The Trial Of The Chicago 7 Trailer About Protesting Is Very Timely
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The Trial Of The Chicago 7 Trailer About Protesting And Police Brutality Is Extremely Timely

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BY September 15, 2020

Aaron Sorkin’s writing is some of the best in the industry. So when he has a new movie coming out, I tend to pay attention. Especially when it’s a movie he’s also directing. And that’s just the case with The Trial Of The Chicago 7 trailer, his first Netflix original movie. Based on true events, the movie is about the trials of a demonstrators charged with violence in the 1960s, but feels like it could be ripped from the headlines in the US today.

Aaron Sorkin’s Filmography Is Ridiculously Impressive

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 trailer Cohen. Image via Netflix.

With only 15 credits to his name as a writer, Sorkin is widely recognized as one of Hollywood’s best screenwriters. A Few Good Men remains one of the more powerful performances of both Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson’s careers. Adding to that Oscar-nominated scripts for The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs, chances are you’ve seen and liked at least one of his stories. We also can’t forget his TV work in iconic shows like The West Wing which revolutionized the walking and talking trope that’s used very generously since. Sorkin, however, has only directed once movie before this with Molly’s Game. While the movie was interesting and had the trademark Sorkin dialogue, the only awards it received were for the writing. With The Trial Of The Chicago 7 trailer we don’t really get enough to judge where this film will rank in the Sorkin canon. 

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 Trailer Has An Impressive Cast But No Context

The trailer for the new Netflix original movie is catchy, thrilling, and totally immersive. It’s a flurry of visuals that, for my taste, don’t provide enough context. It opens with revolutions, standoffs with the police, fleeting mentions of historical personalities like Martin Luther King Jr and others. Then there are the faces of huge stars like Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon Levitt (Project Power), Yahoo Abdul-Mateen II (Candyman), Eddie Redmayne and so many more. There’s even a titular trial itself, during which everything is super tense. It’s a well-made trailer that speaks to the emotions of the story, but very little context for viewers not familiar with the riots that happened during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

The True Story Behind The Movie And How It Relates To Today

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 trailer protest. Image via Netflix.

In real life, the Chicago 7 were actually a group of activists charged for inciting riot and violence. Their protests were anti-Vietnam, happening at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. They were charged with intent to create a violent and hateful atmosphere during a political climate already on the brink of chaos. It’s a story about protests, police brutality, government conspiracy, and a collective boiling point. So it’s incredibly timely for today, given the current state of Black lives and the troubling actions by the police towards them. History has shown that the Chicago Police and Mayor Richard Daley were the ones who actually incited violence, though the trailer doesn’t really show any of that.

I wish the trailer relayed those parallels a bit more clearly. I wish there was more historical background and context provided to what we’re seeing on screen. Unless you lived through these events or know of them, The Trial Of The Chicago 7 trailer provides very little insight into what the movie is about. And ultimately, why we should care about these characters in the first place. Besides Aaron Sorkin’s name, and the cast, there’s very little to go on with here. I’ll still watch it, but I’m not sure if casual audiences will feel the same way, based on the trailer. 

The Trial Of The Chicago 7 releases on Netflix on October 16. 

Were you also confused by the subject of The Trial Of The Chicago 7 trailer? Let me know in the comments below. 


Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at or on Twitter @theshahshahid.


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