With 'The Butler' in theaters we look back at some of the genre's messier moments
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7. 'J. Edgar' (2011)
Oh, Mr. Hoover. Where to start. Granted, director Clint Eastwood and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black had the difficult task of condensing 37 years of the notorious FBI Chief's political reign into a 2-hour and 17 minute movie but nothing is worse than a biopic that skims over the major events in someone's life. Unfortunately, some of their decisions on what to cover and what not to left a lot to be desired. Hoover was a key figure in the McCarthy Hearings, one of the darkest periods in Congressional history, and it barely warrants five minutes in the film. Then there is the allegation Hoover blackmailed every president except Nixon, Johnson and Eisenhower to stay in office. That's just one example of how "J. Edgar" is so speculative that it seems like fan fiction at times. Leonardo DiCaprio does his best to make it all seem to make sense, but it doesn't help when co-star Naomi Watts has a pointlessly written role as Hoover's secretary (a key historical figure in her own right) and Armie Hammer is out of his depth as Hoover's longtime no. 2 (and rumored lover) Clyde Tolsen. Frankly, these are all acclaimed creative people whose talents would have been better served elsewhere.