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J. Edgar [Blu-ray] (2012)

Leonardo Dicaprio , Armie Hammer , Clint Eastwood  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (366 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Leonardo Dicaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts
  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: February 21, 2014 (Click here for more information)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (366 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006OFN0BQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,678 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

- J Edgar: The Most Powerful Man in the World

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception, Blood Diamond) stars as J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years. Hoover was feared, admired, reviled and revered, a man who could distort the truth as easily as he upheld it. His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the admiration of the world his most coveted prize. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. Oscar Winner Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven) directs an all-star cast including Naomi Watts (21 Grams), Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Oscar Winner Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) as Hoover’s overprotective mother.

Expert direction by Clint Eastwood and a tour de force by Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role help make J. Edgar a fascinating, if somewhat less than thoroughly compelling, portrait of one of the most complex and conflicted Americans of the 20th century. Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black's narrative moves freely among various stages of J. Edgar Hoover's life and career, framed by scenes in which the aging FBI director dictates his memoirs to an admiring young agent. Major events include Hoover's crusade against supposed Communists; his involvement in the capture and trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was convicted of kidnapping and murdering Charles Lindbergh's infant son; the creation of the infamous "confidential" files he kept on his many enemies; his relationship with Clyde Tolson (Armie Hammer), Hoover's lifelong friend, companion, and conscience (while Tolson was clearly gay, the much-discussed issue of Hoover's homosexuality is suggested but not explicit); and his vendetta against Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. The point of view is not entirely unsympathetic, but while it's clear that Hoover was responsible for several crime-fighting innovations, it's equally apparent that this coarse, insecure, socially inept man remained forever under the sway of his overbearing mother (Judi Dench), was only too happy to break the law when it suited him, hectored and scolded others with self-righteous vigor, and lied shamelessly about his own heroic exploits. In view of all that, it's easy to understand why Hoover's legacy is controversial, to say the least.

DiCaprio does a fine job of staying in character (including his East Coast accent), and if his makeup as an older man isn't completely convincing, the dark palette employed by cinematographer Tom Stern throughout the movie (even a daytime scene at a racetrack finds most of the spectators' faces shadowed by their hat brims) makes that much less apparent. As for Eastwood, he has long since established himself as a master of his craft, and although the lengthy J. Edgar has its tedious moments, this is an engaging, admirable film. And while Hoover was almost totally humorless, the movie isn't; it's unlikely that the scene in which Hoover receives the news of John F. Kennedy's assassination while secretly listening to an audiotape of King having illicit sex really happened, but it sure is entertaining. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
182 of 203 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Choose one name and go by it... January 7, 2012
A scene at a clothing store in which John Edgar Hoover is told he has bad credit finds him telling them that they are incorrect, they must be speaking of another John Hoover. They ask if he is indeed John Hoover and he says yes but adds that he signs his name different ways, not usually just plainly as John Hoover but with his middle name or E initial included (his mother did always call him Edgar). The shop owner then tells Hoover to open up a new account and sign it with one name and to go by that name. John takes the application form and writes J. Edgar Hoover.

To me this scene is symbollic of the larger film. J. Edgar Hoover is a film about a man who, like many of us, had many sides and aspects that composed who he was. He was greatly conflicted about which side he should portray publicly and stumbled rather awkwardly in his younger years, illustrated wonderfully in the film, until finally deciding that J. Edgar Hoover was who he was going to be. That was the side he was going to live publicly and the person he was going to be, right or wrong, with full conviction. The rest of the film shows us the consequent problems, struggles and complications that follow from this choice.

I was concerned that this film wouldn't live up to my expectations, others have been rating it rather ordinary and others negatively, few seem really excited about it after having viewed it. In a way I can see where they are coming from. It is a long film with dark moody colors, almost as if Eastwood wanted it to be black and white, and a lot of dialogue that moves quite fast without much regard for helping the audience along or spelling things out.
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
Clint Eastwood, Dustin Lance Black and Leonardo DiCaprio join forces to understand the 20th century's most admired, hated and controversial man, J. Edgar Hoover (with a tour de force performance by DiCaprio).

