6.5/10
120,046
293 user 410 critic

J. Edgar (2011)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly fifty years, looks back on his professional and personal life.

Director:

Clint Eastwood
Reviews
Popularity
4,145 ( 428)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DiCaprio ... J. Edgar Hoover
Josh Hamilton ... Robert Irwin
Geoff Pierson ... Mitchell Palmer
Cheryl Lawson Cheryl Lawson ... Palmer's Wife
Kaitlyn Dever ... Palmer's Daughter
Brady Matthews ... Inspector
Gunner Wright ... Dwight Eisenhower
David A. Cooper ... Franklin Roosevelt
Ed Westwick ... Agent Smith
Naomi Watts ... Helen Gandy
Kelly Lester ... Head Secretary
Jack Donner ... Edgar's Father
Judi Dench ... Annie Hoover
Dylan Burns ... Hoover as a Child
Jordan Bridges ... Labor Dept. Lawyer
Learn more

More Like This 

Body of Lies (2008)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A CIA agent on the ground in Jordan hunts down a powerful terrorist leader while being caught between the unclear intentions of his American supervisors and Jordan Intelligence.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong
The Aviator (2004)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A biopic depicting the early years of legendary Director and aviator Howard Hughes' career from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale
Hereafter (2010)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A drama centered on three people - a blue-collar American, a French journalist and a London school boy - who are touched by death in different ways.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Matt Damon, Cécile de France, Bryce Dallas Howard
Invictus (2009)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as President of South Africa, initiates a unique venture to unite the Apartheid-torn land: enlist the national rugby team on a mission to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Christopher Fitzgerald
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother whom he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich
The Beach I (2000)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel York, Patcharawan Patarakijjanon
Blood Diamond (2006)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1862, Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points area of New York City seeking revenge against Bill the Butcher, his father's killer.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day-Lewis
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in World War II.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Joseph Cross
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese who fought it.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.

Director: Baz Luhrmann
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton
Edit

Storyline

Biopic of J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) told by Hoover as he recalls his career for a biography. Early in his career, Hoover fixated on Communists, anarchists, and any other revolutionary taking action against the U.S. government. He slowly builds the agency's reputation, becoming the sole arbiter of who gets hired and fired. One of his hires is Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), who is quickly promoted to Assistant Director and was Hoover's confidant and companion for the rest of Hoover's life. Hoover's memories have him playing a greater role in the many high profile cases in which the F.B.I. was involved, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the arrest of bank robbers like John Dillinger, and also show him to be quite adept at manipulating the various politicians with whom he worked over his career, thanks in large part to his secret files. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Powerful Man in the World


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood is famous for shooting the screenplays he directs almost verbatim, not making changes. Dustin Lance Black has admitted he didn't like that, arguing he loves to discuss the screenplay with the director and improving it together with suggestions. See more »

Goofs

Neither Hoover nor Agent Melvin Purvis killed John Dillinger. Dillinger was actually gunned down by agents Clarence Hurt, Charles Winstead, and Herman Hollis. Most historical accounts give Winstead credit for delivering the fatal shot to the back of Dillinger's head. Ironically, given the film's depiction of Hoover as constantly claiming credit for the deed, Winstead received a personal letter of commendation from Hoover for it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
J. Edgar Hoover: Let me tell you something. The SCLC has direct Communist ties. Even great men can be corrupted, can't they? Communism is not a political party. It is a disease. It corrupts the soul, turning men, even the gentlest of men, into vicious evil tyrants.
See more »


Soundtracks

Goldberg Variation No. 2
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Gennady Loktionov
See more »

User Reviews

 
What is Truth?
25 November 2011 | by ReinaMissySee all my reviews

The infamous words spoken by Pilate to Jesus of Nazareth come to mind when one ponders the life of John Edgar Hoover. Was he a genius or a tyrant? A patriot or a dictator? A cross dresser or an uptight man with no sex life? Nobody knows for certain, and director Clint Eastwood does not offer a definitive answer to any of these questions, which is exactly as it should be. Life is rarely cut-and-dried, but moviegoers seem to have forgotten that fact in the face of media that state speculation as fact on a regular basis.

I find it not only surprising, but distressing, that a major criticism from those critics who panned the film is the lack of closure on Hoover's private life. Unless they are truly obtuse, they must realize that no film could possibly do such a thing, since his files were destroyed at his own bidding. All is speculation, and a fine speculation it is. Leonardo DiCaprio is superb (as usual) in the title role, never revealing more cards then he chooses to at any given moment. He receives fine support from Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson, Hoover's Second in Command/Rumored Lover, and Naomi Watts as his endlessly loyal private secretary Helen Gandy. At a time when "red fever" ran high, Hoover's relentlessly tightening control on government investigations is shown in flashbacks that only underscore how supreme power can corrupt even the noblest of intentions.

In the end, the film answers none of the questions that seem so important to the very critics that disliked it, but in my humble opinion, a well made film is one that inspires debate or discussion rather than simply hand down a definitive 'this is the way it was' with an imperious gavel. With "J Edgar", Eastwood and his cast have succeeded well.


73 of 97 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 293 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hoover See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,217,324, 13 November 2011

Gross USA:

$37,306,030

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$84,920,539
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed