Night Falls on Manhattan

Released 1997


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Movie Summary

Sidney Lumet
Night Falls on Manhattan is a crime drama written and directed by filmmaker Sidney Lumet. Released in 1997, the movie is based on the novel Tainted Evidence by Robert Daley. Starring Andy Garcia and Richard Dreyfus, Night Falls on Manhattan's plot centers on corruption within the New York City Police Department. Detectives Joey Allegretto (James Gandolfini) and Liam Casey (Ian Holm) are attempting to apprehend drug dealer Jordan Washington (Shiek Mahmud-Bey). After receiving a tip from an informant, the officers enter an apartment where Washington is suspected to be hiding. Before the officers can arrest him, Washington fires a machine gun through his door and seriously injures Detective Liam Casey. Liam's son Sean (Andy Garcia) is the assistant district attorney chosen to prosecute the case against Washington. Sam Vigoda (Richard Dreyfus) is the defense attorney who agrees to represent Washington. Washington testifies that he had been bribing police officers in return for protection while dealing drugs and Vigoda suggests that the police were intentionally attempting to murder his client. Sean wins the case and is subsequently elected district attorney, but this is only the beginning of the story. Shocking evidence surfaces that implicates the entire police department and forces Sean to question everything he believes. He must make a decision between loyalty and morality.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    A string of unlikely events and coincidences set off Night Falls, and Lumet makes them believable the old-fashioned way: through interaction with a screen full of strongly drawn, f...

  • 70

    Variety Leonard Klady

    Lumet never tires of exploring moral quandaries. But what separates his films from the pack is his appreciation for all perspectives.

  • 60

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    But Night Falls on Manhattan is also oddly listless. It doesn't often live up to the doomy eloquence of its title.

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Crime, Legal, Family Dramas, Politics