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

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

Advertisement
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Absolutely Anything Movie Review

Absolutely Anything Movie Review

Simon Pegg continues his rollercoaster career, alternating between superior blockbuster franchises (Mission: Impossible and Star...

Fantastic Four Movie Review

Fantastic Four Movie Review

Until the special effects take over in the final act, this is an unusually gritty,...

The Gift Movie Review

The Gift Movie Review

Marketed as a horror-thriller, this sharply well-made film is actually a bleak drama with a...

Advertisement