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Righteous Kill (2008)



Average Rating: 4.1/10
Reviews Counted: 142
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 115

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro do their best to elevate this dowdy genre exercise, but even these two greats can't resuscitate the film's hackneyed script.


Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 31

Al Pacino and Robert De Niro do their best to elevate this dowdy genre exercise, but even these two greats can't resuscitate the film's hackneyed script.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 90,112

My Rating

Movie Info

After 30 years as partners in the pressure cooker environment of the NYPD, highly decorated detectives David Fisk and Thomas Cowan should be ready for retirement, but aren't. Before they can hang up their badges, they are called in to investigate the murder of a notorious pimp, which appears to have ties to a case they solved years before. Like the original murder, the victim is a suspected criminal whose body is found accompanied by a four line poem justifying the killing. When additional


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Russell Gerwitz

Jan 6, 2009


Overture Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (147) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (115) | DVD (7)

This thriller by Jon Avnet is mostly by the numbers, and its surprise ending, though effective, feels somewhat forced.

December 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nearly everything about this film is a cliché.

November 5, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Say it ain't so, Bobby and Al.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie, which has more than 10 credited producers, feels like one of those slick, for-the-money projects Hollywood studios cook up via graph charts and marketing surveys.

October 18, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's nothing righteous to be found here.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

They look like jobbing veteran actors picking up another payday in some routine cop filler, and Avnet's busily clueless direction offers them and the clunky writing little help. Pacino. De Niro. It's over.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A murky, muddled, miserable mess, Righteous Kill spends 101 minutes failing to achieve what Heat managed in just six.

October 14, 2012 Full Review Source:

The worst about Righteous Kill is that there's probably a perfectly acceptable procedural thriller somewhere in the mountain of cliches and stupidity that riddle the film.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

Imagine this conversation: A phone call between actor Bob De Niro and director Marty Scorsese. Bobby: Hello, Marty. I've been calling and texting, but you never answer. (Silence) Bobby: I'm talking to you. Are you talkin' to me? Are you talkin' to me?

February 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly | Comments (6)
Fayetteville Free Weekly

As far as bad movies go, Righteous Kill is something of a zenith.

January 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

Pacino. DeNiro. Armed and dangerous. In a cop drama. In NYC. Together. Written by the writer of Inside Man. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, what could've gone so wrong?

January 11, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

...the phrase phoning-it-in was practically invented for Pacino and De Niro's work here...

November 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Russell Gewirtz's script is built around a trick, one that is simultaneously too clever by half and not clever at all (which itself is quite a trick).

November 12, 2008
Los Angeles CityBeat

There's nothing righteous about this tired and tiresome good cop/bad cop NYPD procedural from Avnet; in fact, it's pretty much an abomination from the get-go.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

So somebody finally got De Niro and Pacino to co-star in a movie together and this is the best they could come up with?

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs | Comments (3)
Three Movie Buffs

A derivative and increasingly silly crime thriller.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Seeing Robert De Niro and Al Pacino circling the thin line between cop and criminal paints a giant grin on the face.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Direct Avnet is just plain terrible, and screenwriter Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man) should be ashamed of himself.

October 12, 2008 Full Review Source: The Cinema Source

Teria sido melhor se eles tivessem seguido o exemplo de Paul Newman e Robert Redford e interrompido a parceria enquanto esta ainda era trazia um histórico impecável.

October 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Moviegoers that haven't seen alot of cop mysteries will probably like it. I have seen too many of them so it was very unoriginal and just silly.

October 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

It's good to see the two great actors of their generation back together in Righteous Kill. Frankly, though, although a few sparks of fire at times, the heat has subsided significantly.

September 29, 2008

Audience Reviews for Righteous Kill

All I'll say for the moment is: "Could have been so much better." Full review forthcoming.
July 27, 2014

Super Reviewer

Oh. We wait years for a proper Pacino and DeNiro film and this is it? And this is the same Jon Avnet who directed Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe? Really? Well Pacino and DeNiro are ok, they can play stereotype quite well but I don't blame any of this film's nonsense on them, in fact they do a great job of a bad script and an even worse idea. It was pretty predictable as well, so even the big twist was a bit shambolic. I do hope the two actors work together again, I just hope it's with the right director and with the best script/story.
June 13, 2013

Super Reviewer

Righteous Kill is an average police mystery/thriller, terribly disappointing considering the two acting giants who star in it. I always like Carla Guginio and John Lequizamo too, but they don't add much here. So, all these actors have done impressive work before, but director Jon Avnet doesn't get much done here. There is some intensity, but its all clichéd and formulaic. Really, is this the best everyone could do? I enjoyed watching Pacino and DeNiro (Rooster and Turk?) together, but RK doesn't compare to Heat, much less Godfather II. This is essentially a bigger budget episode of Law and Order.
September 23, 2011
Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Kurzer Prozess - Righteous Kill (DE)
  • La Loi et l'ordre (FR)
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