The Devil’s Advocate

TAYLOR HACKFORD Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.  USA/Germany, 1997.  Warner Bros., Regency Enterprises, Kopelson Entertainment, Taurus Film, Monarchy Enterprises B.V..  Screenplay by Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy, based on the novel by Andrew Neiderman.  Cinematography by Andrzej Bartkowiak.  Produced by Anne Kopelson, Arnon Milchan, Arnold Kopelson.  Music by James Newton Howard.  Production Design by Bruno Rubeo.  Costume Design by Judianna Makovsky.  Film Editing by…

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Danny Collins

BB.5 (out of 5) Al Pacino plays a Manilow-esque crooner who hasn’t written a song in decades but spends his time making tons of cash playing stadium concerts for the nostalgia crowd. His long-time devoted manager (Christopher Plummer) informs him that he has found an incredible artifact that neither of them knew about before: a…

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The Humbling

BB (out of 5) An aging actor (Al Pacino) struggling to keep control over his work and his life loses the will to go on and throws himself off a stage midway through a Broadway performance of As You Like It. He checks himself into a clinic before being released and sent home to his…

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Scarecrow

BBBB (out of 5) Two top-notch performances are the biggest draw to this odd but satisfying drama. Gene Hackman has just been released from prison and is planning to go to Pittsburgh and open up a car wash business there.  Al Pacino has just returned from years in the Navy and is on his way to reunite…

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The Merchant Of Venice

BBBB (out of 5) In sixteenth century Venice, the city’s rampant anti-Semitism has its own racism bite back when a Jewish moneylender (Al Pacino) looks to be repaid for the bond he has signed with a merchant (Jeremy Irons). Joseph Fiennes plays the lovestruck Bassanio, a young man in difficult financial circumstances who longs to woo…

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Insomnia (2002)

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA/Canada, 2002.  Alcon Entertainment, Witt/Thomas Productions, Section Eight, Insomnia Productions, Summit Entertainment.  Screenplay by Hillary Seitz, based on the 1997 screenplay by Nikolaj Frobenius, Erik Skjoldbjaerg.  Cinematography by Wally Pfister.  Produced by Broderick Johnson, Paul Junger Witt, Andrew A. Kosove, Edward McDonnell.  Music by David Julyan.  Production Design by Nathan Crowley.  Costume Design by Tish Monaghan.  Film Editing…

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Frankie And Johnny

BBBB (out of 5) This enjoyable drama is based on Terrence McNally’s play Frankie and Johnny In The Claire De Lune, about an overworked diner waitress (Michelle Pfeiffer) who is romanced by the short-order cook (Al Pacino) who works with her. While Pfeiffer is a ridiculously glamorous choice for the role (it was played by…

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Heat (1995)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Michael Mann’s most successful genre remains the cop thriller, and here he treats audiences to not one but two powerhouse actors of the tough guy canon for an enjoyable crime epic. Al Pacino plays a downtrodden police officer who is chasing after the crime boss (Robert De Niro) responsible for much of…

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Madonna: Truth Or Dare

BBBB.5 (out of 5) This fascinating documentary takes you behind the scenes of pop icon Madonna‘s 1990 Blond Ambition tour:  her dancers are interviewed, her family is examined, and the icon herself does a whole lot of performing for the camera both on stage and off.  For some, the film only skims the surface in…

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Cruising

B (out of 5) Al Pacino plays a cop who goes undercover in the world of leather bars to catch a serial killer, at some point suffering a crisis of identity as he finds himself overwhelmed by the pervasive sexuality and violence he encounters.  Gay rights activists protested this thriller at every step of its…

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Any Given Sunday

BB (out of 5) Al Pacino plays the disgruntled, aging coach of a troubled football team owned by a tough-as-nails, monstrously evil woman (well, aren’t they all, Mr. Stone) who thinks the team needs new management. Dennis Quaid plays the team’s star quarterback, Jamie Foxx is the new star in town and Matthew Modine is the caring doctor who…

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Dog Day Afternoon

BBBBB (out of 5) Brilliant film version of the real-life events surrounding Brooklyn resident Sonny Wortzik, who tries with his pals to rob a bank to pay for his boyfriend’s sex-change operation. It is supposed to be a ten-minute robbery, in and out, but when the police show up the boys have to take some…

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