The Conspirator (2010)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, History  |  15 April 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 22,813 users   Metascore: 55/100
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Mary Surratt is the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.



(as James Solomon) , (story) (as James Solomon) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Baker
Joseph Holt
William Hamilton
General Hunter
Louis Weichmann
Justice Wylie


In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, seven men and one woman are arrested and charged with conspiring to kill the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary of State. The lone woman charged, Mary Surratt, 42, owns a boarding house where John Wilkes Booth and others met and planned the simultaneous attacks. Against the ominous back-drop of post-Civil War Washington, newly-minted lawyer, Frederick Aiken, a 28-year-old Union war-hero, reluctantly agrees to defend Surratt before a military tribunal. As the trial unfolds, Aiken realizes his client may be innocent and that she is being used as bait and hostage in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped a massive manhunt, her own son. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One bullet killed the President. But not one man.


Crime | Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 April 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El conspirador  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,509,048 (USA) (15 April 2011)


$11,538,204 (USA) (9 September 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Very little is known of the real Frederic Aiken. No photographs of him exist. See more »


When Secretary of State William Seward is stabbed in his bed, the room is shown as being brightly lit. According to historical accounts, though, the room was quite dark, which accounts for Lewis Payne's failure to kill Seward; he missed hitting any vital areas with his knife because he simply could not see his target very well in the dark room. In addition, the elderly Seward was very thin, almost literally 'all skin and bones,' which caused Payne's thrusts to miss their mark. See more »


[first lines]
Frederick Aiken: Two men standing at the Pearly Gates. The first man says, "How'd you die?" Second says, "I froze to death. How 'bout you?" And the, uh, second man says, "Well, I thought my... my wife was being unfaithful to me, so I ran all the way home. And burst into the bedroom. She just..."
See more »


Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »


E Pluribus Unum
Words and Music by Harry Buckline
Arranged and Performed by Curtis Roush
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An eye-opening film, with an exemplary ensemble cast
6 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Redford has assembled an impressively strong cast to bring to the screen a very important and poignant story. Watching this film a couple of weeks ago, I did not know what to expect. What I got was a great film about the trials of the people that were involved behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Robin Wright delivers one of the best performances of her career, in a role that seemed tailor-made for her.

Redford follows up a politically charged film (Lions for Lambs) with a historically charged film, that definitely is not light on the politics. However, he does succeed at presenting the unknown story of a loving mother and clearly stating the events that followed Lincoln's assassination.

The film transported me back in time. Beautifully shot, supported by amazing art direction and costumes, and driven by James McAvoy strong performance, "The Conspirator" stands as a movie for the times, that will definitely be revisited for years to come.

69 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why no security for a war-time president ? humayunimam
Mary Surratt - guilty or innocent? gen57
Who has read 'Killing Lincoln' by Bill O'Reilly? meso97ts
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