6.6/10
107,250
282 user 396 critic

J. Edgar (2011)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
2,693 ( 737)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Body of Lies (2008)
Action | Drama | Romance
    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 | History
    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
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
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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Action | Adventure
    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 who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

Director: Randall Wallace
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich
Invictus (2009)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nelson Mandela, in his first term as the South African President, 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
The Beach I (2000)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Twenty-something 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 1863, 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
Hereafter (2010)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A teenager finds his dreams of becoming a basketball star threatened after he free falls into the harrowing world of drug addiction.

Director: Scott Kalvert
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Most Powerful Man in the World


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hoover  »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Joaquin Phoenix was rumored to play Clyde Tolson, but the rumors were denied. See more »

Goofs

When Hoover is cracking the shell of eggs with Tolson, you can clearly see the fat pad around DiCaprio's waist as he bends over. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.25 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

At Sundown
Written by Walter Donaldson
Performed by George Olsen and his Music
Courtesy of RCA
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
What is Truth?
25 November 2011 | by (Phoenix) – See 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.


60 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?