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Righteous Kill (2008)


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

Critics Consensus: 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
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 3
Rotten: 31

Critics Consensus: 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: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 90,135


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 … More

R (for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Russell Gerwitz
In Theaters:
Jan 6, 2009
Box Office:
Overture Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Righteous Kill

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.

Full Review… | December 9, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Nearly everything about this film is a cliché.

Full Review… | November 5, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

Say it ain't so, Bobby and Al.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Boston Globe
Top 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

There's nothing righteous to be found here.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top 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.

Full Review… | September 26, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 14, 2012

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.

Full Review… | August 30, 2009
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?

Full Review… | February 1, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

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

Full Review… | January 20, 2009
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?

Full Review… | January 11, 2009

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

Full Review… | November 26, 2008
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.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
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?

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Three Movie Buffs

A derivative and increasingly silly crime thriller.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
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.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Film Threat

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

Full Review… | October 12, 2008

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.

Full Review… | October 10, 2008
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.

Full Review… | October 8, 2008
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.

Daniel Perry

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.

Anthony Lawrie

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.

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

ok...a pair of seasoned cops, Turk (Robert De Niro) and Rooster (Al Pacino) are on the case when a serial killer with a vigillante streak starts bumping off bad guys in New York City.They team up with younger detectives Perez and Riley and assisted by crime scene specilist Karen Corelli they work to uncover the killers identity with little more to go on than a poem left as a calling card at the scene of each crime.
has an obvious twist~!

♥Robyn M♥

Super Reviewer

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