Prince of the City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Prince of the City Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 20, 2013
So-saw. Not exceptional, but certainly watchable (in one or more sittings). Didn't find it great when some sequences dropped in arbitrarily for no reason except for adding style to the execution, I guess. No problems otherwise. Other than the usual.
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2008
Prisons of the mind can be worse than the fisical ones. When you want atonement, to walk the right path, to come clean about your past dirty deeds, to tell the truth about the lawless world you're living into, where the only god is money; you won't come out fine. though some heads will roll, yours will roll too.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2009
Fine performances are hindered by slow pace and the fact that the film is just too long. Original impact of story is muted by years of police proceduals.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Sidney Lumet presents
Law and Order: The Movie
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
December 26, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "Prince of the City," detective Danny Ciello(Treat Williams) is the youngest member and leader of the Special Investigative Unit(SIU), an elite detective squad without supervision in New York City designated to fight the illegal drug trade. While they make huge, newsworthy busts, it can also involve scrounging drugs for informants. In the midst of this, Danny is contacted by Rick Cappalino(Norman Parker) of the Chase Comission investigating police corruption. Danny agrees to go undercover on condition that none of his partners are targeted...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]From his first movie "Twelve Angry Men," director Sidney Lumet's favorite subject has been the criminal justice system and the flaws therein. "Prince of the City" is no exception as it is a gritty, complex and layered look at the day to day life of an undercover policeman, living almost entirely in the shadows. Danny has reason to fear not only from the criminal element but also his fellow policemen whose fraternal code he is in danger of breaking. Above him sit the district attorneys prosecuting the cases who are unfamiliar with the city and who view the streets in terms of black and white, making it much easier for them to sit in judgment. At the end of the day, who is truly left with their honor intact? [/font]
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2009
Sidney Lumet's fascinating, emotionally powerful crime drama which is based upon a true story, concerning a young undercover narcotics cop named Daniel Ciello, played marvelously by Treat Williams in the performance of his career, who decides to reveal the corruption within his elite unit. This taut excellently crafted film constitutes a social drama about the law, the lawless and the raging forces at work in New York City. "Prince" is a complex detailed look at the process by which one man who starts out to redeem himself by revealing some truths, and the moral dilemma that he faces as an informant, who fines himself more a victim than a hero as he is drawn step-by-step into giving information about his police partners that would ultimately destroy them. Astute direction by Sidney Lumet, with stupendous character portrayals by a game cast that includes Richard Forony, Don Billett, Kenny Marino, Carmine Caridi, Tony Page, Bob Balaban, Paul Roebling, James Tolkan, Lindsay Crouse, Ronald Maccone, Ron Karabatso, Tony DiBenedetto, Tony Munafo, and Robert Christian, with the late great Jerry Orbach a standout as Gus Levy, a tough, no-nonsense detective who was Ciello best friend before he turned into an informant. Painstakingly detailed, with excellent use of New York locations, beautifully photographed by Andrzej Bartkowiak, with superb editing by Jack Fitzstephens. A complex, engrossing motion picture by the late great American master filmmaker/director Sidney Lumet. Winner of the New York Film Circle Award, Best Director: Sidney Lumet. Golden Globe Awards nominations, Best Picture, Best Director: Sidney Lumet, Best Actor: Treat Williams. Academy Awards nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay: Jay Presson Allen and Sidney Lumet. Highly Recommended.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2011
Sidney Lumet's "Prince Of The City" is a sad, draining masterpiece. It's great because there are no heroes in this picture only those who rat on others. The main character of the film played by Treat Williams is going to have to rat on his partners since he is living dangerously in guilt. "Prince Of The City" seems to have insipired many crime drama pictures like Scorsese's "The Departed". What I greatly admired is Lumet sees the corruption within the police system, judges and lawyers seem to be bought and paid since they, too is guilty of the system. In TV shows police organizations is usually seen as the patriots of crime, the princes of the cities. In Sidney Lumet's picture the realities of corruption within the police force (or any organization) is disgusting as any terrible narcotic. The pigs of the city.
Super Reviewer
October 25, 2009
This isn't any better than any other 70's movie that portrays police corruption. It was long and kind of hard to get into. I wouldn't watch it again.
Super Reviewer
July 17, 2008
Under appreciated cop drama from the early 80's is a tight piece of work.
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2007
Great film, one of Lumet's best. I guess it didn't do well at all, but a better story of police corruption than Lumet's own Serpico.
Treat Williams gives a fantastic performance and the plot is very involving. Hopefully gets a third chance at finding an audience on DVD.
March 19, 2012
A gritty story of a conflicted NYC cop who wanted to cooperate with DA to expose "bad" cops while protecting his friends... little did he know he made a deal with the devil. The movie is quite long, but never boring - Sidney Lumet is a master story teller and this story will suck you in. One of the strengths of this movie is that it passes no judgement on the characters' actions, just as in real life, sometimes the line between right and wrong is blurry.
½ September 24, 2008
Gave this one a 2nd watch awhile back, it holds up very well and cements my interest in more Lumet of this time period.

