Guide Analysis: "Robert Redford returns to the director's chair with this $20 million old-fashioned courtroom drama centering around the fallout of the Lincoln assassination. Shot very late last year, the movie wasn't anywhere near ready to premiere at Redford's Sundance Film Festival back in January. Instead it went on to become one of the more anticipated entries at Toronto this past September with a gala world premiere.
While reaction afterward was positive, it obviously wasn't as enthusiastic as Redford had hoped. The actor turned filmmaker's slow burn style and deliberate sensibilities will appeal to older audiences but will probably not engage those hoping for something a bit more punchy. Like his last effort, 2007's "Lions for Lambs", Redford reportedly forgoes opportunities to flesh out the characters and the setting in favour of grinding his political axe with plenty of rather blunt swipes at the bungled war on terror.
What he does get right is strong performances out of his two leads - saucy Scot James McAvoy and the always delightful Robin Wright. The miscasting of Alexis Bledel and Justin Long in supporting turns however were frequently singled out as one of the film's most visible flaws. Foreign outlet reviews were more upbeat about the film than domestic critics, indicating a potential divide when it gets released. Considering Redford's last great drama as a director was 1994's superb "Quiz Show", if this even comes close to that in terms of quality it'll definitely be worth checking out."