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...And Justice For All (1979)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 18,645

My Rating

Movie Info

Norman Jewison's blackly satirical look at the American justice system has gained in stature as one of the more incisive social commentaries of its time. Al Pacino plays Arthur Kirkland, an incorruptible attorney who attempts to initiate reforms in the Maryland justice system. Kirkland is haunted by the fates of two past clients, one of whom committed suicide in jail; the other is still alive but is locked up on a trumped-up traffic violation. The ability of power and money to distort the


Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy

Barry Levinson, Valerie Curtin

Jan 16, 2001

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (5) | DVD (9)

Justice is seldom as deep or trenchant as it wants to be, but there's abundant pleasure to be gleaned from skating along its surfaces.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Attempts to alternate between comedy and drama, handling neither one incompetently, but also not excelling at either task.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aims to do for the American judicial system what All the President's Men did for the presidency, and if Jewison had only maintained the tone of the superb original screenplay, he might have succeeded.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With the exception of Mr. Strasberg and Mr. Levene, the actors are as hysterical as their material.

July 25, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here's an angry comedy crossed with an expose and held together by one of those high-voltage Al Pacino performances that's so sure of itself we hesitate to demur.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...And Justice for All has no part in the stock trade of shock witnesses and surprising revelations. This is about how too many guilty people walk while the innocent take their places in overcrowded jails.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pacino does his best with a well-meaning but unfocused script, which often concentrates too much on politics, thus failing to do justice to its characters.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

A tiresome and pointless film where Pacino is wasted as a witness to a parade of lunatics.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If an uneasy mix of humour and sadness never quite gels, its message is clear and its cast uniformly strong.

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Pacino alternando com fluidez entre momentos intensos e outros de introspecção, um roteiro bem construído e um clímax inesquecível.

July 24, 2010 | Comment (1)
Cinema em Cena

years after watching it you'll have no idea what the central trial was all about... but you'll certainly remember that, whatever it was, it was out of order!

March 21, 2008 Full Review Source:

Pacino at the top of his game...[but] the film's lack of faith in its audience is glaringly apparent. [DVD review]

March 9, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Al Pacino gives a dominant performance as a lawyer whose morals are compromised, but director Norman Jewison can't find the right balance between the critical and satirical elements of the legal system.

March 1, 2008 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Entertaining, with a vintage Pacino performance that only occasionally lapses into grandstanding.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source:

Courtroom hijinks still bites, Pacino tops

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Makes its point with sledgehammer-like strength.

September 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Pacino is a force of nature in this truly entertaining comedy - drama - courtroom procedural.

July 26, 2002

Audience Reviews for ...And Justice For All

Not for all, at leas not for THE ONE who matters the most!! Clumsy way of making an attempt to expose the legal system for what it is, and displaying its effects on those concerned. But it was much realistic and wish I could have appreciated it for that.
August 29, 2013

Super Reviewer

An over-rated legal drama centering on one lawyer's (Al Pacino) desire to take-down the legal system that is so corrupt. While this movie features a heck of a turn from Pacino (but this is always expected), as well as a phenomenal performance by the vastly under-rated Jeffrey Tambor, this film is convoluted to the max. There is just frankly way to much stuff going on packed in to a two-hour slot, topped off with an overdone Pacino speech near its conclusion that feels forced and something totally expected in a Hollywood crowd-pleasing script. A pretty bad film, and one that should have dropped one of its many side-plots and focused on only two or three of them, that way the dramatic punch it tries to swing at its conclusion would have had more weight to it.
July 1, 2011
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

This is a great film, often copyed from its still relatively unknown and very underrated. The acting is of the finest quality. Brilliant.
September 7, 2009

Super Reviewer

Al Pacino (along with Robert DeNiro) was probably the greatest actor of the 1970's. Long before he became the yelling guy that found his start in Scarface and was awarded for his noise in Scent of a Woman, Pacino was an actor's actor. He ended his reign in the 1970's with ... And Justice For All, a courtroom drama that wasn't a very stellar story but overcame its problems with great acting and direction.

Arthur Kirkland (Pacino) is an idealistic defense attorney that tends to grate against the established legal hierarchy in Baltimore. He soon finds himself juggling two cases where the defendants don't really belong in jail, a suicidal judge (jack Warden), a girlfriend (Christine Lahti) who is investigating ethics issues in the courts, and the judge (John Forsythe) he hates who asks him to defend him in a rape trial. That's a ton of stuff to juggle and as the movie progresses Arthur becomes more and more disgusted by the way the law has turned into a car lot mentality. "Let's make a deal! Let's make a deal!"

The story is just so-so. There are points that feel like pure manipulation and predictability is the standard. The thing about this film is that when you dissect it into its acting and directing you get more than what the total film really is. The acting from all levels is superb with that young Pacino leading the way. he was still a king in 1979. Jewison directs the film in a way that leaves room for comedy and a little bit of tension. He makes a bland story interesting.

... And Justice For All has been shafted for years as some of Pacino's lesser work, but when you look at it from a technical standpoint and forget about the many flaws of the script you see what a precision picture this film really is. A '70's classic that closed the decade with class.
March 3, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Arthur Kirkland: She doesn't have a motive. You know why? Because she's not lying. And ladies and gentlemen of the jury - the prosecution is NOT gonna get than man today - no. Because I'M gonna get him. My client, the honorable Henry T. Fleming [now yelling] should go RIGHT to FUCKING JAIL - the son of a bitch is GUILTY!
    – Submitted by Jacob H (20 months ago)
    1. Judge Rayford: I discovered the meaning of life...
    2. Arthur Kirkland: Which is?
    3. Judge Rayford: It sucks Arthur, It really sucks!
    – Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
    1. Arthur Kirkland: Being honest doesn't have much to do with being a lawyer, Grandpa.
    – Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
    1. Arthur Kirkland: They Just People..... God Damn It.... God Damn It.... God Damn It.
    – Submitted by Imran H (2 years ago)
    1. Arthur Kirkland: You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!
    – Submitted by rick b (3 years ago)
    1. Arthur Kirkland: The TRUTH? You can't handle the truth!
    – Submitted by rick b (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Foreign Titles

  • And Justice for All (DE)
  • And Justice for All (UK)
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