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Albino Alligator Reviews

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Super Reviewer

March 22, 2012
Law: Albo gator... sacrifice for a gain. 

"Deliberate sacrifice for deliberate gain."

Everything about Albino Alligator seemed intriguing on paper. It's got a formidable cast with Dillon, Sinise, Fichtner, and Dunaway. It has Kevin Spacey as the director, and despite having a story that's been done a million times, the story always seems like a good idea. So I was sort of surprised to see such distain across the board for the film. Still, everything was too intriguing to pass up, and I'm happy that I at least gave the movie a shot because in the end, I didn't hate it.

Now Albino Alligator is nothing special. I just want to get that out there right now. If you never see it, it wouldn't be a big deal. The story is something you've seen before and will see again. It is the international robbery story, where a group of criminals robbery is botched and they are left cornered with hostages, and the police outside. So how are they going to get away? That's the whole movie. The criminals are cornered in a basement bar, and must come up with a way to get out of there with their freedom and with their lives.

To me, it isn't surprising at all the Spacey directed this. Look at a lot of films that he has starred in. In many of them, there's a lot of dialogue and free range among the actors. So it isn't surprising at all, that this film is mostly dialogue, where the actors are given a lot of free reign. The only problem with that is that the actors aren't on top form. I like Fichtner and Sinise, but neither was that good. I did enjoy Dillon's performance though. I think he did a pretty good job overall.

The sad thing comes in that Albino Alligator should have been better. It's too predictable to be considered better than average. You can see the plot development with Mortensen's character coming the moment you lay eyes on him. As for the actual outcome, I liked the idea, but not so much the execution. 

So this is a slightly disappointing movie just because of all the talent that is involved and because it could have been so much more. But I got a certain amount of enjoyment out of it. While it may not be exceptional filmmaking, it's interesting filmmaking, and sometimes interesting is all you need.
Jason O

Super Reviewer

September 10, 2009
Pleasant surprise. I'd never heard of this one, but the catchy title caught my eye, so I watched it and was soon recommending it to others, whom also liked it in return. "Albino Alligator" is a movie about three thieves that take a few people at a New Orleans bar hostage. The criminals don't really mean any of the hostages any harm, at least not until the police start to wait right outside the bar and the three criminals don't know what to do to get out with freedom still on their side.
"Albino Alligator" is a pretty good movie, especially when you consider that it was the first movie that Kevin Spacey directed. It's not the best movie of its kind, but it's not bad either. It all happens inside a bar in the basement of a building and the plot doesn't change much the whole movie, but it does have a few interesting twists that keep the movie from being boring. All three of the criminals do a great job in the acting department, especially Matt Dillon. The hostages, led by Faye Dunaway, also do a good job of acting. This movie is both chilling and entertaining, and I recommend anybody who likes movies that center around criminals and hostages to get "Albino Alligator." NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001.

Super Reviewer

February 20, 2008
Its a good movie and watchable obviously a low budget film which i surprising because of the cost but its good funny and not to bad of a storyline!
Michael G

Super Reviewer

April 16, 2007
I saw this once when it first came out and I remember not caring at all. Claustrophobic and dull.

Super Reviewer

April 7, 2007
interesting chamber piece with quality performances

Super Reviewer

March 4, 2007
Viggo Mortenson is sooo wierd looking in this movie! pretty good i thought
Jeffrey M

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2011
An impressive directorial debut for Kevin Spacey, who was able to effectively use the confined parameters of the story (most of it taking place in one location) to create a tense thriller. Strong cast as well, especially Matt Dillon. Though ultimately an unrealistic plot, the script has enough twists and interesting dialogue to keep the film moving along at a good pace.
Remi L

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2009
Only watched it because of William Fichtner. And he was awesome.
Audrey L

Super Reviewer

August 17, 2008
I saw this film years ago and was very impressed with the story line and the acting.Last night I caught it again and was wondering how I could have forgotten to add it to my ever growing list.
Christopher B

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2008
It's funny how many filmed plays I've seen at TIFF. It's not like I'm a huge fan of the chamber piece, but apparently something about them draws me in. Went and saw this because Spacey directed it (back when he was coolio) and left satiated.
November 2, 2013
Tolerated the story up to an hour but not able to finish the story. It is so sentimental and off-tone.
December 1, 2007
This was actually very good, went into it knowing nothing about it other than Spacey directed it, and thought it was brilliant.
September 7, 2007
I was pleasantly surprised by this. I had always passed it over because it just did not sound very interesting to me when it came out, but this time around it sounded good. First, I enjoyed the fact that it takes place in a bar over a single night. The story, about some criminals who were in wrong place at the wrong time and end up holding bar patrons hostage, is very good and raises many questions that test the morality of Dillon's character. It was an interesting enough story in that I started to wonder how I would handle the situation: with Fichtner's plan (which seemed to be most realistic and truly plausible) or Sinise's (which would not allow any murder).

Second, the characters are both mysterious and realistic. I particularly enjoyed William Fichtner as the sociopath of the group. Sinise was great as the voice of reason. Dillon was good as the oft manipulated man in the middle. It is actually very interesting as Sinise plays the angel on his shoulder as Fichtner plays the demon - it worked very well.
M. Emmit Walsh is his usual entertaining self, I just wish he had more screen time. Mantegna has a hilarious scene with a reporter and other than that he doesn't have a lot to do. Dunaway is interesting as a slight seductress with an air of mystery around her. And Viggo Mortensen impresses as he conveys so much with his body language and face while having a lack of dialogue.

Spacey directed and he shows a real sense of style using effective overhead shots (in the car wreck scene) and using slow pans throughout to create a sense of the situation and the tension. This is his directorial debut and it is impressive.
June 13, 2007
I am becoming a bigger fan of Independent Movies everyday.

I really enjoyed this one, it's got lots of good actors, too.
August 10, 2006
Spacey proves that he has tallent behind the camera as well... not a great film but good enough to watch a couple times.
Robyn M.
January 3, 2013
Kevin Spacey is obviously an amazing acting talent, but this film proves that he's almost as good a director. This film was satisfying from beginning to end, and it just got more interesting as it went along. The story is fairly simple, but it was powerfully performed by a hugely talented cast. Dillon, Sinise, and Dunaway all give stand-out performances, but really, the whole cast is top-notch. Mantegna wasn't given as much material to work with, but he still had the only truly funny scene in a generally serious movie, and yet the humor didn't seem out of place.
Nicola D.
August 18, 2012
claustrophobic set but with something too much static. Kevin Spacey could have done something better, but this was his first director movie. Viggo Mortensen and Matt Dillon take the whole rating
July 27, 2012
The movie sounds interesting to me. Experience the divine nature of the movie.
May 3, 2012
Kevin Spacey has directed exactly two films, this is the first, and the only one you need to watch. William Fichtner is about the most underrated actor working today, and he's brilliant in this film. Also, Viggo Mortensen made this film before he was Aragorn, or a born again rock star, so he's also very very good.
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