A very engaging film, I enjoyed Lumet's no-nonsense approach to the storytelling, indicating characters names with their ID and then launching into their involvement in the story; no fuss, no muss.

Treat Williams chews the scenery shamelessly, and it works most of the time, but there are a few moments that almost seem cartoonish in his overly emotional delivery.

Recommended.
April 19, 2009
ok this movie is pretty well of the based on the true story of the 1971 and the based on the book by robert daley. so little bit of disappoint in the middle of the film and some well done treat williams's acting and the director sidney lumet (it like similar of his film "serpico" with al pacino).
½ June 2, 2008
Really great look at the corrupt NYPD, or more specifically, the Special Investigation Unit. Treat Williams did a surprisingly good job and the rest of the cast was pretty much spot on. Lumet's a great director, and sadly, this is one of his better films that has been overlooked and forgotten.
April 10, 2015
This is Williams best work in this tense,taut thriller.
July 16, 2011
One of Sidney Lumet's most complex and detailed New York City dramas about the dark, dirty side of police work, boasting a splendid performance from Treat Williams in the lead.
August 6, 2013
Many fine movies have been made on the subject of police corruption, but few are as intricate and detailed as "Prince of the City". Esteemed director Sidney Lumet has tackled the subject before, and while "Serpico" was the better film, this is a worthy companion piece, a movie that's as thorough as it is long.

In fact, that may be the one thing keeping the film from greatness; there are far too many characters and plot threads to keep up with. You can't help but thinking this story could have been pared down to the bare essentials and not only maintain the picture's impact but even enhanced it.

What remains, however, is the moral core and fine performance from Treat Williams in his first starring role. It's fascinating to watch as Williams opens Pandora's Box with the best of intentions, and how that action in itself is corrupted to the point where you forget why he even did it in the first place. It's a wonderfully subtle performance that the actor has a tendency to take over the top sometimes. It works best when he focuses less on emoting and trying to get everyone's attention.

The screenplay is smart and wordy, a cop movie in which there are no gunfights, car chases or even really any good guys. Everyone is corrupt to some degree, and when all is said and done, the film finds just the right tone for the ending. It's perhaps the best moment in the picture, with a terrific final line.

Keeping up with "Prince of the City" is very challenging, but in the end, it's a rewarding experience. It's a great example of a wonderful director working at the top of his game. Nobody makes 'em quite like Lumet did these days.
August 6, 2013
Many fine movies have been made on the subject of police corruption, but few are as intricate and detailed as "Prince of the City". Esteemed director Sidney Lumet has tackled the subject before, and while "Serpico" was the better film, this is a worthy companion piece, a movie that's as thorough as it is long.

In fact, that may be the one thing keeping the film from greatness; there are far too many characters and plot threads to keep up with. You can't help but thinking this story could have been pared down to the bare essentials and not only maintain the picture's impact but even enhanced it.

What remains, however, is the moral core and fine performance from Treat Williams in his first starring role. It's fascinating to watch as Williams opens Pandora's Box with the best of intentions, and how that action in itself is corrupted to the point where you forget why he even did it in the first place. It's a wonderfully subtle performance that the actor has a tendency to take over the top sometimes. It works best when he focuses less on emoting and trying to get everyone's attention.

The screenplay is smart and wordy, a cop movie in which there are no gunfights, car chases or even really any good guys. Everyone is corrupt to some degree, and when all is said and done, the film finds just the right tone for the ending. It's perhaps the best moment in the picture, with a terrific final line.

Keeping up with "Prince of the City" is very challenging, but in the end, it's a rewarding experience. It's a great example of a wonderful director working at the top of his game. Nobody makes 'em quite like Lumet did these days.
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