Serpico

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Released 1973

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Movie Summary

Director:
Sidney Lumet
Released:
1973
Rating:
R
Serpico is the 1973 crime biopic based on a true story, directed by cinematic master Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Network, Dog Day Afternoon) and based on the book by Peter Maas, that stands as a premiere example of its genre. Al Pacino (The Godfather, Sea of Love, Dick Tracy, Heat, Carlito's Way) plays real life New York Detective Frank Serpico whose 'hippie' behavior, and more importantly, his upstanding morals label him as an outcast amongst his fellow officers. During the course of the film, the corruption, lies, and continual cover ups get to be too much for Frank and he begins to inform on his fellow officers, an act which will eventually put his own life at risk. He begins by telling those most immediately senior to him, and when that yields no results, he takes it one step higher, on and on, until he reaches The Commissioner, The Mayor, and finally fed up, the media.

Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Christian Science Monitor David Sterritt

    A quintessential New York director made this quintessential New York movie in 1973, with Pacino at his best.

  • 90

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    It is galvanizing because of Al Pacino's splendid performance in the title role and because of the tremendous intensity that Mr. Lumet brings to this sort of subject. (Review of Or...

  • 80

    Variety

    Pacino dominates the entire film. His inner personal torment is vividly detailed. (Review of Original Release)

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    Themes

    Crime