A plainclothes street patrolman, Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) might be the best cop in New York, but he's unwilling to play dirty and give into the police corruption surrounding drugs, violence, and kickbacks that his colleagues indulge in every day. When he decides to expose those around him, Frank finds himself a target - not just to the city's criminals, but to his own peers.
More a period/political drama than a thriller. This is Al Pacino in a light I have never seen before. An versatile and deeply disturbed performance which is utterly captivating. He looks very youthful of course and quite different. He has since been type-cast but in this early role he is outstanding. As a real life drama it also has a politically historical importance.
Fine performance from Pacino
- Serpico review by RP
(0) of (0) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 4
Based on the real life story of Frank Serpico who exposed corruption in the New York police department, Al Pacino plays the central character with an outstanding performance. It's a long film and Pacino is rarely off screen and plays the part with commitment, as if he had immersed himself in the character. It's fairly slow moving, so if you're looking for a shoot-em-up cop movie then you'll have to look elsewhere. But if you want to see an intense performance and a film very much of its time, then watch this. The clothes, hairstyles, attitudes, smoking, parties etc are very much of the 1960s / early 1970s and perhaps we have since become inured to tales of police corruption, but at the time it was quite an unusual subject. While rooted very much in that period it still rings true today. Recommended – 4/5 stars.