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The Conspirator (2010)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, History  |  15 April 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 22,612 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Many onlookers, mostly woman, disrupted filming just to catch a glimpse of Robert Redford and would reportly scream at Production Assistants who blocked their view of him. See more »


Almost the entirety of the assassination attempt of William Henry Seward is incorrect. Lewis Powell, pretending to be bringing medicine, was met at the door by a servant who tried to stop him from entering. Fred, hearing this, also attempted to stop Powell, telling him to come back later because his father was asleep. Fanny (who was dark haired) opened the door to tell Fred that their father was awake. He closed the door on her and turned back to Powell who shot at his head. The gun misfired and he bashed Fred's skull in, leaving a hole and the brain exposed. He then entered the room and shoved Fanny aside as she tried to stop him from attacking Henry. He began stabbing Henry, the jaw splint deflecting the blows somewhat, saving his life. Henry managed to roll off the bed and under it before losing consciousness. Gus and the soldier nurse entered and fought with Powell, who stabbed both about 7 times each before fleeing the scene. 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 »


Marching Through Georgia
Words and Music by Henry Clay Work (as Henry C. Work)
Arranged and Performed by Curtis Roush
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

a terrific film with a small weakness
24 May 2011 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

I was reluctant to see "The Conspirator" because it has racked up a critical consensus of a kind I dislike: the film is said to be cold-hearted, and to make political points with a heavy hand. Neither of these, happily, turns out to be true. The film is utterly impassioned, and its interest for today is nicely noted without being too underlined. Nearly every element one wants in a great film is there: visual beauty, strong acting, fine pacing, stirring and well-made music. But there is a flaw. The creators have taken their creation too seriously. There's not a shaft of levity or humor anywhere. A requirement for great art is thereby missed. It doesn't matter how somber the subject is supposed to be. King Lear has his fool; even Wagner's ultra-dark Ring cycle has its powerful currents of humor. It's got to be there; otherwise, the whole organism suffers. I think this is the weakness to which reviewers have responded, even if none of them has precisely named it. On that ground, the film falls short of greatness; but in every other respect it approaches or achieves greatness. "The Conspirator" is hugely recommendable and I will certainly see it again.

19 of 24 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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