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Righteous Kill (2008)

Robert De Niro , Al Pacino , Jon Avnet  |  R |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, Carla Gugino
  • Directors: Jon Avnet
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Anchor Bay - ITN
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0015OKWL2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,311 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Righteous Kill" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Longtime partners Detectives David Fisk and Thomas Cowan investigate a series of vigilante killings in a gritty and sophisticated New York City crime thriller. From acclaimed director Jon Avnet (Up Close & Personal, th War)

Righteous Kill pairs two cinematic icons whose previous screen collaboration, Michael Mann's 1995 Heat, was absolutely electrifying despite minimal time together in a long movie. Now in their mid-60s, De Niro and Pacino are playing veteran cops who, despite being grizzled, should look much younger than these actors. The incongruent casting makes the dark story improbable from the get-go, and things get worse as dialogue by screenwriter Russell Gurwitz quickly sounds like a parody of vintage cop movie cliches. It's a strain to find anything that works. The two leads play longtime detectives and partners whose weariness with rapists, murderers, pedophiles and other villains appears linked to the acts of a serial killer taking out bad guys who got away with heinous crimes. A videotape confession by De Niro's tightly-coiled Turk--who has been seeking the killer with Pacino's Rooster--would seem to establish his ties to the events. But the movie isn't over until it's over, assuming one is still with the movie after plodding along with its facsimile of noir conviction. Director Jon Avnet never gets a handle on Righteous Kill's gritty heart, superficially pushing suspense along with heavy-handed editing, and adding unpersuasive sauce in the form of Turk's somewhat S&M sexual relationship with a female cop (Carla Gugino). Giving the proceedings sort of a boost are Donnie Wahlberg and John Leguizamo as a younger pair of sleuths working the same case. This could easily have been a better movie with those two in the leads.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Above Average Thriller January 6, 2009
Two veteran cops, Turk and Rooster (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) work to solve a string of murders in which the victims are criminals that they have previously arrested and have been acquitted of their crimes. Something's seems a bit fishy, at least that's what two younger cops, Detectives Riley and Perez (Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo) start to think. Furthermore, they suspect it's a cop. Anyway you splice it, the decorated members of the NYPD are looking for a killer. One who leaves a bit of poetry at every scene and happens to murder the filth of society that has slipped through the cracks of the judicial system.

"Righteous Kill" is only a slightly above average thriller given the big name talent. De Niro and Pacino both put forth great performances; De Niro as the hot headed, do whatever it takes to get a conviction cop and Pacino as a much calmer, honest detective. It seems a bit cliché, the whole good cop bad cop, but nonetheless it worked well and the duo's performances were very well balanced to convey not just an occupational partnership, but also a friendship. While the film will leave the audience thinking they know all the answers within the first twenty minutes, the plot does take some interesting turns.

It's great to see the two legendary actors are still performing. "Righteous Kill" is not completely predictable nor is it unwatchable. Give it a try.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Righteous Kill is only the second pairing of two of cinema's greatest actors - Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Their first on-screen collaboration, only featured them together in a couple of scenes, and left the public wanting more.

Righteous Kill has them playing NYC detective partners who've been on the job for 30 years. A serial killer start killing criminals who gotten off on technicalities. Soon, all the evidence points to the killer being a cop. And the cop would seem to be De Niro's character, Turk, a rough-edged type who isn't above falsifying evidence to convict suspects. He's balanced out by Pacino's Rooster, a calm, soothing influence on Turk in a relationship that seems as much like a marriage as it does a professional partnership. Added to the mix are John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg as younger cops investigating the killings and Carlo Gugino as a forensic specialist in a relationship with DeNiro.

The movie works well as a police drama, less so as a mystery, although the solution of the killings does take some interesting turns. If two lesser actors were playing Turk and Rooster, the film might have been touted as asking interesting questions about the nature of friendships, partnerships, and romantic relationship amid all the stresses and strains of police work. But with De Niro and Pacino in tow, the viewer expects more, and doesn't necessarily get it with this film.

