Serpico

"Excellent"

Serpico Review


Damn dirty cops! It's gonna take Frank Serpico to clean up this town!!!

Based on a true story of rampant corruption and internal affairs in New York City (where else?), Serpico stands as the consummate cop movie, right up there with The French Connection. But while The French Connection is a standard cops-and-robbers movie, Serpico is pretty much cops-and-cops, as Al Pacino's title character hunts out corruption inside the department even though it means all but signing his death warrant.

In his crocheted vest, hippie hair, and handlebar mustache, Serpico is the anti-cop. He also refuses to go on the take, which puts him in opposition with the clean-cut yet utterly dirty members of the force. Today, a story about a cop who refuses the constant handouts of "protection money," doesn't sound very special -- it's aped on network TV every week. Well, Serpico is why they ape it. This movie -- and this man -- is the original. Mad props, yo.

The problem with Serpico is that all it's about is police corruption. Serpico's character is built up fairly well in the beginning, from his girls to his partygoing to his adoption of a puppy. But once the plot gets going, the character slips away. Pacino's Serpico becomes a single-minded monster, obsessed with rooting out police corruption while his enemies close in around him. It weakens the picture but thankfully it doesn't ruin it.

After 30 years, Serpico has become part of Americana, the story we think of when we read newspaper headlines about dirty cops on the take. There hasn't been any better film in this genre (L.A. Confidential, you wish!), but that doesn't mean there isn't room for one.

The new DVD features a couple of short documentaries plus -- get this -- a photo gallery with commentary by director Sidney Lumet. (He comments mostly on the music for the film, not the specific pictures.)



Serpico

Facts and Figures

Run time: 130 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 5th December 1973

Box Office Worldwide: $29.8M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, Artists Entertainment Complex

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 35 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Officer Frank Serpico, John Randolph Jones as Chief Sidney Green, as Tom Keough, as Capt. Insp. McClain, as Laurie, as Leslie Lane

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.