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A drama centered on the relationship between Phil Spector and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden while the music business legend was on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson.
Its top-shelf script and terrific cast ensure that it's always watchable, but Phil Spector fails to provide truly compelling drama.
Even with a Mamet screenplay and actors like Mr. Pacino and Ms. Mirren there is not much anyone can do to make the audience care.
The film is an engrossing drama, with a dazzling performance by Al Pacino in the title role.
The movie broadens from Spector's legal case into larger explorations of prejudices people can harbor about celebrities and eccentrics. The result is a thoughtful, sometimes fascinating, purposefully inconclusive character study.
It's better than most films of its kind, even as it remains unsatisfying as historical re-creation, philosophical meditation or pure drama.
It's an insidious whitewash of a convicted killer and an infamous smear of his victim. It's a shame on all involved.
Pacino seldom fails to cut straight to the soul of a character who is both brilliant and pathetic.
Pacino and Mirren's teamwork keeps Phil Spector watchable even when it's dousing itself in dramatic ethanol and lighting a match.
A frustrating film that leaves the questions -- pretty much all of them -- unanswered.
As we're treated to another nonsensical, repetitive soliloquy about the victimization of a violent millionaire, it's worth noting that the Wall of Sound required an echo chamber.
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