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Based on 42 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 60 )
  • 75
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Even when the film trips on its tall ambitions, you can't shake it off. show more

  • 50
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    It's watchable and reasonably entertaining, to be sure. Eastwood doesn't make movies that are hard to sit through. But something in the film's point of view is off, not at cross-purposes, not contradictory, but incomplete, irrelevant and ever-so-faintly ridiculous. show more

  • 75
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    J. Edgar shines a probing beam of light on a man who was widely feared, often disliked, but rarely understood. show more

  • 20
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    J. Edgar, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role, is at war with itself, and everyone loses...Mr. Eastwood's ponderous direction, a clumsy script by Dustin Lance Black and ghastly slatherings of old-age makeup all conspire to put the story at an emotional and historical distance. It's a partially animated waxworks. show more

  • 63
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    Most disappointing, Eastwood's decades-spanning portrait reveals little about the man himself. show more

  • 60
    Joe Neumaier New York Daily News

    At least Leonardo DiCaprio, grounded and sure, has commitment to spare. His portrayal of Hoover is undeniably terrific. show more

  • 80
    Todd McCarthy The Hollywood Reporter

    This surprising collaboration between director Clint Eastwood and "Milk" screenwriter Dustin Lance Black tackles its trickiest challenges with plausibility and good sense, while serving up a simmeringly caustic view of its controversial subject's behavior, public and private. show more

  • 55
    Stephanie Zacharek Movieline

    As Lily Tomlin's Ernestine once said, "There's nothing like a Hoover when you're dealing with dirt." Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar could use more dirt: This is a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of a scummy little man. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    As a period biopic, J. Edgar is masterful. Few films span seven decades this comfortably. show more

  • 88
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    DiCaprio may well receive a Best Actor Oscar for his tour de force as the conflicted FBI director -- greatly abetted by Hammer (who played the Winklevoss twins in "The Social Network'') in his first major role as the flamboyant but frustrated Tolson. show more

  • September 10, 2012 Raymond
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  • April 12, 2012 sr00000000118364
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    A pretty good movie but it was a little slow. The story was ok and the acting was descent.

  • March 09, 2012 Sir Raymond
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    If one needs a bio for a term paper on Mr. Hover, Then this is the one to rent. Otherwise its just that......a very good bio. Rent anything esle for entertainment. While this movie, (as all Clint Movies) is really well done and Leonardo does a great acting job, Its just not that entertaining.

  • February 26, 2012 jackd1207
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    Not many redeeming qualities in this film. I was extremely dissatified with the storyline. The makeup was pitiful. I found myself asking \"how do they know any of this crap was said, or happened anywhere close to what was depicted in the movie?\". I had come to expect more from a Clint Eastwood directed movie.

  • January 30, 2012 Old Geezer
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    Worst movie I saw in years. Very confusing. No real plot. Poor script. Totally disappointed.

  • January 13, 2012 tizmoi111
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    My grandfather was one of J. Edgar Hoover\'s closest associates and right hand men. My father, his son, was also an FBI agent. I think they would both have a cow if they saw this film. Hoover was not gay (an neither was my grandfather) I have a feeling that this movie, like so many others is just full of fantasy, crap, made up nonsense, slanderous rumors and conspiracy. Its too bad that this generation has become so disrespectful and full of cynicism regarding the history of this country. It is tragic that young people do not know real history, but only junk history, made up Hollywood.history.

  • December 26, 2011 wg00000000109042
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    This could be the worst movie I have ever seen!!! No plot, no excitement, no anything. Ok, fine he was gay, but we need more than that for a story!!! Don\'t waste your money.

  • December 12, 2011 qn00000000107692
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  • December 10, 2011 dixfiles
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    If Leo doesn\'t win an oscar for this one.... It is fixed!

  • December 10, 2011 pnanos
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    this was poorly done and was historically based on rumors meant to discredit a lifetime of dedication that was ignored or barely touched on.

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