True Confessions
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Adapted by John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion from Dunne's novel, True Confessions uses the still-unsolved "Black Dahlia" murder as the foundation for a devastating attack on big-city corruption -- in which it appears that many of the perpetrators wear clerical collars. In, 1948 Los Angeles detective Tom Spellacy (Robert Duvall) is assigned to investigate the death of a priest, who apparently suffered a heart attack while being serviced by a prostitute. Meanwhile, Tom's brother, young Catholic monsignor Des Spellacy (Robert De Niro), is reluctantly currying favor with crooked… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Two exciting, dangerous actors have little to do: Duvall spends too much time pacing and waiting; De Niro's big scene has him hanging up his vestments."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"True Confessions contains scenes that are just about as good as scenes can be. Then why does the movie leave us disoriented and disappointed, and why does the ending fail dismally?"
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Acting compensates for disappointing ending"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"Given the powerhouse topline casting combo and provocative theme, True Confessions has to be chalked up as something of a disappointment."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Quite simply it's one of the most entertaining, most intelligent and most thoroughly satisfying commercial American films in a very long time."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"An atmospheric, always-intriguing mystery that works equally well as a perceptive character study. One of the very best films of the 1980s."
‑ Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily
"Numerous vital characters are dropped and the case-solving stripped of its complexity, with the resulting film over-linear and one-dimensional."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"A fascinating film that exposes the dark underside of the Catholic Church and fixes it firmly in the seedy, corrupt world of film noir."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Robert Duvall puts in a top-drawer performance in this crime drama mixing sleuthing and sacraments, crime and confession - one of the best films of 1981."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for True Confessions on Rotten Tomatoes