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The Devil's Advocate (1997)


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 31
Rotten: 16

Critics Consensus: Though it is ultimately somewhat undone by its own lofty ambitions, The Devil's Advocate is a mostly effective blend of supernatural thrills and character exploration.

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: Though it is ultimately somewhat undone by its own lofty ambitions, The Devil's Advocate is a mostly effective blend of supernatural thrills and character exploration.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 228,624



Movie Info

Supernatural forces hover over the courtroom in this devilish drama adapted from the novel by Andrew Neiderman. Attorney Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) doesn't heed the Bible-based warnings of his mother (Judith Ivey), who views New York City as "the dwelling place of demons." Instead, he leaves Gainesville, Florida, with his wife Mary Ann (Charlize Theron) to put his legalistic skills to the test at a leading Manhattan law firm run by John Milton (Al Pacino). It all goes smoothly -- with Milton … More

R (adult situations/language, sex, violence)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Jonathan Lemkin , Tony Gilroy
In Theaters:
Nov 16, 1998
Warner Home Video


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Critic Reviews for The Devil's Advocate

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (16) | DVD (8)

Regrettably, an overblown finale and redundant trick ending undercut the mild subversiveness of what's gone before.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

[Hackford] seems stuck in a private limbo, unable to decide whether he's making a special-effects flick or a pop-philosophical tract.

Full Review… | July 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The movie's greatest strength is that it becomes more complex and rewarding as it goes along.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Although it's nice for a film to be ambitious, there is such a thing as overreaching.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The movie never fully engaged me; my mind raced ahead of the plot, and the John Grisham stuff clashed with the Exorcist stuff.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Lurid advance ads for Devil's Advocate make it look ridiculous. It's not.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Far too bland and mediocre to really pull off such heavy handed themes...

Full Review… | October 17, 2012
Cinema Crazed

Outrageously entertaining ... The picture's most superlative turn comes from Charlize Theron, who's a revelation in the first role to really show off her talents.

Full Review… | September 26, 2012
Creative Loafing

Stylishly seductive and well-acted by Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves, but thematically flawed, Taylor Hackford's film is yet another version of the Faustian morality tale.

Full Review… | July 1, 2011

This supremely silly supernatural potboiler is slickly entertaining for just under two hours and absolutely hilarious for 10 minutes near the end...

Full Review… | August 24, 2008
TV Guide's Movie Guide

This is tongue-in-cheek, fun thriller and a variation on a classic theme -- would you sell your soul to gain the whole world?

Full Review… | August 24, 2008

Great fun, with a mildly horrific edge, and a great portrayal of demonic glee by Al Pacino.

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
Reeling Reviews

Charlize Theron makes an incredibly good impression in the role of a woman with deteriorating mental health.

Full Review… | December 5, 2003

Despite its dull first hour, The Devil's Advocate becomes an OK, recommendable film.

Full Review… | May 22, 2003
Film Blather

Despite a wooden performance by Keanu Reeves, this is still a thoroughly enjoyable film for those who enjoy an intelligent horror flick.

Full Review… | February 8, 2003
Film Quips Online

The worst thing about The Devil's Advocate is how it squanders the little chance that it had to be a truly creepy and engaging film.

Full Review… | November 7, 2002

A literate meditation on human weakness and a hipped-out horror movie all in one.

Full Review… | October 15, 2002
Cincinnati Enquirer

A hell of a lot more fun than any film bearing John Grisham's name.

Full Review… | August 22, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

O espetáculo final compensa.

Full Review… | May 31, 2002
Cinema em Cena

Cackling and leering, Pacino puts on a great show, investing enough in his character to make him evil, but not so much that we think he's truly serious.

Full Review… | February 27, 2001
Q Network Film Desk

One of those films that look good as a trailer, but the house of cards soon falls flat when the idea has to be sustained for 90 minutes.

Full Review… | January 1, 2001
Laramie Movie Scope

Rarely do we actually encounter such a brazen example of the 'so bad it's good' genre of filmmaking.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Devil's Advocate


The Devil's advocate is a terrifying, well crafted Horror drama that is one of a few last good films starring Al Pacino. The film combines all sorts of elements into one film, and it's a refreshing take on the traditional horror film. I really enjoyed Al Pacino's performance here and Keanu Reeves, who usually is one dimensional in his acting abilities, gives a good performance as well. The film feels as if John Grisham and Stephen King would've collaborated on a film and this was the result. A good film with good acting, and an even better story. Al Pacino was definitely a wise choice to play the devil in this film and this is simply a well crafted film with creepy, horrifying elements to it. That makes all the difference. This is a well executed film, one that has plenty of chills and good story development. The film may miss the mark on few occasions, but for the most part, the film succeeds in being a work of pure entertainment that will most likely surprise viewers by Keanu Reeve's good performance. But like I said, Al Pacino really is the actor that delivers the goods on screen; he makes the role his own and steals every scene he's in. I think it's too bad that lately he hasn't done anything good, but Devil's Advocate is one of his last great performances. Devil's Advocate is a fine Motion Picture and is a truly entertaining Horror film that every fan of the genre must see. Truly eerie and atmospheric, Devil's Advocate is a film that will most likely make you sleep depraved for a little while.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

This movie confirms the myth that lawyers are really demons from Hell. It also has an excellent cast. I really enjoyed this movie, it's very cool, and I highly recommend it.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

The story was just weird. It got crazy to crazier from the middle. And it's very slow. Keanu's acting was okay but his wink in the beginning looked fake (or weird).

Dead Angel

Super Reviewer

i love Al Pacino, and he by far played the best satan ever, i think i follow the storyline, i may have to rewatch it to get the full facts of what its trying to get across.

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

The Devil's Advocate Quotes

John Milton:
Look, but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow.
– Submitted by Noéma Q (8 months ago)
John Milton:
Free will. It's like butterfly wings: once touched, they never get off the ground. No, I only set the stage. You pull your own strings.
– Submitted by Apoorva G (12 months ago)
Kevin Lomax:
John Milton:
Call me Dad.
– Submitted by Ganesh K (23 months ago)
John Milton:
Vanity, definitely my favorite sin.
– Submitted by Pawan P (23 months ago)
Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow.
– Submitted by Shannon D (24 months ago)
Kevin Lomax:
Lose?! I don't lose! I WIN! I'M A LAWYER!
– Submitted by Baurushan J (2 years ago)

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