'The Trial of the Chicago 7': Sink or Stream?

Should the results of this trial sink through the cracks, or be streamed for all to see? Here's our verdict on Netflix's "The Trial of the Chicago 7."

Jesse Conner

By Jesse Conner

Eddie Redmayne in "The Trial of the Chicago 7."

© Netflix

The Trial of the Chicago 7 Poster

The Trial of the Chicago 7



October 16, 2020

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What was supposed to be a peaceful anti-war protest turned into the 1968 Chicago riots at the Democratic National Convention.

Today, Netflix releases one of their more highly anticipated films, "The Trial of the Chicago 7," which acts as a docudrama revisiting the story of what happened during the summer of 1968 in Chicago.

Leading the charge in this important cinematic retelling is writer/director Aaron Sorkin, and his all-star cast including names like Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jeremy Strong, and more.

Our job in presenting the case: should you skip this and call it a mistrial, or take the stand and ride this thing out?

Reasons to Sink

© Netflix

© Netflix

  • With so many actors sharing the spotlight, it can be tough to understand the full extent each character played in the events leading up to the trial, with some characters almost being skipped over entirely.
  • This film has a somewhat fast-paced nature, constantly cutting back and forth between the riots and the trial, while being narrated in a past tense as the story is told.

Reasons to Stream

© Netflix

© Netflix

  • Like he has done in past films like "Steve Jobs" and "The Social Network," Sorkin excels at pulling out important nuggets of information and piecing them together in a compelling, easily digestible, and affecting way.
  • Every member of the incredible cast brings their A game to the table, with their emotions elevated to match or exceed their peers.
  • The courtroom ping pong match reaches levels of intensity that rival the reenactments of the events that lead to the trial.
  • The film is able to depict the good, bad, and ugly by turning up the heat at every turn, while still offering some effective comic relief.

Sink or Stream?

The jury is in and "The Trial of the Chicago 7" is absolutely worth a stream.

Sorkin is able to take an important part of U.S. history and squeeze every bit of courtroom drama out of it in a little over 2 hours, while making it an epic that resonates with what's happening now.

This film is a provocation to think about how any group of people can inspire change when changed is needed. It will also remind you that there are two sides to every story.

To see how the trial plays out, stream on Netflix.

Jesse Conner

Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.

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