"I received this movie for a birthday present, and having read previous biographies of the late yippie (from his brother Jack..et al) I knew the basic chronology of Abbie's life, but seeing a film (however dramatized) gave it a new dimension which had previously lacked in the most sympathetic books. Watching this film as the Bush administration (who ignored the lessons of Vietnam altogether) declares war on the world reignited the passions of a very burt-out grad student. It may take forever, and the activist themselves may stumble along the way but change is possible. As opposed to the 'time limited' mass media presentation of social change, this transformation is a much slower ongoing process that current generations will not neccessarily be able to see). The only thing I had a problem with was the movie presented abbie as a great understander of all social movements, when previous books admit that he did not originally comprehend the importance of the feminist and GLBT movements. Eventually realizing their importance, and the necessity of understanding sexism, Abbie (like many other lefties of his generation) had entered with his own internalized biases about what was political and what constituted valid social change. Overall, however this was a great movie and I encourage ANYBODY involved in social justice work today to pick up a copy of this release for themselves and fellow activists. The end courtroom scene is especially timeless in it's celebration of revolution/indictment of discrimination and the fundamental nature of the US society."
Good biography of a great man
Itamar Katz | Ramat-Gan, Israel | 10/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"`Steal This Movie' is a well-thought, well-written well-acted, well-made dramatization of the life of left-wing activist Abbie Hoffman, probably the most famous of the Chicago Seven. (The title is a play on the title of Hoffman's autobiography, `Steal This Book', though it certainly doesn't have the poignancy of that title.) `Steal This Movie' made some bold casting choices. The lead role was given to Vincent D'Onofrio: not an obvious choice, because Vincent looks very little like Abbie, which caused many die-hard history aficionados to bash the decision. However, Vincent fills the role wonderful, brilliantly, expressing all the conflicting sides of Hoffman's personality, his sense of humor, his dead seriousness, strict political consciousness, bi-polar disorder, having to live in hiding and away from his wife and son. He makes the character come alive much more than someone else could have by simply looking and talking like him. Abbie's wife Anita is played wonderfully by SNL's Janeane Garofalo, accomplished comedian but not so as a dramatic actress.
Though it doesn't have that much cinematic value by its own right, `Steal This Movie' does a fantastic job of getting through both the spirit of the time and the greatness and difficulties of Hoffman's activities and his character - a great and fascinating person whose impact has long been overlooked. It's also a wonderful document of an important period that is practically ignored (relatively, of course). For those interested in the late 60s, in the hippie movements, Black Panthers and other left wing political movements of the time, and of course in Hoffman himself - it's invaluable, on top of being both touching and entertaining. A good watch."
Brechtian Sparkles | PDX | 05/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ack,what a great film! the acting is superb, and the screenplay is great - i found myself looking for a pen to write down tons of the lines that i found especially inspiring. i disagree with the other reviewers - the editing style is just that - stylish, not sloppy. in certain scenes, the camera wobbles a little, but i think that this gives the film an authentic feel to it - i felt like i was actually there, as a part of the riot, and those particular scenes had the feel of primary-source footage. the movie was not only entertaining, but inspiring - where have all our idealistic leaders gone to? the film left me asking if the government had effectively done away with all of them. perhaps this film is just a piece of propaganda. i don't know. but if so, i certainly fell for it! and i now officially LOVE vincent d'onofrio!"
D'Onofrio is brilliant, the script is inspiring
Mandy Weger | Philadelphia, PA | 02/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bruce Graham, the writer of the screenplay, was not happy with the final outcome of this film. He is a playwriting teacher of mine at Drexel University, and although the man is amazing, he couldn't be more wrong about "Steal This Movie." He might not have been happy with D'Onofrio as Abbie Hoffman, but I was thrilled by it.
This is a must-see for Vince D'Onofrio fans, and for those of us looking for a bit of inspiration to let our voices be heard against today's war. Vincent D'Onofrio is one of the greatest character actors I have ever seen, and I love the choices he makes for his films. Brilliant every time."
Steal Vincent D'Onofrio
Dania Marantz | Ca, United States | 09/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so he doesn't really look like Abbie Hoffman...If you are one of those nuts who has to have history recreated to a "T" to even slightly enjoy a dramatization of it, then this film is not for you. (Most films aren't for you). Vincent D'Onofrio gives another excellent perfomance and my respect and admiration for him grow with his filmography. He throws his entire self into every role and his efforts in this film should not be dismissed. I think that this is a great movie and D'Onofrio makes it great. He upstages everyone. If you want to learn about the Yippies and Hoffman, read his book "Steal This Book" or read his biography.
See more Vincent D'Onofrio's films. Watch him in Law & Order: Criminal Intent. His is one of the most powerful and intense actors of our time."