Let me first say that when I first heard of this project in the works I virtually knew very little about the F.B.I founder. I had however seen great depictions by actors like Bob Hoskins, Vincent Gardenia, Billy Crudup and more recently by Enrico Colantoni. All good performances without a doubt but only two dimensional portrayals. Here DiCaprio creates a 5th dimensional character that the audience can try to more or less understand.

The film spans nearly 50 years in the history timeline, jumping timeframe by time frame and creating a rich tapestry of political drama and turmoil in our nation's history. DiCaprio plays both the young, ambitious and advanced Hoover as well as the old, embittered czar whom all politicians feared by the 1950's.Armie Hammer plays his protege and second man in the Bureau Clyde Tolson. Hammer is the soul and conscience of the film as well as Hoover's constantly ignored emotions. Judi Dench, Naomi Watts and Jeffrey Donovan turn in great performances as well. The screenplay is rich and meticulously researched and Eastwood's direction has perfected greatly to the point of crafting his most ambitous, and richest project since his excellent "Flags/Letters" duo.

If you enjoy history, historical dramas, this is for you. A thought provoking, psychological insight into this man's soul and heart and the effect he had on this nation's history. One of the most chilling moments in the film happens toward end when a anxiously devastated Hoover witnesses the inaugural of Richard Nixon amd almost forsees the devastation that will befall the U.S.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Recalcitrant Daffodil February 6, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
J. EDGAR is a cinematic accomplishment of the first order! From the screenplay (Dustin Lance Black) as acted by a host of consummate actors and directed with extreme sensitivity by Clint Eastwood, the sum of the parts is an extraordinary achievement in presenting a portrait of one of the strangest men in history. The manner in which the life and deeds and personality are woven together presents as full an image of a man of contradictions, a man who planned to have his personal files destroyed after his death in order to maintain the iconic image he so desperately desired, is nothing short of a work of dedicated investigation on parts of everyone involved. And electing to tell this story through the ever-changing chameleon aspects of this bizarre man by shifting from youth to old age in a constant parenthetical manner was a stroke of genius.

The rise of young John Edgar Hoover from a mother-favored child, through the emotional conflicts this mother worship produced, through the sightings of incidents suggestive of early 'Bolshevik' interference/threat in this country that Hoover focused on in his usurping power as the head of the newly formed Federal Bureau of Investigation, provides a background from which we can observe the morphing of this obsessed man. The act of staging press conferences around the Lindbergh case and the capture of the big criminals of the day were manipulated to give Hoover supreme power to investigate 'threatening people of interest' by wire taping, spying, etc. But all of this runs parallel to the personal story of Hoover's private sexual life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent movie. I'm using it for a class in ...
An excellent movie. I'm using it for a class in Psychoanalysis and we will be focusing on J Edgar Hoover's personality.
Published 19 days ago by Jean J Debrot
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Slow moving and pedantic.
Published 20 days ago by CAG
5.0 out of 5 stars LEO!
It's Leonardo DiCaprio. I mean, can you really go wrong with Leonardo DiCaprio? I didn't think so.
Published 20 days ago by Bethany
3.0 out of 5 stars I bought it because I love Leonardo DiCaprio but the story did not...
I bought it because I love Leonardo DiCaprio but the story did not overly thrill me and I wouldn't watch it a second time.
Published 1 month ago by Rose L
4.0 out of 5 stars Corrupt Government Agency
Interesting movie showing the corruption of the FBI from its very beginning.
Published 1 month ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars J. Edger Hover was a monster and now we know how and why.
J. Edgar
Wow, this is a terrific film. This is a biography of J. Edgar Hoover, the iconic founder and head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for almost 50 years. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andy McKinney
5.0 out of 5 stars My friend loved it!
I actually didn't see this movie but a friend of mine that I bought it for who did says it's really good. Read more
Published 1 month ago by RON
1.0 out of 5 stars "Oh Clyde, Clyde, Clyde, Oh Clyde..."
Somewhat of a film-buff, I normally have something good to say, so in the defence of this film I would say that Leonardo DiCaprio just about kept me from nodding off until the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Suki
3.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo Dicaprio does an excellent job portraying Hoover
A very general look at a very strange man, who held the powerbrokers hostage in Washington with all the dirt he had on them in his infamous "secret files", which enabled... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Ragland
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
great thanks
Published 1 month ago by Elke Hagmuller
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