While far from perfect, J. Edgar is a perfectly valid investigation into the secret and public lives that the tyrannical FBI despot led. Director Clint Eastwood's take on the story is that Hoover, played with a soft touch by Leonardo DiCaprio, channeled his repressed homosexuality into obsessions with fame, seizing undue credit and violating the civil liberties of his countrymen under the guess of better protecting them.
DiCaprio again proves to be a chameleon capable of tackling any task set before him. The makeup department did him no favors in crafting him a ghastly deathmask as the older, plumper Hoover, though. No matter what DiCaprio does, the late-life Hoover scenes equate to a puppet show.
The actor excels as the younger Hoover, somehow making a near-unlikable character seem relatable. The humanity he infuses into the character shifts my perception of the figure. Eastwood has made better films, but this biopic stands as a solid, technically sound execution of his talents.