I guess it is kind of ironic that the thing Trumbo suffers from the most is an uneasy screenplay.
That is not to say the film is bad. Bryan Cranston does a very nice job as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, the most popular of the ten Hollywood workers who were arrested and unable to find work during the red scare. I did feel Helen Mirren may have over done it a little as Hedda Hopper, the writer who helped make sure anyone in the communist party would never find work again. Others in the cast are ok as well, including Diane Lane as Trumbo’s wife Cleo, Louis C.K. (yes, that is right) as his friend Arlen Hird, and Elle Fanning as Trumbo’s eldest daughter.
My issue was the script. Movies based on real events are hard to get right if they do not have a fine balance between informative and entertaining. Trumbo does seem to be very informative, but there are a lot of scenes that were not very entertaining.
Parents, the film deserves a PG-13 rating, not an R one. There is swearing (none that a teenager or even a pre teen would not know), and brief nudity (a character in jail shows his rear end during an inspection. Nothing sexual). Middle school and above would be ok seeing this.
In the end, the film is worth going to for the performances. Mainly, of course, for Bryan Cranston. He is truly one of the most talented actors working today.
Overall: Three Stars ***