Serpico (1973)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Police Drama, Social Problem Film, Docudrama  |   Run Time - 129 min.  |   Countries - Italy, United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brendon Hanley

The first of two Sidney Lumet movies to feature stellar performances from the kinetic Al Pacino, Serpico was released at a heated moment in American culture and touched a nerve with American audiences. Based on a series of real events, the film targeted institutional corruption in the New York City Police Department and fit in stylistically with the gritty cop dramas of the time, including The French Connection and the Dirty Harry movies. Thematically, it was one of the first pictures since the heyday of film noir to tackle police corruption. Fresh from his breakthrough in The Godfather, Pacino is excellent as the whistle-blowing title character; he received his second Oscar nomination for the role.