Steal This Movie (2000) Poster

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7/10
Good biography of a great man
itamarscomix24 May 2005
'Steal This Movie' is a well-thought, well-written well-acted, well-made dramatization of the life of left-wing activist Abbie Hoffman, probably the most famous of the Chicago Seven. (The title is a play on the title of Hoffman's autobiography, 'Steal This Book', though it certainly doesn't have the poignancy of that title.) 'Steal This Movie' made some bold casting choices. The lead role was given to Vincent D'Onofrio: not an obvious choice, because Vincent looks very little like Abbie, which caused many die-hard history aficionados to bash the decision. However, Vincent fills the role wonderful, brilliantly, expressing all the conflicting sides of Hoffman's personality, his sense of humor, his dead seriousness, strict political consciousness, bi-polar disorder, having to live in hiding and away from his wife and son. He makes the character come alive much more than someone else could have by simply looking and talking like him. Abbie's wife Anita is played wonderfully by SNL's Janeane Garofalo, accomplished comedian but not so as a dramatic actress.

Though it doesn't have that much cinematic value by its own right, 'Steal This Movie' does a fantastic job of getting through both the spirit of the time and the greatness and difficulties of Hoffman's activities and his character - a great and fascinating person whose impact has long been overlooked. It's also a wonderful document of an important period that is practically ignored (relatively, of course). For those interested in the late 60s, in the hippie movements, Black Panthers and other left wing political movements of the time, and of course in Hoffman himself - it's invaluable, on top of being both touching and entertaining. A good watch.
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Good.
chthon229 January 2003
This film is about the activist years of Yippie Abbie Hoffman and the time after. People expecting to see a biopic about his activism, antics, or books will be dissapointed. The film is about Abbie Hoffman. Not about his efforts, but about him.

The editing is not that great, and the dialogue could have been better, but the scenes are entertaining even without good pacing. D'Onofrio also did his best to portray Hoffman, even though he's 9 inches taller and doesn't look like him. He seems to capture that charisma, that "mojo" that other people seem to like. He' also very good in the second half, when you can tell Abbie is pondering his life - if he's doomed to run forever, is he running from nothing, did he waste his life. He seemed very tortured.

