Sea of Love (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Sea of Love is a sexy, atmospheric thriller, very much in the style of Alfred Hitchcock, with involving characters, steamy love scenes, and surprising plot twists. Frank Keller (Al Pacino), is a lonely, tired, disillusioned, police detective, who has a problem with alcohol. Frank is investigating a serial killer, whom he believes finds victims by using personal ads in magazines, killing them while playing the old record "Sea of Love." In a scene both amusing and touching, Frank and his partner, … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Price
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 26, 1998
MCA Universal Home Video


as Det. Frank Keller

as Helen Cruger

as Det. Sherman

as Frank Keller Sr.

as Serafino

as Dargan

as Helen's Mother

as Lieutenant

as Gina Gallagher

as Miss Allen

as Older Woman

as Raymond Brown

as Omar Maldonado

as Efram Maldonado

as Ernest Lee

as Supermarket Manager

as Supermarket Cashier

as Toastmaster

as Cable Supervisor

as Bartender

as Doorman

as Tense Woman

as Raymond Brown's Wife

as Sherman's Wife

as Helen's Daughter

as Criminal Type

as Karate Cop

as Clipboard Guy #1

as Violinist

as Murdered Man

as Murdered Man

as Yuppie Detective #1

as Yuppie Detective #2

as Surveillance Team Me...

as Surveillance Team Me...

as Hallway Cop

as Hallway Cop

as Franks Ex-Wife (foot...

as Young Cop

as Mackey
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sea of Love

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Critic Reviews for Sea of Love

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (7)

Efficient enough as a thriller, but what makes this mandatory viewing is the return of Pacino.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A lugubrious imitation of a second-rate television movie, over-produced and over-cast.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Price and director Harold Becker build in enough jumps and scares and good red herrings to be satisfying ...

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A bluesy thriller with a clever though not overly complicated premise.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

What impressed me most in the film was the personal chemistry between Pacino and Barkin. There can be little doubt, at this point, that Barkin is one of the most intense and passionately convincing actresses now at work in American movies.

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

Solid Pacino turn with Ellen Barkin giving strong assist.

January 10, 2009

Audience Reviews for Sea of Love

"in the style of Alfred Hitchcock"? "with ......... surprising plot twists"? I rather felt it as just another cop flick. The story is ordinary one and the execution isn't any great either. A few good moments is all. 1/5 (0.75 for the flick's casting & performances, and the rest for the rest).

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer


Al Pacino's lonely detective sets himself up as bait for a serial killer stalking newspaper dating ads and lands in the sack with slinky Ellen Barkin, commencing an effective game of nutjob-or-not? (as later ripped off by Basic Instinct).
Achingly '90s in tone with a sultry sax-heavy jazz soundtrack to boot, the whodunnit is greatly assisted by Pacino toning down the mugging, John Goodman being... John Goodman and Barkin scorching up the screen, skillfully avoiding that old style over substance adage.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

I can remember watching this on tv more than once growing up. Always liked it, but literally have not seen it since I was a teenager.
The story is that a killer has been targeting men who answer personals ads. Believing it could be a woman, cop Frank is sent undercover to meet some possible suspects by placing an ad himself. He is answered by Helen, and the two get involved.
I have to say, it pretty much holds up. The 80's hair and fashion is dated, but Ellen Barkin still looks attractive and really carries the movie in her is-she-psycho-or-isn't-she way. I don't know that Al Pacino and her ever entirely convince as a couple, and some of the sex scenes are more laughable than hot, but you can overlook it, as for the most part, both are good in their roles. Both lonely flawed people, with just a shadow of a doubt over Helen's sanity. You never entirely believe it could be her, but there's just enough coincidences to give pause.
Good suspense movie and some nostalgia to top it off. Could not ask for more!

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Sea of Love Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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