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The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

2:46 | Trailer
The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.


Aaron Sorkin


Aaron Sorkin (screenplay)
4 ( 34)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Eddie Redmayne ... Tom Hayden
Alex Sharp ... Rennie Davis
Sacha Baron Cohen ... Abbie Hoffman
Jeremy Strong ... Jerry Rubin
John Carroll Lynch ... David Dellinger
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ... Bobby Seale
Mark Rylance ... William Kunstler
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ... Richard Schultz
Ben Shenkman ... Leonard Weinglass
J.C. MacKenzie ... Thomas Foran
Frank Langella ... Judge Julius Hoffman
Danny Flaherty ... John Froines
Noah Robbins ... Lee Weiner
John Doman ... John Mitchell
Michael Keaton ... Ramsey Clark


In Chicago 1968, the Democratic Party Convention was met with protests from activists like the moderate Students for a Democratic Society led by Tom Hayden and the militant Yippies led by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, which led to violent confrontations with the local authorities. As a result, seven of the accused ringleaders are arraigned on charges like Conspiracy by the hostile Nixon administration, including Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers who was not involved in the incident. What follows is an unfair trial presided by the belligerent Judge Hoffman (No relation) and prosecuted by a reluctant but duty-bound Richard Schultz. As their pro bono lawyers face such odds, Hayden and his fellows are frustrated by the Yippies' outrageous antics undermining their defense in defiance of the system even while Seale is denied a chance to defend himself his way. Along the way, the Chicago 7 clash in their political philosophies even as they learn they need each other in this fight. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol1970@gmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, some violence, bloody images and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The second film collaboration for John Carroll Lynch and Michael Keaton, the first being The Founder. See more »


Beginning at 5:35 Jerry Rubin's demonstration on how to make a Molotov cocktail is absurd. See more »


Richard Schultz: On top of everything, we're giving them what they want: a stage and an audience.
See more »


Eve of Destruction
Written by P.F. Sloan
Performed by Scott Hildebrand & Jay
See more »

User Reviews

Classic Sorkin
19 October 2020 | by asen-75377See all my reviews

" We're not going to jail because of what we did, we're going to jail because of what we are."

Aaron Sorkin's latest directorial (his 2nd) offering 'The Trial of the Chicago 7' resuscitates the art of courtroom drama. The film was based on trial of the Chicago seven, who are wrongfully charged by the Federal Govt. with conspiracy and violent encounters, arising from the counter-cultural revolution at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Sorkin dramatizes(perfectly) the trial but it was itself one of the most dramatic events in American history, characterized by the judge's uncloaked hatred of the defendants; star testimony from some of the era's cultural icons, including Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Jesse Jackson, and Judy Collins; and disturbing visuals, like the only Black defendant being shackled and gagged in court. Now we all know about Sorkin that he is one of the greatest screenwriters working today..and with his 2nd film as a director he proves his worth in directing also. Sorkin is always famous for his fast paced screenplays and cutting dialogues, suited perfectly with the characters. Really have to appreciate about the cast specially Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne and Sacha Baron Cohen did a great job, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Yahya Abdul Mateen-II also acted very well...probably best ensemble cast of this year ( oh yeah we got a cameo from Michael Keaton). What can I say, this is classic Sorkin, one of the most engaging and entertaining courtroom drama I've seen in many years,he really outperformed himself...this one is far better than his previous work on courtroom film 'A Few Good Men'. Sorkin's film values properly the sacrifice these young men made and applauds their willingness to stand up for what's right as the world crumbled around them..and (little spoiler alert) ofc. the ending scene when Tom Hayden (Redmayne) when read the name of the American soldiers who lost their life during the Vietnam War, that was really very emotional. A compelling recreation of the notorious trial of 1968..a film about a certain moment in history that feels relevant and timely. - "There are great films, and there are movies 'of their moment.' Aaron Sorkin's film is a bit of both."

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Release Date:

16 October 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Trial of the Chicago 7 See more »

Filming Locations:

Patterson, New Jersey, USA See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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