A lot of people may be dissapointed, but this is still a good film. Such a shame it didn't get wide release.
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7/10
Abbie Hoffman: American
EmperorNortonII29 December 2001
"Steal This Movie" is the biopic of Abbie Hoffman, the famed activist and self proclaimed "orphan of America." The movie paints a portrait of Abbie as a man who loved his country, only not the way the status quo would have wanted him to. Vincent D'Onofrio plays the lead with a real passion, and Janeane Garofalo also displays competent dramatic ability as Abbie's wife Anita. This movie shows America in the 1960s at its best and worst. What I found interesting was its use of grainy film for flashbacks, to take on the look of a '60s documentary. If you were alive in Abbie Hoffman's time, you either loved him or hated him. Seeing the story of his life may give you a new perspective on who he was.
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6/10
good but dumbed down
quayle-17 April 2006
This was an overall good release but there were numerous flaws. The worst of which was the dumbing down of the characters, especially Abbie Hoffman. It made for good cinema and fit the mainstream's mental picture of Abbie, but was quite misleading. Abbie's last wife, Johanna Lawrenson, was grossly misrepresented as apolitical and little more than a bubble-headed groupie. Both were excellent organizers and people. Talking to both was inspiring. It's sad that a film from a better source misrepresented them. However, that said, the film has value for providing a visual picture of the times and occurrences of Abbie's life. Abbie was one of the most significant of the 60s cast of characters and this film contributes to keeping his legacy alive.
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5/10
Organizing activities can be harmful to your health.
Michael O'Keefe28 December 2001
Robert Greenwald directs this brilliant biopic of '60s counter-culture rabble-rouser Abbie Hoffman(Vincent D'Onofrio)following his involvement with civil rights demonstrations in the south; his association with the infamous Chicago 7 and his disappearance underground in the '70s. Great mix of actual historic footage and well paced dialogue based on the books of Hoffman and his wife Anita. The perky Janeane Garofalo portrays Anita Hoffman and Jeanne Tripplehorn plays Hoffman's girlfriend Johanna Lawrence. Also in the cast are Kevin Pollak, Troy Garity and Kevin Corrigan. D'Onofrio is excellent in the lead role. This is the least heard account of events, but very thought provoking and interesting.
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8/10
Biased but Should be
abbe154 December 2005
I feel compelled to comment about both the movie and the bias in the movie. As someone who studies Abbie Hoffman I thought that the movie stayed pretty true to what Hoffman wrote in his autobiography, the letters that he and Anita shared that were eventually published, and the transcripts of the court testimony of the Chicago Trial. I think that knowing the movie is based on documents written by Abbie himself makes any bias in the movie seem appropriate or at least more acceptable. Also, I would argue that it is helpful to have a portrait of Abbie that is mostly positive, considering all of the trouble the government went to in order to paint him in a bad light to the public. I think Hoffman was an extremely interesting, albeit troubled character, and I think that D'Onofrio portrayed him well.
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An interesting film
dvanhouwelingen31 January 2001
The film is an interesting look, at what appears to be an interesting man. The style of film is distracting at first - it's all a little too busy, but once you get get by that the film is an interesting ride. The performances are great - Janeane Garolfalo and Jeanne Tripplehorn play the women Abbie loved and do it very effectivly. And D'Onofio is great as Hoffman himself - fiery, passionate and very effective. If there's a problem with the movie, it's that it seems too in love with Hoffman to give a truly accuarate picture. It romaticizes his struggle and seems to think that Hoffman did nothing wrong when he sold what appears to be a lot of cocaine to an FBI agent. True, he was set up, but he still sold it. The film breezes past Hoffman's suicide and paints a man like a golden boy, a truly great man. I would have appreciated a more honest look.
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8/10
A Vince D'Onofrio acting fest
marialba16 November 2000
"Steal This Movie" was not only an educational film in the sense that shed some light on the activist movement of the 1960s, but also a pleasant surprise regarding the quality of the performances in it. Vince D'Onofrio is amazing as Abbie Hoffman and his acting ability is in full display. Steal this video right away!
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10/10
Affecting, but doesn't catch the spirit (AND WHERE'S KUNTSLER?)
Alan J. Jacobs22 August 2000
I felt compelled to give this movie a "10" because I love the subject and thought the performances were swell. But it didn't really capture the mood of the 60s--there really was a community of people all across the country who felt a shared vibe, but this movie portrayed the movement that Abbie was involved in as merely a political movement, with political countermovements against it. It was more than that, and different from that. Jeanine Garofolo gives a flawless performance as Anita. Somehow, however, Vincent D'Onofrio didn't seem right as Abbie--he was just too handsome and athletic. Although Abbie was indeed handsome and athletic, it was in a very Jewish, ergo comfortable, way. There are many others who would have made a better Abbie: John Cusack, the guy from Northern Exposure, the guy from Rushmore, the guy from American Pie.

And where was William Kunstler??!!! He was a major participant, defending the Chicago 7. What happened there? Just because Lefcourt was a producer, they dropped Kuntsler. Was Lefcourt even in Chicago?
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4/10
steal this crap
emptymask4 November 2003
Let me start out by saying that I am a huge fan of Abbie Hoffman and have read Steal this Book and Steal this Urine Test. Also am a even bigger Jerry Rubin fan. But his movie was a discusting pile of rubbish that made a very PG version of Abbie Hoffman. The director took no chances into making Abbie Hoffman interesting in this movie. They despicted Stew Albert as a F***ing cartoon chjaractor devoid of intellegence, the man was a proffesor at Berkley for christsakes. Ok they did a horrid casting job for Anita Hoffman, did a Horrible job casting for the Jerry Rubin character. I just guess the movie doesnt fit the news flashes that I have seen of Abbie or the books that he wrote. The movie just didnt fit and upset me. Oh yeah and theat is the absolute worst voice over I have ever heard of Richard Nixon. This is one of the few movies that I have ever rented that I could not sit all the way through because, I have a passion for Abbie Hoffman and his discruntled band of Yippies and this movie was just plain badly done. And it hurt me that now when people see a movie about the yippies they will see a terrible adaptation, and not get a true sense of reality. Instead they get a hollywoodized palanthra of crap.
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