Say this for Leonardo DiCaprio: He doesn’t scare off easily from acting challenges. At 37, he’s already played billionaire Howard Hughes (The Aviator) junkie Jim Carroll (The Basketball Diaries) great imposter Frank Abagnale Jr. (Catch Me If You Can) and Shakespeare’s Romeo (Romeo and Juliet). In J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood, DiCaprio ages from his twenties to his seventies to play America’s most feared and loathed top cop, J.Edgar Hoover. And despite being buried in layers of (often too obvious) prosthetic latex, DiCaprio is a roaring wonder in the role.
The movie shows you different events of J.Edgar Hoover’s life and the investigations he led, which is educational for anybody who is interested his legacy. In all honesty, I didn’t know who Hoover was until I saw this movie. Now I know few things: he was the one of the most powerful men in the world, he would manipulate other powerful leaders, he had mommy issues, and he was a man with many secrets. But all of that in this movie is nothing that special. It focused more on his private life and didn’t go into detail on the other major parts of his life. I have seen better bio-pic movies like Ray and Nixon. Ray was simple and easy to understand. It’s the story of a man who struggled and never gave up. Nixon was complex like J.Edgar, but had a more entertaining story about his whole life. I never got bored. In J.Edgar I almost fell asleep. I had to fight to stay awake.
The acting was a bit stale at times. The only good actor in this movie was DiCaprio. Also, using make-up to make the actors older in the movie was not a bright idea. Their muscles were very stiff dull and scary looking. I would have preferred older men and women playing these historical characters, which would have been a great idea.
I would have preferred this story as a series or miniseries on HBO. This was a complicated story, and it just felt like the kind of story that should be given more time. If only director Clint Eastwood had time to tell more of the story, that would have been better.
If you are into biopics then J.Edgar is worth a shot. Otherwise avoid this movie. I give J.Edgar a 6.5 out of 10.