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Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy (1990)



Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 16

Dick Tracy is stylish, unique, and an undeniable technical triumph, but it ultimately struggles to rise above its two-dimensional artificiality.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 5

Dick Tracy is stylish, unique, and an undeniable technical triumph, but it ultimately struggles to rise above its two-dimensional artificiality.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 76,456

My Rating

Movie Info

Warren Beatty directed and starred in this big-budget action comedy featuring Chester Gould's square-jawed, two-dimensional comic strip detective. Ruthless gangster Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) touches off a gang war against underworld boss Lips Manlis (Paul Sorvino), with Big Boy and his minions rubbing out enough of Manlis's goons (along with Manlis himself) to take over his nightclub, and a healthy percentage of the city's criminal activities in the process. Caprice also gains proprietary


Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy

Apr 2, 2002

Buena Vista Pictures

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (16) | DVD (14)

Beatty and his team of collaborators have heightened the vibrantly tawdry urban night world of Chester Gould's classic comic strip.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though it looks ravishing, Warren Beatty's longtime pet project is a curiously remote, uninvolving film.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This has an appealing two-dimensional comic-book look, but lacks the vision to go with it, not to mention an interesting hero or a feeling for action.

April 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comment (1)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A spectacular movie whose technical achievements -- notably the sharp editing -- will surely provide a gauge by which subsequent comic strip films are judged.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Summer hasn't officially arrived yet, but it's unlikely to offer a big-budget commercial movie as thoroughly entertaining as this stylish real-life cartoon.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its superficial pleasures, Dick Tracy ultimately flounders because it provides an audience with nothing to take home and dream about.

May 12, 2001 | Comment (1)
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Dick Tracy" isn't in the top tier of comic-book adaptations, but ingenuous art direction and set decoration and some crazy make-up jobs create a film that's still a delight to watch.

December 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Fails to be a compelling watch.

July 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A waste of time and money.

July 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comment (1)

The film moves at a chug when it should put the pedal to the floor.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Slate

Dick Tracy is skillfully mounted, generating an optical wonderland for the viewer, with all sorts of details and photographic vibrancy to study when the film takes off on the wings of a tune.

June 19, 2010 Full Review Source:

So deliberately, carefully shallow, so conceptually audacious; and yes, so unearthly beautiful in every last frame.

June 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy impressively conceived piece of work that has just as much to offer adults as it does children...

April 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

The movie may lack unified conception, but it's supremely entertaining due to sumptuous production, lavish imagery and opulent costumes, and some terrific cameo appearances, such as Al Pacino.

March 23, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

In sheer visual terms, this is the most convincing of the comic book movies that have been popular for the last decade or so.

April 18, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

One of the most entertaining and creative event movies of the Reagan-era

March 11, 2006 | Comments (2)

A ground-breaking and striking comic-based movie, though the villains are too easily vanquished

July 27, 2004
New Times

Should have stayed in the funny pages.

September 15, 2003 | Comment (1)

No other movie ever made looks like this. ...But the design doesn't overwhelm the actors. Director Beatty knows how to bring out the brightest in his cast...

August 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Lame and tedious comic book film. Try THE SHADOW or THE ROCKETEER instead.

March 19, 2003 | Comment (1)

This is a unique movie experience, well conceived and executed.

March 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Audience Reviews for Dick Tracy

Dark, charming with the popular style of comics, Dick Tracy is not one of the best pictures about heroes, but is one of the most unforgettables. Fresh.
July 29, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Though the film as whole doesn't totally work, visually and stylistically, this is a masterpiece. Also a fantastic cast altogether and a standout performance from Dustin Hoffman.
December 11, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Based on the hugely popular comicstrip from the 30's Tracy was merely a regular tough guy cop of the era that fought hoods, the main difference that made him so popular was the oddball mutant-like villains that he was up against which were pretty much like extreme caricatures.

