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After a seven-year hiatus, director Sidney Lumet returns with a film based on the true tale of Giacomo 'Jackie D' DiNorscio, a member of the Lucchese crime family whose refusal to name names resulted in one of the longest trials in history. That Lumet is still rock solid comes as no surprise, but what will astonish unsuspecting audiences is his star.
With the help of a bad wig and a great script, Vin Diesel emerges from the action-film mire, giving an astoundingly nuanced performance as DiNorscio, a criminal possessed of an indestructible loyalty and no small amount of charm. Together, Diesel and Lumet manage to make a courtroom drama that is riveting and resonant--and funny, too. DiNorscio seduces the jury with a kind of Catskills comedy, sort of like a a Mafioso Rodney Dangerfield, and if Diesel can keep this up, we may even forgive him for The Pacifer. And Knockaround Guys. And A Man Apart...