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J. Edgar (2011)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  11 November 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 95,255 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 272 user | 385 critic | 42 from

J. Edgar Hoover, powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly 50 years, looks back on his professional and personal life.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoff Pierson ...
Cheryl Lawson ...
Palmer's Wife
Palmer's Daughter
Brady Matthews ...
Head Secretary
Edgar's Father
Hoover as a Child
Labor Dept. Lawyer


Biopic of J. Edgar Hoover 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 who is quickly promoted to Assistant Director and would be 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 the FBI was involved in - 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 he's worked with over his career, thanks in large part to his secret files. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Most Powerful Man in the World


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hoover  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,217,324 (USA) (11 November 2011)


$37,304,950 (USA) (17 February 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Claire Danes was considered for the role of Helen Gandy. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Red Sails in the Sunset
Written by Jimmy Kennedy (as James Kennedy) and Will Grosz (as Hugh Williams)
Performed by Kyle Eastwood, Joe Bagg, Kye Palmer, Jason Harnell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Edgar and Clyde
22 November 2011 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

Snipets of history and then a tabloid romance that, in its day, was made of rumor and innuendo. A psychotic, paranoid schizophrenic, as I see it, head of the most powerful Federal Bureau Of Investigation, corrupted by his own power and his obsession with secrecy is a character worthy of Peter Lorre but in this new outing of the prolific Clint Eastwood, J Edgar Hoover is Leonardo DiCaprio! I love both DiCaprio and Eastwood but not in this. I love DiCaprio for Gilbert Grape and Eastwood for The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven. Here they are both out of their depths. Long, boring film with terrible aging make-up and no real center. The most unexpected aspect was the time dedicated to the romance between J Edgar and Clyde Tolson. It humanized the man without revealing him. That's almost cheating.

40 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Leo needs to break his habits.. bs-2010
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I thought DiCaprio was in that movie? Tyrolean
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