‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ Review: Sacha Baron Cohen Transforms Sorkin’s Old-School Courtroom Drama

‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ Review: Sacha Baron Cohen Transforms Sorkin’s Old-School Courtroom Drama
Nothing epitomized late ’60s iconoclasm like the trial of the Chicago Seven, a high-profile courtroom showdown between vindictive government forces and the righteous men who opposed its corruption. The nearly five-month proceedings were so loaded with histrionic grandstanding they practically anticipated the movie Aaron Sorkin would make five decades later. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” is exactly as advertised — , that overall makes a passionate case for the resilience of its formula more than using it as an excuse.

Of course, Sorkin practically rejuvenated that formula by writing the fiery confrontations of “A Few Good Men” almost 30 years ago, and here directs his own blunt, energetic screenplay with the convictions of a storyteller fully committed to the tropes at hand. It works well enough in part because the trial lends itself to such artifice: When the government charged an eclectic blend of stoned rebels and non-violent anti-war protesters with inciting
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