The Ron’s review published on Letterboxd:
Including Serpico I've now seen six of Sidney Lumet's films. I've enjoyed them all, but for now Serpico is my least favorite. It just wasn't as interest or entertaining as the five other films I've seen which include 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Find Me Guilty, and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
Al Pacino plays Jack Serpico, in this true story of a whistleblowing cop who exposed rampant corruption on the force only to have his comrades turn on him.
I got a lot more Sidney Lumet films to see, but this is easily my least favorite so far. Al Pacino's acting is excellent, but the story was a little boring, and I didn't like the numerous time skips. Days, weeks, and years go by in this film and the only way to tell the difference is by the length of Pacino's facial hair. At the beginning of the film we see him accepted onto the force, but thanks to the rather rampant time skips we barely get to see him do any police work. I know the primary focus of the story is the police corruption and Serpico's efforts to do something about it, but the way the story jumps ahead so many times kept me from being able to invest in any of the characters. A simpler way to put it would be to say it felt rushed. It's rare that a film that clocks in at over two hours feels a bit empty but this one did. It seems Lumet had a bit of tunnel vision when he shot this film and it certainly shows.
Much Like in Lumet's excellent Dog Day Afternoon, Al Pacino steals the show. Lumet really tapped into Pacino's amazing potential at a young age and got some fantastic performances out of him. I don't have much to say about the rest of the cast because no one else really stood out in my opinion.
The overall movie was fine. It just didn't interest or entertain me enough for me to love it or anything. It's well worth seeing for Pacino's performance and because it's a Sidney Lumet film but those are the only reasons.
Ron's recommendation: See it, just expect to like other Lumet films more.