Serpico

Serpico ★★★★★

Film #96 of The December Challenge 2013

Frank Serpico was a police officer for the NYPD who really believed in his job and the role of the NYPD in making neighborhoods safe. In his 12 year career, he witnessed and later attempted to expose the corruption and hypocrisy of the department. Because he was seen as a "hippie" he was never fully accepted into the community, anyway. That made him a natural choice to turn against the department by simply telling the truth of what he saw.

The film is really quite generous in letting us get to know this peculiar man. He certainly had his quirks but when we get to witness him pursue and fall in love with women, he becomes that much more tangible as a figure. Because it's a biopic about a guy who wasn't really all that famous or celebrated in the mainstream (I could be wrong aboutthat), maybe there was more room for creativity. It felt more like a fictional character study to me. Al Pacino gives a riveting performance and sports some ridiculously awesome facial hair. This is also very high up on my Sidney Lumet rankings. The man could do very little wrong for me.

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