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MatchFlick Member Reviews
Righteous Kill
6 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jon Avnet

Written By:
Russell Gewirtz

Carla Gugino, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, 50 Cent, Brian Dennehy, Dan Futterman, Frank John Hughes, Shirly Brener, Alan Blumenfeld, Adrian Martinez, Quinton Aaron, Edrick Browne, Tanisha Grant, Kimberly Dorsey, Richard F Law, Kimberly Magness, Harry L. Seddon, Katie Chonacas, Diego J. Martinez, Rob Dyrdek, Peter Riga, Antonino Paone, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Liza Colón-Zayas, Trilby Glover, Brett Granstaff, Brian Stapf, Judy Del Giudice, Delmaine Samuel, Chris Cortez, Torrance Harvey, Joey Vieira, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Les Chantery, Catie Lazarus

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Righteous Kill (2008)
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Movie Review by Veronica
January 15th, 2009

The best "just another cop movie"

Ok, so this may be just another cop movie...but it was a damn good one. I have been cinematically deprived (i.e. never saw Heat) so the shock of seeing the two greats face to face wasn't a great pull for me. The movie, although it didn't necessarily keep me riveted was entertaining and I was actually caught off guard by the twist ending. Also in my usual manner of looking out for the ladies, it wasn't blood filled or gory and in defense of my male counterparts didn't have a bs side-story interrupting. It did have a sincere empathy between the two male leading actors which obviously appeals to women but still had the macho protector man thing going on. More than anything this movie seemed more like an extended version of a great TV show than a movie that deserved to have De Niro and Pacino in it.

Throughout the course of the movie, there are flashes of De Niro confessing all sorts of maladies on tape. At first it befuddles the viewer but as the film continues it begins to fall into place. The two long-time partners, who are nearing retirement, work on and solve all the usual movie or cop-show cases...drug dealers, rapes, pimps etc. The bulk of the movie is made up of these non-engaging but interesting enough mini-plots. About a third or halfway into the movie the two men ask, against the better judgement and request of their superior, to be put on the case of a serial murderer. Suddenly the flashes begin to make sense.

One of my main issues with the movie while watching it was that it seemed that the big twist at the end would be that De Niro was the murderer. Everything about the movie indicated that he was, in an overly obvious way which made watching the film rather boring. Similarly to reading a mystery novel, once you're certain you've solved the mystery there's no point in continuing to read; it's as if the end has been spoiled.

We not only see that De Niro has worked on every single case that involves one of the serial killers' murder victims, but also that he has a personal stake in other victims. To aggravate the situation he's a rage-a-holic, who refuses the help of the force enforced therapist and is openly aggravated when the system doesn't work in his favor. When another officer assigned to the case suggests that perhaps the murders are an inside job and that a fellow officer might be the culprit, De Niro goes ballistic...clearly insinuating his guilt.


Of course, the twist is that it was not De Niro at all but rather his partner Pacino that was the serial murderer. Although I realize that the rest of the population was not surprised by this endiing, I must admit I was. I believe it was the fact that I became so placated by the continual reinforcement that De Niro MUST be the culprit that I became so placated that the ending really did surprise me. Perhaps I'm the only person on the face of the planet naive enough to feel that way, but I'd like to think I'm not alone.

I reiterate, I understand that to most the great pull of this film was the on-screen interaction between De Niro and Pacino, but for a viewer naive enough to not be moved by such Hollywood ploys the movie still plays well. The story is a bit predictable, but remembering from my cinema appreciation course in college I believe there are only about 13 individual base movie plots and although this one may not have had a great twist to differentiate it, it certainly was well done, visually stimulating, interesting cast, fun surprising twist. All in all a good movie, I'd recommend for people to watch it, however it's definately one of those wait-till-it-comes-on-cable movies.

Esta pelicula fue como muchas otras...como cualquier pelicula de policia...pero a la misma vez...fue la mejor. Yo nunca he sido de ver muchas peliculas, mucho menos las de accion, y en ese sentido ver a los dos reyes cara a cara no fue nada grande para mi. La pelicula, aunque no me tenia en el rincon de mi silla si me entretenio y de veras que me sorprendio el final. Tambien aunque era pelicula de policia no era todo fajada de pistola, pero hubieron muchos momentos de carino sincero entre los dos companeros. Mas que nada parecia un programa de television excellente y no una pelicula que se merecia De Niro y Pacino.

Durante la pelicula entera habian momentos que enseniaban a De Niro en pelicula confessando. En el principio de la pelicula esto no tenia ningun sentindo pero con la progression emezo a aclararse. La pareja de officiales de policia (De Niro y Pacino) trabajan en los casos normales de policia...drogas, raptos, etc. Casi la pelicula entera se compone de estos momentos aburrientes. Al fin, los dos piden poder trabajar un caso muy importante de un matador serial.


La pelicula entera uno piensa que el secreto grande va a ser que De Niro fue el matador. Todo en la pelicula propone eso, el tiene coneccion con todos los muertos, es muy bravo y encendido, y cuando otro policia sujiere que es possible que el responsable es otro policia el lo niega cien porciento.

Obviamente lo que occurre es que Pacino fue el matador, y como De Niro es de veras un policia bueno le dice que va a tener que arrestar lo...Pacino le saca una pistola sabiendo que la unica opcion que le deja a De Niro es meter le tiro y asi se acaba la pelicula.

En fin es una pelicula que aseguradamente recommendaria, aunque probablemente esperaria que saliera en cable mas que ver lo en el theatro, comprarlo o rentarlo.

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Jan 15, 2009 8:20 PM
also wrote a review of Righteous Kill
See that's the problem with people like you... (non film geek's.) Like you said you never saw Heat and I'm positive you never saw Godfather 2 which I didn't like either but teased the audience of having these two great actors in the same film but never shared the same scene. Heat was a masterpiece, the conversation in the diner with these two is arguably one of the best dialogue scenes ever filmed. Still though they only shared that scene for any length of time so it was more then a tease but not sufficient for film nerds like myself.

So yes you liked the movie alright, but at the same time you could never understand the buildup of these two greats being in the same film together almost scene for scene. Compare it to Freddy Krueger VS Jason Vorhees, Alien VS Predator and this being two drama greats going head to head in dialogue.

I wish that they would have picked a better script for Pacino and DeNiro to be together but at the same time they are so old that they could die any day and at least we got to see it once.
Jan 16, 2009 11:16 AM
The problem with people like me huh? I'm not dissing the movie and furthermore, I think it's nice to have an unbiased opinion of the film itself for its cinematic artistry rather than its' satisfaction of a pop-culture marketing ploy :o) but...thanks for trying
Jan 17, 2009 4:57 AM
Agreed... this was a pop-culture marketing ploy... However the two actors they used did not need the money nor to do another half-ass cop film. They understood themselves what it meant to their fans who have made them who they are to see the two of them in a film together. Thats the only answer as to why they did this film in my opinion, knowing that possibly this was their last chance.

Now we just need Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone to get in the same mind-set before they fall apart.

Jan 20, 2009 1:35 PM
Good lord girl..... you better go rent Heat!!! like right now!!!

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