Serpico ★★★

It starts off strong, but becomes almost tedious towards its conclusion. Serpico begins as a character piece, but switches gears after about 45-minutes into a more narrative-driven film. Those first minutes are great, featuring some interesting character building. However, the film's complex tale of corruption quickly overtakes the character-driven aspects, which isn't an inherently bad thing, but Serpico's overall narrative becomes crippled under the weight of its severely under-developed supporting characters. Still, Al Pacino is consistently brilliant, and Lumet's direction is very good to say the least. It's an entertaining film for a while, and there were glimmers of greatness here and there but, ultimately, this film can't quite achieve such status.