This is my 4934th Review
Original Rating prediction – 7/10
Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Feb 2019)
Brief Synopsis – Portrayal of the court case in NYC during the 80’s, where they prosecuted dozens of alleged mafia members n a RICO conspiracy trial and the one man who chose to defend himself.
My Take on it – This is another film that I’ve been meaning to watch for years and never got around to it.
I have been a fan of Sidney Lumet’s work as a writer and director for years and knowing that this was his penultimate film, I was hoping for something quite good.
As always, he knows how to deliver and manages to pace this film quite well which allows for it to stay interesting despite being a bit too long.
This story mostly works though due to the great lead performance by Vin Diesel who is able to play his character on numerous levels.
He shows how versatile an actor he can be here and proves that h isn’t solely an action hero, but also can do drama quite well.
The story is balanced with a bit of comedy every so often which helps add some flavor and spice to the story.
This allows for us to see the importance of such a trial yet at the same time also see the absurdity of it all over and over.
Besides Diesel, the supporting cast is also quite good and the ones who stand out are Linus Roache, Ron Silver, Alex Rocco and of course the ever dependable Peter Dinklage as the main lawyer of the group of defendants.
The fact that this film is based on a real event and that they use some of the real court transcripts in the dialogue helps keep the story feeling quite realistic throughout.
We also get to learn so much about the men on both sides of this as they do all they can to keep their dignity and integrity as things move along since they are faced numerous times with decisions on how to proceed and are willing to do all they can to succeed.
Bottom Line – Nicely done courtroom drama that works on numerous levels largely due to the great performance by Diesel who shows here how versatile an actor he can be. The story keeps a nice balance between drama and comedy as we get to see the importance of such a trial but also the absurdity of it all. Lumet does a wonderful job pacing this film even if it probably could have been shortened a bit. The supporting cast is also quite good with Silver, Rocco, Roache and Dinklage standing out. The fact that this film is based on real transcripts of the actual trial also adds so much more realism to the story as we learn so much about both sides and what each person is willing to do in order to stick to their guts and keeping their dignity and integrity as intact as possible. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The court case on which this film is based is the longest criminal case in United States judicial history. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)
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