Biography / Drama / History / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Clancy Brown Photo
Clancy Brown as McNamara
Kate Mara Photo
Kate Mara as Mary Jo Kopechne
Olivia Thirlby Photo
Olivia Thirlby as Rachel
Ed Helms Photo
Ed Helms as Joseph Gargan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
900.56 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.7 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by davidmvining8 / 10

Searing portrait of a man who sells his soul to advance his political career

There are two tragedies in this film. The first is the death of Mary Jo Koepechne, the young woman left to die in an upturned car in shallow water. The second is Ted Kennedy's ultimate refusal to accept responsibility for his negligence. The fact that the second tragedy works so well in the shadow of the first is a testament to how well the movie is written and performed.

The movie begins with a montage of Kennedy family photos and audio describing the achievements and deaths of Ted's three brothers, Joe Jr., Jack, and Bobby. The implication is that Bobby lives in a world of tragedy already, but that he also lives in the shadows of three brothers. Throughout the film, we hear from Ted, his cousin Joey, the secretaries (including Mary Jo),and even Joe Sr. that Ted either needs to find a way out of those shadows or that he will never be able to get out from them. Ted wants to be his own man, but he can't quite escape the gravitational pull of his family name that, a mere decade before, had dominated American political life.

In seeming preparation for what could be a presidential run, Kennedy rounds up Jack's secretaries in order to try and get them to work for him. He invites them to a small cabin in Martha's Vineyard to drink and participate in a boat race (that Ted embarrassingly loses). The secretaries as a whole, save Mary Jo, have bought into the Kennedy mystique completely, but Mary Jo is scarred by the deaths of the Kennedy brothers and is reticent about coming back into the "family", as Ted puts it. Ted drives her back to town in an effort to continue to try and convince her, but he takes the ill-fated turn and drives off the bridge, overturning the car.

One of his first lines of dialogue after exiting the car cuts right to him. He's gotten out of the car (he doesn't know how) and walked back to the cabin. When he sees his cousin Joey out of sight of everyone else, he says, "I'll never be president." It's not the safety of Mary Jo whom he's left behind, probably dead, that concerns him, but his political future and his ability to live up to the family's expectations.

What follows is something between a comedy of errors and a tragedy as Ted, Joey, and advisors brought in by Joe Sr. work to mitigate the situation with Ted making poor decisions left and right from a sloppily written statement to the police (that gets to the media) to a neck brace that brings nothing but scorn due to its obvious needlessness. All through this, Joey, the faithful cousin lawyer, is Ted's conscience, begging for Ted to do the right thing by calling the police right after the accident, telling the truth, and eventually resigning.

It's the final scene, Ted's address to Massachusetts and the nation, that shows Ted as completely fallen and Joey's complete degradation in the face of Ted's insistence on weathering the storm. Joey has begged Ted to resign, even writing a resignation letter at Ted's request with the expectation that Ted would read it. But it becomes obvious that Ted's not going to do it. His voice seems distant. The lighting is low. There's something wrong, and he tosses Joey's letter aside in favor of the message written by Joe Sr.'s advisors. Joey's ultimate disgrace comes when he is shanghaied into holding up the cue cards for Ted in his final half of the speech. Joey does his duty, but he simply cannot believe what he's seeing and hearing from his friend. He had expected Ted to rise up above the shadow of the Kennedy family by doing what was right, but Ted had fallen in with Joe Sr.'s view of greatness instead.

It's that final scene that really makes the movie, distilling the central conflict within Ted by using Joey perfectly in contradistinction to Ted's actions.

Reviewed by st-shot8 / 10

All the King's Horses...

