The Panic in Needle Park

1971

The Panic in Needle Park

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 12

75%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,323

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

75%
Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

A couple loves heroin as much as they love each other in Jerry Schatzberg's grim drug drama. After an illegal abortion at the behest of her faithless lover (Raul Julia), lost innocent Helen (Kitty Winn) finds solace with small-time crook Bobby (Al Pacino), a regular in Manhattan's "Needle Park." As Bobby shows her around his Upper West Side world, the two become inseparable. When Helen realizes that Bobby is a full-blown junkie, she joins him in addiction, and their downward spiral begins in earnest. Weathering overdoses, prostitution, betrayals, and a "panic" after a major bust, the pair manages to stick together, the habit sealing their fate. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Panic in Needle Park

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

  • Schatzberg doesn't romanticize addicts' troubles; with a tender but unsparing eye, he spins visual variations on shambling degradation and transient relief.

    Mar 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • A gruelling but highly responsible film about the influence of heroin on a New York street romance.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • It is not filled with quick cutting or gimmicky editing, but Jerry Schatzberg's direction is so confident that we cover the ground effortlessly.

    Apr 9, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Drug abuse movies can be hard to take, but this compelling drama has a superior screenplay and sensational performances from young Al Pacino and Kitty Winn.

    Sep 6, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Bleak and downbeat, this remains a more effective anti-drug PSA than any of Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" finger-wagging.

    Jul 3, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Made its mark during its day, but has become outdated.

    Mar 21, 2009 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Panic in Needle Park

A stark drug addiction tale, dignified child of the early seventies, when explorations of social, economical and political taboos were brutally honest. Back then newcomers, Al Pacino and Kitty Winn pour their souls as a couple of heroin addicts struggling to survive their habit. aesthetically the statement is as grim as life itself: hope is brief, there's no music, nor full closure, it goes on and on, and gets harder each time.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer

I loved this movie from start to finish. I could have watched it for hours. I loved the style that Schatzberg uses and it is one of the more realistic drug films I have seen. Al Pacino is phenomenal and it was cool to see a very young Raul Julia and Paul Sorvino. A depressing gem with an amazing ending.

Tim Sigur
Tim Sigur

Super Reviewer

There isn't much going on in this movie it seems, or maybe it's just me? Sure there's a love story, and it has it's ups and downs like all love stories, and yes it's interesting to see what life was like for these people in needle park, but there isn't an end to the movie, and I didn't like that.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Yet another great early film from starring Pacino, a story of love and the escalation to drug addiction. This film would be just as relevant in today's time as it was back then. Al Pacino's attraction for the controversial in the early days was truly admirable.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

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