Serpico ★★★★

A classic!

Lumet and Pacino made some fine music together.

Lumet is great at capturing the grittiness to New York City. He takes you places that you'll never go to and has a way of finding some brilliant locations in setting up pivotal scenes. Like the park with Yankee Stadium in the background or the outside theater where Pacino and Roberts have a discussion. The great thing here is that Lumet keeps the grittiness throughout the film no matter where we are. It's the look of the entire film.

One of Pacino's best performances. Certainly deserved the Nomination here. He brings us through this emotional journey beautifully. From happiness and dedication to suffering and paranoia. The best moments are when Serpico, already stressed beyond belief with what's going on around him and the danger he's in, receives good news that could help put together an investigation in the corruption and maybe get him out of this alive. The jump from pure depression into happiness is so real. His joy is electric and you can't help but feel good for the guy. His explosions are powerful every step of the way. How his life is being torn apart shows in every scene. Most of us always feel stressed at work but could you imagine going through what he went through? And that's the brilliance behind this film, Lumet's direction and Pacino's all stresses you out. You get frustrated that this guy can't catch a break and just do his job. Another side of Serpico that Pacino nails. That through it all he still kept his honor. All he wanted to do was serve his community. Uphold the law. Make a difference. One of the best moments is him turning down the Gold Shield that he's longed for since day one on the Force. Pacino is a legend and this is one high note in his legacy. A brilliant performance from beginning to end. I don't think he was ever more immersed in a role.

All of the supporting characters are good enough but they are all overpowered by Pacino that they add very little to the film. This is one of the film's weaknesses. The only character that had a chance of giving us something extra was that of Serpico's girlfriend played by Barbara Eda-Young. Problem is she isn't that great of an Actress. She does alright but neither her or the script do much to add to the film.

The sound of the film is another thing that takes me out of the experience here and there. A lot of overdubbing.

Overall it's an awesome film fueled by one of Pacino's most electrifying performances and Lumet's masterful work behind the camera. I could watch this film a million times. Never gets old. It gets you hooked quickly and just gets more intense with each scene. You become invested in Serpico's struggle and your emotions play out as his do. Awesome film!