Dog Day Afternoon
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Based on a true 1972 story, Sidney Lumet's 1975 drama chronicles a unique bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon in New York City. Shortly before closing time, scheming loser Sonny (Al Pacino) and his slow-witted buddy, Sal (John Cazale), burst into a Brooklyn bank for what should be a run-of-the-mill robbery, but everything goes wrong, beginning with the fact that there is almost no money in the bank. The situation swiftly escalates, as Sonny and Sal take hostages; enough cops to police the tristate area surround the bank; a large Sonny-sympathetic crowd gathers to watch; the media arrive… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Enjoyable and even exciting at the start, Dog Day Afternoon degenerates into frustration and tedium toward nightfall -- an experience no less painful for the audience than for the actors."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Dog Day Afternoon is, in the whole as well as the parts, filmmaking at its best."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"As much as it is about a deeply troubled individual, "Dog Day Afternoon" is about a shift toward exploitation in the American media via live television."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Though fact-based, Lumet's heist film (his best work) is a wild satire with farcical tones about a normless, irrational society whose (anti)heroes are crazy delusional marginal men, played with panache by Pacino and Cazale in their most spontaneous turns"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"An iconic movie, thoroughly New York, with Pacino in top form."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"One of Sidney Lumet's best jobs of directing and one of Al Pacino's best performances (as a bisexual bank robber) come together in a populist thriller with lots of New York juice"
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"The film's strength lies in its depiction of surfaces, lacking the visual or intellectual imagination to go beyond its shrewd social and psychological observations and its moments of absurdist humour."
‑ , Time Out
"Strong performances and forward-thinking situations make this political thriller an exceptionally vibrant experience."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"An American classic."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"[Dog Day Afternoon is] so perfectly executed that it almost feels like the wall of art is being pulled back slightly, revealing the reality of life, in all its messy, contradictory, confusing wonder."
‑ Gil Jawetz,
"[Pacino] gives an electric performance, charged with a lunatic energy that expertly captures the weird blend of confidence and self-deprecation (if not hatred) that marks the paranoid syndrome."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"It's beautifully acted by performers who appear to have grown up on the city's sidewalks in the heat and hopelessness of an endless midsummer."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Fine, but overrated Pacino vehicle directed by Lumet."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Pure cinema."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Few fictional thrillers are as tense or as funny as this real-life recreation."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
More reviews for Dog Day Afternoon on Rotten Tomatoes

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