Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)
Movie InfoA lawyer discovers just how fine the line between good and evil can be in this drama based on the novel Tainted Evidence by Robert Daley. When a carefully-planned bust of drug dealer Jordan Washington (Shiek Mahmud-Bey) goes sour, a shootout between Washington and officers from three precincts leaves a number of cops dead or wounded. Washington escapes in the confusion, but he turns himself in on the advice of gadfly lawyer Sam Vigoda (Richard Dreyfuss). District Attorney Morgenstern (Ron Leibman) appoints Sean Casey (Andy Garcia), a former cop new to trial law, to prosecute the case, less for his legal expertise than because Sean's father, Liam (Ian Holm), was one of the injured officers, guaranteeing good press. Despite Vigoda's allegations of widespread police corruption, Sean scores an easy victory in the case; Washington is behind bars, and the young lawyer's career is on the rise; however, the discovery of a dead body confirms suspicions that Vigoda's allegations have a basis in fact, and Sean learns that his father may be in on a police cover-up. Night Falls on Manhattan also features Lena Olin as Sean's girlfriend and James Gandolfini as Liam's partner. … More
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Critic Reviews for Night Falls on Manhattan
Messy, overwrought, and technically fuzzy, this cop opera still maintains a strong and passionate pulse.
Garcia gives one of his richest performances yet
The kind of tough-minded moral drama that Lumet excels at.
Garcia turns in a solid, emotionally complex performance, and he keeps the audience involved when the plot takes some credibility-straining turns.
One of the most unfairly overlooked Hollywood films of recent years, [it] marked a return to form for one of American cinema's great moralists.
Audience Reviews for Night Falls on Manhattan
When I came across the move, the synopsis of this Lumetic flick didn't appeal to me as it sounded familiar. Despite of the fact, hardly having any better options (going by my last couple of ratings, one may deduct that it's becoming harder to please ME!!), I gave it a go. But I was determined that if it starts sucking, and doesn't get better soon, I'll stop right there. To my surprise, this mediocre drama entertained me more than the previous disappointments. It's so good that I now look forward to coming across other intriguing films. Yeah, I was kinda bored with more films than less, regardless of their ratings. The frequency of watching films was gradually getting lower and lower, and II was on my way down the ladder, but this one stopped me. One of my problems was that no matter what film it is, I found them quite predictable, and repetitive more ofter than not to keep me engaged. Writers' block is understandable, but I can't just sit by and enjoy it all the same. In fact, just a few days ago, I'd thoughts on remakes. I don't mind them too much, but when "it's a remake of. XYZ" plays a major part in its promotion, it repels rather than attract me. I'd rather go watch the original, and let the remake be. But then it struck me that original ideas may be hard to get to, but at least a better execution can make the difference. Besides, it should only borrow the main theme of the original, and then present it with fair execution to offer an entertaining piece, and that too not being promoted as a remake.
The theme here is not a new one, but the execution made difference for me. I liked how the movie started, and hardly fell apart at any point. It kept things going, and while predictable, it still remained interesting. Add to it, the unexpected (not quite so now when I come to think of it, and apparently not applicable to everyone) moments leading to the culmination. It turned over almost everything I'd predicted as what would be next, and I liked it for a change. Ignoring the release year may have helped there, but I liked it no matter what.
Performances were first rate, and as mentioned before, after a long time, I've found a satisfying movie. But BEWARE: The reason may not (only) be that it's really a good one, but that: I hadn't seen a worthwhile movie for quite long, OR May be I was expecting more than I should have, OR Simply that I was having a nice time (another rarity these days around), and watching it under favorable conditions.
For good or otherwise, I can only hope my audience's block won't make me quit watching films. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
It looks like a great cast under the direction of Sidney Lument. There are some good scenes that deal with gray areas encountered by cops and lawyers, but too often the story became dull or over emotional without giving us reason to care for the characters. Garcia is an assistant D.A. in training, who rises impossibly quickly to D.A.. His father is a cop played by Ian Holm. He dates Lena Olin from a competing law firm that is headed by Richard Dreyfuss's character. Even though Dreyfuss is top billed he doesn't play a large roll in the story. He only succeeds in setting Garcia's character on the path of helping Internal Affairs uncover a corruption ring, which included his father's partner and the take down of the drug dealer/cop killer from the trial early in the movie.More
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