The facts speak for themselves in this sober and sardonic telling of Senator Ted Kennedy's infamous late night car crash that drowned "Boiler Room Girl" staffer, Mary Jo Kopechne along with the subsequent cover up mostly stage managed by two of JFKs "best and brightest" Bob McNamara and Theo Sorenson. It is mostly a restrained telling as it displays less cynicism than pointing it out as the old gang huddles at the Hyannis Kennedy compound to plot and strategize for what they hope is a future President. Brother from another mother Joe Gargan attempts to get Ted to do the right thing but he is no match for the Realpolitik of Robert McNamara who is clearly running the interference, pulling strings and creating scenarios while local Sheriff Arena bungles his investigation, much of it in the favor of the Senator as a Kennedy flunky is dispatched to the deceased Ms Kopechne's parents to block access. It is a Humpty Dumpty make over and an unpleasant reminder of "justice" bought through power and influence in this democratic nation of ours.

There's an Oscar worthy performance to be found in tarnished angel's Ted played by Jason Clarke with a smarmy false bravado and unctuous cowardice while garnering great sympathy as he panics and leaves the girl to drown. Clearly the linch pin to the tragedy he is also responsible for some of the dark humor as says too much too soon, fails to re-new his license, comes up with far fetched attempts to elude blame and models a neck brace for effect before tussling on the floor with a fed up Gargan.

Kate Mara's Mary Joe rings with a mature and melancholy sincerity, her scenes with Ted tastefully handled, more concerned with revealing two people at uncertain moments in their life than a just a roll in the sand. Helms as Gargan suffers nobly and humiliatingly much by way of reaction. Bruce Dern as paralyzed dad Joe does as well but in a much more severe way while Clancy Brown's former Defense Secretary McNamara is take charge impressive in a room of heavyweights.

James Curran's direction is well paced and edited as he smoothly moves the investigation along amid the chaos of what's at stake as well as provide jarring flashbacks and allowing Mary-Jo in her own way provide brutal testimony to the audience. Overall the direction and writing (Taylor Allen, William Logan) is neither venally strident nor smugly damning as the film portrays the tragically flawed Kennedy, justifiably in some way, as a victim for being less than a great man in a circle that would not settle for anything but before once again finding himself out of his depth.

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle6 / 10

Based on the true story

It's 1969 close to the moon landing. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) orders his cousin and family fixer Joseph Gargan (Ed Helms) to bring the Boiler Room Girls to a sailing regatta get-together on Martha's Vineyard. They are secretaries from his brother Bobby's ill-fated Presidential run. Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara) and Rachel Schiff (Olivia Thirlby) are two of those Girls. After a night of drinking, Ted drives off a bridge with Mary Jo. She is killed while he somehow manages to escape. Joe and Paul Markham (Jim Gaffigan) come to Ted's aid but they are unable to recover Mary Jo. Ted fails to report the accident for nine hours and it becomes a tale of political PR intrigue.

The script says Based on the true story but I didn't notice that anywhere in the movie. It probably needs it, not for any legal reasons. "Based on" is synonymous to truth adjacent and this movie needs that kind of self-awareness. I'm not saying this is fabricated but there is lots that are conjecture. Teddy is shown ordering The Girls for the gathering, not just Mary Jo. He is drunk during the accident and is pushed by his dying father to get an Alibi. In a way, Ted is a figure of Greek tragedy. The biggest question for me is the accident itself. Ted magically escapes but Mary Jo is shown struggling to open the doors. The recovery reveals that all the doors are stuck and Ted's escape is never explained. My logical mind needs an explanation. Did he get ejected out of the car and the door closed from the rushing waters? Was Mary Jo actually struggling or did she get knocked out by the crash? The movie suggests that Ted escaped leaving her to slowly drown in a car filling up with water. There is lots of little turns that make me question whether it's the truth or it's the writers' fancy. Joe Sr.'s "Alibi" is definitely a conjecture. I almost don't want the classic evil old man troop but it is a way for Ted to find a bit of redemption by opposing his father. This is not a hard takedown as to be obviously slanted. It is one possible version. This is well made but there are little turns that make me wonder about some of its accuracy. I'm not sure about Clarke or Helms' portrayal. Joey is rounding up an harem in one instance and in another is the noble voice of responsibility. The truth is out there.

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