Al Pacino, Righteous Kill

Overture Films

Review in a Hurry: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino play veteran cops on the trail of a serial killer. It sounds familiar, sure, but the script from Inside Man writer Russell Gewirtz puts a few twists into the mix. And De Niro and Pacino hit every step so perfectly, they make even the standard cop-movie moments shine.

The Bigger Picture: Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) are old guys on the NYPD, living proof of the adage that you've got to be pretty tough to get old on that job. Turk coaches Little League in his spare time, while Rooster plays speed chess, but neither has much of a life outside the force. However, Turk's dedication—or obsession—makes him a leading suspect when someone starts shooting lowlifes who manage to escape justice.

Of course, none of this is what it seems. Rooster runs interference for his partner with two young detectives also on the case (John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg), while Turk dallies with a much younger (and smoking-hot) crime-scene investigator (Carla Gugino), while they also run a sting on a drug dealer/club owner (Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent). Everyone raises the level of their games to keep up with De Niro and Pacino, and even if you can't follow all the twists, the performances and pacing keep you engrossed all the way to the end.

The 180—a Second Opinion: The tight-knit script unravels in the third act. One subplot turns out to be a distraction, while another just fades away altogether. And the so-called twist ending—no spoilers here—turns out to be pretty easy to guess.

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