Almost like a fantasy version of 'The Untouchables' the film has an obvious plot with good guy cops, bad guy villains, beautiful dames in nightclubs, lots of dimly lit offices highlighted by neon lights streaking in between the drawn blinds, fedora hats aplenty, tommy guns and sharp suits.
The film is also made in a highly inventive way, making everything look like a real comicstrip (very much like 'Sin City') using only the same few colours used in the original comicstrip and with lots of matte paintings and models. It looks very impressive even today with the neon selected colour palette, abit dark at times but its very effective and could be mistaken for cgi at times.

Add to that some fantastic costumes with highly colourised suits and pinstripes, all buildings in and out are coloured the same, a nice use of classic old cars as they zoom around and of course the tommy gun makes it all come together when when you see Beatty in a full shot firing it decked out with trenchcoat and fedora.

The film is very reminiscent of Burtons Batman of course and this might be to do with Danny Elfman creating the musical score, its excellent as usual but maybe abit too close to Batman in all honesty. The whole film does have that Dark Knight feel about it, the classic 'Shadow' type vibe which is to be expected but it still stands well on its own.
Like the comicstrip the hoods are one attraction with all the varieties of facial deformities on show, the makeup is really well done on all bad guys it just makes you wish there were more of them. Nice casting for all the hoods and policemen but the inclusion of Madonna wasn't required and should of gone to a proper actress and I firmly believe Sean Young would have made a better 'Tess Truehart', Young was the original choice.

Very stylish fun flick which is also a decent homage to the original material surprisingly, one of the better adaptations that has made been over the years which is just about the right level of violence and camp 60's Batman and Robin type action.
August 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

Their turf. Their game. Their rules. They didn't count on His law...

Very good crime/comedy film. The style was really what made me watch it and was very good, it felt like watching a comic book Very good acting by everyone and a very nice cast including Al Pacino, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, and Madonna. The story was crime style and it was enough good to deliver and entertain. It is very good and in some ways more memorable than much of what goes on in the film.

Based off of a comic book created by Chester Ghould. Dick Tracy is one of the toughest and the best police officer for the city. He is currently on the hunt for the biggest crime boss named Big Boy Caprice who recently killed off the former crime boss Lips Manless. Now Big Boy is rallying up all of the criminals in the city who are not only trying to make the city bow to Big Boy's wishes but to eliminate Tracy their only huge competition. However Tracy is facing with a whole lot of issues, as he is trying to not only track down Big Boy, but to keep his girlfriend Tess Trueheart, take care of a nameless orphan and dodge a seductive club dancer Breathless Mahoney and a mysterious gangster named "The Blank". Can Tracy overcome these obstacles and save the city?
July 29, 2011
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

    1. Big Boy Caprice: You're dirty, Lips. You need a bath.
    2. Lips Manlis: No, not the bath, Big Boy! Not the Bath!
    – Submitted by Chris R (10 months ago)
    1. Dick Tracy: Tess, there's about as much chance of me getting behind a desk as there is of me getting a new girlfriend.
    – Submitted by Chris R (10 months ago)
    1. Lips Manlis: That was beautiful as always.
    2. Breathless Mahoney: I'm so happy you liked it. You mind if I leave?
    3. Lips Manlis: Why?
    4. Breathless Mahoney: I get sick when you eat.
    5. Lips Manlis: You didn't used to.
    6. Breathless Mahoney: You didn't used to be a zeppelin.
    – Submitted by Chris R (10 months ago)
    1. Tess Trueheart: Tracy, if you weren't risking your neck every night, you could have a wife. I mean a life!
    – Submitted by Chris R (10 months ago)
    1. Big Boy Caprice: Wait a minute! Wait. I'm having a thought. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I'm gonna have a thought. It's coming. It's gone.
    – Submitted by Nick S (10 months ago)
    1. Spaldoni: I'm out.
    2. Big Boy Caprice: It only works if we're all in.
    3. Spaldoni: Then it don't work.
    – Submitted by Chris R (10 months ago)
View all quotes (12)

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March 25, 2011:
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