However, the two greats still know how to pull off great performance, and know how to elicit sympathy, affection, and every other possible emotion from an audience. Righteous Kill isn't a complete misfire, but might require a third teaming of these great actors.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing January 11, 2009
Seeing Al Pacino and Robert De Niro together on-screen is the kind of ultra-rare treat that could make any film worth seeing. That fact alone is the only reason that Righteous Kill is worth seeing in the very least, as both cinematic icons elevate what would be an otherwise dismal cop drama to something that is only instead a disappointing flick that isn't worthy of having Pacino and De Niro in the lead roles. Both play aging veteran cops who find themselves embroiled in a serial killer case in which there are some big implications, and the twisting screenplay ends up getting to the point of being purely incomprehensible, with a majority of the major story developments not being surprising in the least, and the choppy film editing doesn't help things either. Directed by Jon Avnet, who directed Pacino in the unbelievably bad 88 Minutes, Righteous Kill just ends up not being worthy of the immense talents of Pacino and De Niro, and sadly, both of whom just seem to be on autopilot here. Other actors from John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Carla Gugino, Brian Dennehy, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, are just wasted here in supporting roles. Still, seeing Pacino and De Niro on screen together for the first time since Heat is something special indeed, and makes the film worth seeing on its own. I f you're expecting another Heat however, or anything remotely close, you've definitely come to the wrong place.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Actors; Ham-Fisted Plot May 11, 2009
Righteous Kill / B0015OKWL2


I really wanted to like Righteous Kill. I love ambiguous morality dramas like The Brave One, and was looking forward to seeing the psychology behind a police vigilante - what motivates him (revenge? justice? protection? disgust? anger?) and whether or not we would agree with his motives, if not his methods. With Pacino and De Niro, I was sure I couldn't be disappointed. In the end, I was both right and wrong. I was disappointed with the movie, but not with the acting. It was the ham-fisted plot that did it for me.

The movie starts out, promisingly enough, with De Niro performing a voice-over, video-taped confession - explaining why he murdered his victims, what motivated him, how he chose them. We flash back to 'the beginning' and are treated to the stereotypical long standing cop-partnership: De Niro is the hot-head and Pacino is the mediator, calming him down and keeping him out of trouble. Pacino cleans up De Niro's messes and holds the deep tenderness and understanding that seems to characterize long marriages and cop partnerships.

As De Niro explodes repeatedly over various incidents ranging from disputed baseball plays and criminals walking free on court technicalities, the savvy movie goer begins to find themselves on the edge of a doubt. As De Niro sweats under the inquiring gaze of the other police officers and seems constantly on the verge of discovery, it hits us between the eyes that De Niro can't be the killer, because he's just too obvious a set-up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Loved it!
Published 2 days ago by Mary Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars If You're a De Niro / Pacino Fan, Watch This One!
De Niro is my first love with Pacino a close second so I had to see this one. The twist ending was easy to see coming but ... who cares? Its De Niro / Pacino! Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ann Casey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good all the way thru and vey good at the end
Published 1 month ago by Guy Portland Oregon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great De Niro and Pachino movie
Great De Niro and Pachino movie. The plot may be a bit predictable as far as the idea is concerned but it was well done anyway. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sophia
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Keith Price
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent partnership -- again!
Published 2 months ago by Mark Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great movie and fast service
Published 2 months ago by elijah7300
5.0 out of 5 stars PAcino and De Niro are the king!
the two best at his game. if you liked you'll love this and the ending is a mindbender
los angeles
Published 3 months ago by will reed
1.0 out of 5 stars Chef Boy-Ar-Dee And Me: The Dom DeLuise Story
De Niro (to his agent): Maybe I should learn to turn down a role once in a while. Do I really need to be in every turd that comes out of Hollywood's butt? Read more
Published 4 months ago by SOOTHSAYER
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie.
I purchased this for a gift for my husband, who had seen this in the past and told me about it. I loved the movie and he did as well.
Published 7 months ago by Carlene Silvestris
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