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People I Know

People I Know (2003)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 30

The derivative plot fails to cohere or draw the viewer in.


Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 11

The derivative plot fails to cohere or draw the viewer in.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 6,881

My Rating

Movie Info

A powerful behind-the-scenes man in politics and show business finds himself skidding into a very public scandal in this taut drama. Eli Wurman (Al Pacino) was raised in the deep South, attended Harvard Law School, and has devoted his spare time to progressive political causes since working alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. However, Wurman now makes his living as a press agent and PR man, and while he's near the top of his profession, years of overwork, constant smoking and



Jon Robin Baitz

Jul 20, 2004

Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (59) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (30) | DVD (11)

The movie is weighted down with an excess of plot points that fail to coalesce.

June 11, 2004 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Watchable but dramatically scattered.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dropped into this ocean of bathos, even Al can't tread water -- at that precise moment, he and his performance drown.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Trashy and lurid as this movie is, it's certainly not boring, and it keeps its star in hog heaven throughout.

April 27, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Al Pacino gives a career-crowning performance under Dan Algrant's perceptive direction.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Miscast and badly thought out, People I Know needed more -- and less -- than it got.

April 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Starts] off like a B-version of Sweet Smell of Success before ending like a C-version of The Parallax View.

July 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

After watching this depressing film, I felt as tired as Al Pacino's character looked.

July 11, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Pacino unleashes every trick in his actor's bag... The accent alone batters us into the back of the theater, making us want to go home.

June 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Intriguing but deeply flawed thriller.

February 5, 2004 Full Review Source:

Eli is a modern-day version of a tainted weakling who has sold his soul to the devil, but would like to rent it back from time to time.

September 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Long Island Press
Long Island Press

O filme, que mostra uma Nova York onde o poder é exercido de forma opressiva e cujas noites escondem festas dignas de De Olhos Bem Fechados, traz Pacino em uma das melhores atuações de sua carreira.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

At one point, a character kids Eli about being 'moth-eaten,' but the term would be better applied to the film's crippling third act.

July 8, 2003 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

People I Know rests not at the bottom of that pile, not at the top, but just out of range of significance, to be forgotten the minute the audience's back is turned.

May 30, 2003 Full Review Source:

Not much to admire.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source:

...incredibly unpleasant on a purely visceral level.

May 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Pacino is so determined, so fiercely wrecked, that you almost don't notice when the film dissolves into a cheesy conspiracy piece -- almost.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

All big, subversive fun. In a depressing sort of way.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

It might have worked better if they could've convinced Pacino to drop that damn accent, in which the game of Ping-Pong is apparently pronounced 'pang-pawng.'

May 5, 2003 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

Smushes together The Bonfire of the Vanities (the novel, that is), True Believer, and Eyes Wide Shut, only it does so without being nearly as good as any of the aforementioned.

April 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

Rich in accrued, non-flashy detail and character potentiality, People I Know charts the lives of some vivid, interesting people. Narratively, though, it bites off more than it can comfortably chew.

April 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Worth watching for Pacino's hollow-eyed, full-bodied performance and for the strong supporting cast surrounding him.

April 26, 2003 Full Review Source: Journal News (Westchester, NY)
Journal News (Westchester, NY)

Audience Reviews for People I Know

Though the films themselves stylistically are completely different, the basic plots of "People I Know" and "Carlito's Way" are the same. Here, rather than a gangster, Pacino plays a burnt-out publicist eager to escape his shady way of life but, like Carlito, doomed never to do so. The story doesn't ever really get going but the acting is an absolute treat, with Pacino giving an immaculate performance, truly one of his finest ever.
November 7, 2007

Super Reviewer

Oh Al.
July 21, 2009
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

An interesting film.
December 27, 2007
Leo L

Super Reviewer

Man, didn't have high hopes for this movie which was a good thing. This is one of the lesser known Pacino movies and for a good reason; it wasn't any good. Pacino did some okay acting, nice to see him play the old helpless role, but nothing really to see here, from anyone.
July 2, 2007
Kevin "The Ninja"

Super Reviewer

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