Review: Trumbo

You may have heard of him.

In the late 40's Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was one of Hollywood's top screen writers. Then word gets out that he's a communist, and suddenly he, and several other writers including Arlen Hird (Louis C.K) are arrested, jailed, and eventually "blacklisted" so they cannot write due to their political beliefs. Trumbo begins to get around his black listing first by having his friend Ian Michael Hunter (Alan Tudyk) take credit for writing Roman Holiday, then by coming up with complete pseudonyms to write for producer Frank King (John Goodman) All while trying to avoid scheming critics like Hedda Hopper, (Helen Mirren) assholes like John Wayne, (David James Elliot)and friends turned foes like Edward G. Robinson (Michael Stuhlbarg) and Buddy Ross. (Roger Bart)

Bryan Cranston once said "It's good to be back" after winning an award during his run on Breaking Bad. Well, it's good to see Cranston back in this form again. He's wonderful as the workaholic and fast talking Trumbo. Her perfectly captured a man who stands by what he believes, so much so that he has trouble seeing from other point of views. The ensemble as a whole is amazing. Louis C.K shows a lot of depth in a role that's quite different from the comedic parts we're used to seeing. Stuhlbarg is very underrated, but always top notch, there's really no weak links in this film. Mirren is so good I actually wanted to punch her character in the face. And this is Helen Fucking Mirren I'm talking about. She's so lovable!

The pacing is sluggish, and that hurts the film a bit. Though it's only two hours it feels so much longer as they had a lot of ground to cover. The production design, costumes and make up stand out as much as the cast does. If this film scores any Oscar noms, it will for sure be in those categories. (Although Cranston deserves one in his own right)

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I'm in this for the money and the pussy." - Frank King (John Goodman)


  1. The film sounds good, might have to see this one. Great review!

  2. Looking at that cast, it feels like this one is borderline must-see. Shame it drags, but I'm still in.

  3. This is a must see film for me. I had read so much on this and still not read enough. I love John Wayne but hang my head low regarding this matter. John Wayne only saw in black and white. I figured Mirren played Hedda Hopper. I had read that she was such an avid McCarthy gal that she made John Wayne look like a pinko.

    1. Admittedly I don't know much about John Wayne but he's such a dick in this movie. It was so easy to hate him. lol

    2. Oh boy.....the shame is how they create someone very 2 dimensional. He was all for the Communist Witch Hunts but because he was such a believer in the United States and was a true Patriot. He did not look at the shades of grey but he is not an SOB as the movie sounds like they make him out to be. He actually thought Hedda Hopper went too far

    3. He's really only in the beginning of the film so you don't see the fall out with Hedda. But as for a believer in the US, that's very spot on. Trumbo actually gets a really good dig at him early on.

  4. I love Cranston and would love if he got an Oscar nomination for this. Especially considering how weak the race for Best Actor is this year.

  5. I'm annoyed that I skipped this in theaters, but I'm interested to check out Cranston's performance in a few weeks when it's out on DVD.


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