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J. Edgar

6.52 h 16 min201115
As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life. With a career steeped in scandal and a controversial private life, the legendary director of the FBI retained his post as keeper of the country's secrets (and many of ...
Clint Eastwood
Leonardo DiCaprioNaomi WattsJosh Lucas
English [CC]
Audio Languages
Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.
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Supporting actors
Lea ThompsonEd WestwickArmie HammerDermot MulroneyJudi DenchJeffrey DonovanStephen Root
Warner Bros.
Content advisory
Violencefoul language
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Stream instantly Details
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.2 out of 5 stars

1021 global ratings

  1. 58% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 15% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 6% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Cameron CullenReviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 July 2022
3.0 out of 5 stars
Dull biopic that can’t elevate real life events into something engrossing.
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Dull biopic that can’t elevate real life events into something engrossing. In the later parts, the two actors in outlandish prosthetics makes it seem cartoonish. Neither satisfying to crime genre fans or as a tragic story of repressed social problems. The fault isn’t with the acting, but all the slangy posturing and emoting. Somehow the film failed to rise to the occasion. It's bathed in a desaturated gloom of stygian proportions. Even the CGI parades of cars resemble old lithographs. You get the impression of a misguided attempt to exonerate Hoover because of his tortured repressions. That doesn’t quite free him of liability for other things not covered here. The whole of WW2 and the McCarthy era is skipped over, which robs the narrative of any credulity. Instead the focus is kept on presupposed bickering between Hoover and his deputy. Worse is that we learn next to nothing after this lengthy exploration. Dare I say this is film that hasn’t one moment of suspense. The only good thing out of all this is that Hoover got the film he deserved. Besides all that, it's an interesting attempt to make a film out of an impossible historic figure. And in that sense it isn't a failure, because much of the problem comes with the territory.
Pat BarnettReviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 April 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Sadly, a huge disappointment
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Di Caprio was superb as usual, anyone could have played Naomi Watts’ part – such a waste of a good actor and Hammer, whose expression never changed, looked as if he was sitting on a spike. I would imagine the make-up ‘artist’ finally had his/her name removed from the credit - the worse I have ever seen. The ‘lighting’ was ludicrous. Clint Eastwood, once he grew up, became a magnificent actor and director but he does make his films hard to view – Absolute Power, Bird and now, worst of all, J Edgar. Maybe he can see in the dark? I can’t! Spielberg had the same idea with Lincoln which ruined the film for me.
OzymandiasReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2017
4.0 out of 5 stars
Well made
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Clint Eastwood does it again. Great film. Nearly as good as Gran Torino, Invictus, Mystic River. As good as Hereafter. Better than Letters From Iwo Jima. Leonardo DiCaprio also is excellent, he rarely puts a foot wrong in any film. Whether the actual Hoover was as oblivious to matters of the heart as portrayed, whether as under the shadow of his mother, I have no idea, I'm no historian. But in terms of performances and of cinematic skill, all good stuff. Only 4 stars because I am not a biopic or history fan.
5 people found this helpful
barobbinsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 August 2017
2.0 out of 5 stars
Literally too dark to follow
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Gave up on this within about the first 20 minutes as it was literally so dark could not see what was going on and after spending ages trying to adjust the picture/light/balance/background lighting we gave up. Also not Leo's best performance as far as we could tell! Really annoyed it messed up the colour and balance for all the channels afterwards. Took an age to get it right again. Not worth the hassle.
6 people found this helpful
Rupert GarciaReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 November 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
J. Edgar Who?
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I must admit that I didn't finish it. I paused a couple of times for a day or so and went I just went back, his mother died and then the piano started up and I almost vomited. Americans can be so sickly saccharine.
Most of it seemed to be shot in the dark and the make-up was rubbish. Also, this guy was a weirdo and a freak and who cares? I don't. In my opinion this is not worth watching.
Peter StephensonReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 May 2014
3.0 out of 5 stars
Falls Between Two Stools
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This is watchable but it takes too many liberties with what is not known as key elements of the plot. We do not know if JEH was actually gay and creating fictitious incidents to show that he was undermines the film as a true story. If the truth was known it would undoubtedly be a fascinating story - but this isn't the truth or even a reasonable supposition.

JEH was a mysterious, complex and contradictory man - but this isn't his story. Its just a watchable film about a fictitious character loosely based on J Edgar Hoover. Expect some decent acting and a followable (if not entire coherent) plot - but there are no insights here. An entirely fictional story about someone vaguely like JEH would probably be a much better film.
3 people found this helpful
jackie jayesReviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 December 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
Nice try Mr Eastwood
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Not one of Eastwood's finest the flashbacks from 20s,30s to 70s was irritating,and why concentrate on one case(the Lindburgh kidnapping)?
Di Caprio was OK but the supprt cast was non existent Judy Dench apart.
Also the link between his aide Tolson and Hoovers 'alleged' homosexuality was not fully explained,historians are divided as to whether Hoover was gay and why no mention of his two affairs with Dorothy Lamour and Ginger Rogers mum? so at best he was bi-sexual
What a pity all the dirt he accumulated over the years was never published, a few Presidents would be spinning in their graves!
One person found this helpful
S. D. NeighbourReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 February 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
Hard to like
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Reasonably well executed, although I fear Mr Eastwood's political leanings rather overplayed the red menace in the early part of the film. Leonardo DiCaprio gives an excellent depiction of Hoover and therein lies the major problem: It's hard to engage with such a singularly repellent weirdo. One just gets a feeling of what a malign influence this man had in American history which makes it tough to enjoy the film.

The structure is somewhat piecemeal, probably unavoidable when trying to encapsulate the whole period. I would also say the episode of the Lindbergh baby was over represented, perhaps there were too few other unimpeachable successes during Hoover's long reign.
One person found this helpful
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