Night Falls on Manhattan (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Night Falls on Manhattan Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A 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
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Sidney Lumet
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 14, 1997
Republic Pictures Home Video


Andy Garcia
as Sean Casey
Lena Olin
as Peggy Lindstrom
Richard Dreyfuss
as Sam Vigoda
Ian Holm
as Liam Casey
Ron Leibman
as Morgenstern
James Gandolfini
as Joey Allegretto
Colm Feore
as Elihu Harrison
Shiek Mahmud-Bey
as Jordan Washington
Dominic Chianese
as Judge Impelliteri
Bonnie Rose
as Instructor
Norman Matlock
as Detective
James Murtaugh
as Man in Asylum
Melba Martinez
as Legal Aid Attorney
Santo Fazio
as Eduardo
David Wolos Fonteno
as Captain No. 1
John Seitz
as Captain No. 2
Stephen Beach
as Cop No. 2
Nafisah Sayyed
as Half-Naked Girl
Vincent Pastore
as Cop No. 3
Robert Sean Miller
as Captain No. 3
Jude Ciccolella
as Lieutenant Wilson
John Randolph Jones
as Captain Lawrence
Chuck Pfeiffer
as Captain Gentile
Tamara Phillips
as News No. 3
Louis Guss
as Court Clerk
Richard Bright
as 64 Precinct Lieutena...
Ronald Von Klaussen
as 65 Precinct Lieutena...
John DiBenedetto
as Patrolman No. 2
Kevin Ramsey
as Sean's Assistant
Kermit Frazier
as Jury Foreman
Veronica Hall
as Pier Cop
Vic Noto
as Diver
Jim Moody
as Mayor Williams
Socorro Santiago
as Lab Assistant
Fran Anthony
as Moderator
Kaity Tong
as TV Newsperson No. 4
Jack Cafferty
as TV Newsperson No. 3
Bill Boggs
as News No. 2
Donna Hanover
as TV Newsperson No. 1
Allen Collodow
as Cop No. 1
Dennis Paladino
as Cop No. 5
Mike Cammallere
as Sergeant No. 1
Jim Mauro
as Lieutenant No. 1
Mike Sheehan
as Sergeant No. 2
Joe Mosso
as Lieutenant No. 2
Teddy Coluca
as Reporter No. 1
Roslyn Cohn
as Reporter No. 2
Elliot Cuker
as Reporter No. 3
Yvette Mercedes
as Meter Maid
Kristina Lear
as Girl in Restaurant
Joe Drago
as DA Driver
Catherine Schreiber
as Sean's Assistant No....
Bobby Cannavale
as Vigoda Assistant No....
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News & Interviews for Night Falls on Manhattan

Critic Reviews for Night Falls on Manhattan

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (16)

Its maker's best since 1988's Running on Empty and maybe even '82's The Verdict.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

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

About New York City police corruption.

Full Review… | May 4, 2011
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


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.

Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

It's overstuffed with plot, characters, and speeches (so many, many speeches). Like most of Lumet's later work the film plays like a poor imitation of his earlier and better morality thrillers.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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