Serpico (1973)

This is the real-life story of a New York cop who takes on corruption in the police department.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 5, 1973
DVD Release Date: December 3, 2002
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Critic Score: 90% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Serpico is an engrossing, immediate depiction of 1973 New York and includes a turn by a young Pacino that's both ferocious and career changing.

Jay Cocks
TIME Magazine

Wonderful potential, and wasted. Serpico has some brutal surface flash and an acetylene performance by Al Pacino in the title role, but its energy is used to dodge all the questions it should have raised and answered.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Another problem, these days, is Pacino's characterisation; he seems at times more like a misplaced hippy than a plainclothes cop.

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Cole Smithey

"Serpico" is a candid and gritty police expose film that juxtaposes systematic police graft with the personal toll it takes on the man who attempts to blow the lid on the crooked activities that surround him.

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Variety Staff

Sidney Lumet's direction adeptly combines gritty action and thought-provoking comment.

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Benjamin Strong
Village Voice

Lumet's biopic of Frank Serpico, the virtuous cop who exposed a network of graft in the NYPD, feels depressingly relevant.

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Sean Axmaker
Stream on Demand

... set the style of American crime dramas in the seventies with his gritty look at street-level law enforcement and realistic portrait of procedure and systemic failure and it established Lumet as a director of intelligent, gritty, modern crime dramas

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

A virtuoso performance by Al Pacino and some expert location work by Sidney Lumet add up to a tour de force genre piece that transcends the supercop conventions to create a moving, engrossing portrait of Frank Serpico.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

A remarkable record of one man's rebellion against the sort of sleaziness and second-rateness that has affected so much American life, from the ingredients of its hamburgers to the ethics of its civil servants and politicians.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Lumet and screenwriters Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler can't do anything but skim rapidly over the surface of their tale.

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More reviews for Serpico

Flixster Audience Score: 88% Flixster User Reviews
Mark Walker
With their second collaboration in 1974, Al Pacino and Sidney Lumet delivered one of the very best films of the decade with "Dog Day Afternoon". It… More
Alex roy
Sidney Lumet's Serpico is a brilliant piece of drama that has a stellar cast and terrific story. This is among the greatest dramas ever put on celluloid.… More
Spencer S.
The original cop drama, "Serpico" opened a lot of doors for filmmakers, and told the true story of a cop on the fringes of a corrupt department in New… More
Coxxie Mild Sauce
My favorite Al Pacino movies will always be "88 Minutes" and a "Righteous Kill", followed by "Jack and Jill." But this one sure… More
Mike S
Sidney Lumet's compelling David vs. Goliath story, concerning a scrupulous cop pitted against overwhelming corruption within the New York police force, is… More
Aj V
My favourite movie about a cop who fights against the corruption in his department, Pacino is fantastic in this movie. Plus, it's based on a true story,… More