Absence Of Malice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Absence Of Malice Reviews

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June 13, 2016
News reporter helps savvy businessman solve the disappearance of a labor leader ; together they investigate the truth.
May 16, 2016
A bit far-fetched on the romance, Absence of Malice compensates with its engrossing plot and solid performances from Sally Field and Paul Newman.
March 22, 2016
It presents the affective effects when it comes to some form of journalism that's defamatory and attempting redemption till the settlement. The course is really good from the beginning to the end without missing anything that would probably come up in the matter, alongside with the fine chemistry of Newman and Field. (B+)

(Full review coming soon)
September 6, 2015
Paul Newman i Sally Field - odlicen tim!
½ September 2, 2015
Wasn't impressed. I thought Sally Fields (and this is nothing against her) was miscast in this part. The screen writing and logical absurdities kept pushing me out of the film. The twist (that Gallagher was playing them all) was the only really good thing in the film -- but it wasn't enough. It just didn't hang together as a whole. The music was pretty mediocre too.
½ July 9, 2015
Overall, Absence of Malice has a compelling story and great acting from Paul Newman (who plays Paul Newman here) and Sally Field, but fails to generate enough interest in the proceedings to keep you hooked. Luckily, the acting is good enough to largely overlook that, but at the end of the day, film must entertain and Absence of Malice, though not a total bore, certainly struggles in that area. Not hard to see why the Academy would recognize the acting, but not much about the film itself (other than the writing).
½ June 13, 2015
A great ensemble piece with great performances from Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban, and Melinda Dillon. Great writing, score, and direction from Sydney Pollack who I am pretty hit or miss with.
½ March 1, 2015
Good not great drama that would be a lot less if not for Newman.
½ February 26, 2015
Paul Newman's hit piece on the press is pretty see-through in its intent. All because Newman had issues about people printing stories about him. So, what follows is a one-sided story about an incompetent reporter (Sally Field) and the press apparatus recklessly tearing into an innocent man (Paul Newman).

Since the movie is as one-sided as it is, you would hope for some style from the script, but it's instead just plodding and without any style whatsoever. Field, who's shown herself as highly competent in films like "Norma Rae" inexplicably plays a complete ditz here. Newman just plays his stock Newman character.

The way the story unfolds is clunky and unfocused. Throwing in a lot of mafia dealings, lots of unnecessary melodrama, and a kinda-sorta romance between the mismatched Newman and Field makes the movie thoroughly unwieldy.

I've never been a fan of Dave Grusin's film scores, so his over-the-top music here again proves to be too much. Owen Roizman is a very good cinematographer, but his work can't help the movie with its issues.

Sydney Pollack was always a director who was certainly the lesser of his contemporaries. Easily proving this is how much better a job Sidney Lumet did with Newman the next year with "The Verdict." And, it didn't hurt that Lumet had the great David Mamet writing the script.
½ January 18, 2015
Aburrido film , lo ├╣nico rescatable es Paul Newman.
½ November 8, 2014
He's a nice guy, he just forgot about the rules.

A prosecutor leaks to a local newspaper reporter that a liquor store owner is involved in some misdeeds that led to a union boss's murder. The liquor store owner comes from a family of organized crime members, but he is clean. The newspaper reporter feels bad and believes he isn't involved in the crime. They will work together to uncover the truth.

"Unless you think that will make you impotent."
"You have some mouth."

Sydney Pollack, director of Tootsie, The Firm, The Yakuza, Out of Africa, Havana, Random Hearts, and The Interpreter, delivers Absence of Malice. The storyline for this picture is fairly interesting and reminded me little of Nobody's Fool. The acting is first rate and makes the movie worthwhile. The cast includes Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban, Melinda Dillon, and Luther Adler.

"Are you sure you're right?"
"I'm never sure I'm right."

I DVR'd this picture because it stars the legend, Paul Newman. I am a huge fan of his work and thought his character was well presented and delivered. The overall premise was just average, but the acting and characters made the film worthwhile. I recommend seeing this film once, especially if you're a fan of Newman.

"He stayed with me; every day, every hour, and that's what happened."

Grade: B-
October 30, 2014
This movie was entertaining enough. I liked it. But the real draw was seeing Sally Field in her bra. I literally creamed my shorts when I saw that. And she's such a sweet lady but has this edgy vixen side to her... Oh God! Excuse me, I uh, need to uh, take a shower.
½ August 30, 2014
Megan Carter (Sally Field) is the kind of ace journalist who is at her peak when her mouth is slightly agape, her eyes are narrowed, her feather bowl of a hairdo shrouding her face more noticeably than ever. She is a reporter in a movie, and Field feels the need to make this expression whenever Carter gets her hungry paws close to a scoop. "Absence of Malice" isn't like "All the President's Men", because in the latter, the journalists in focus were good journalists, deliberate in their actions but willing to take risks. The problem is, is Megan Carter is willing to take risks, but doesn't pause and ask herself whether or not what she's doing is completely necessary, or ethical.
The film introduces itself with a shocking headline - Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman), the son of a bootlegger, has been accused of murdering longshoreman union official Joey Diaz. The woman behind the story is Megan Carter, who receives information from federal prosecutor Elliot Rosen (Bob Balaban) in a more than unusual way.
Gallagher confronts Carter, but the two have a strange sort of chemistry between them than turns into a romance that (sigh) would only happen in movies. While Carter harbors feelings for Gallagher, her journalistic tendencies get the best of her, leading to the suicide of a woman (Melinda Dillon) who has a connection with Gallagher. Carter is still determined to find the truth in Diaz's disappearance, even if everything in her wake has been destroyed.
"Absence of Malice" is unusual because its two leading actors are far from heroes, and don't remain likable throughout the entire film. Carter is so careless in her actions that it makes journalists seem like monsters, willing to publish anything no matter the costs. It may not be true in every case, but she definitely isn't Roz Russell intelligent. Gallagher is the underdog, are his attempts at breaking free from scrutiny and moving towards revenge are far from kind-hearted. Pollack doesn't side with his characters, but instead, explores his characters' clumsy ideas of justice.
Field carries enough charisma under her belt, walking with an "I'm a strong independent woman who doesn't need a man to survive" 1981 walk, committing the biggest of mistakes. She has a soul, however, even if she isn't a very smart journalist. Field is a lovable actress, but there's somewhat of a gap between the woman she's playing and our opinion of Field herself.
Newman is strong in a central role, and we feel the need to side with him under any circumstances, because he's Paul F%#$ing Newman, after all. But the best of the cast is Melinda Dillon, whose understated and ultimately tragic performance is the most memorable part of the film.
Even if we don't remember that Sally Field is the one that leads to her suicide, and even if we don't remember the fact that Paul Newman was only friends with her, not her lover, the scene where Dillon runs across a series of lawns, swiping all the newspapers from her neighbors, is startling. She is a woman of little means, without much of a mark on society, but the fact that she can't live with the humiliation of receiving an abortion is truly upsetting.
"Absence of Malice" is a standout because it isn't a routine journalism based thriller. Rather than exploring the good journalism can do, it shows how just one or two acts (although, there should be two, Megan) of carelessness can change the pace of things in an instant.
July 15, 2014
Paul newman how can it be bad? But this is better than most. Characters are very human
½ March 7, 2014
A question of ethical reporting from an era when technology was simpler but there's some relevance for today's journalists. That is, if you can get past the pace of a 70s movie (made in the 80s). Although, the issues presented here are largely dependent upon a North American legislative/constitutional context
½ March 3, 2014
Don't expect any violence but a very good movie with a great plot, great acting and plenty of twists. Paul Newman gives a reserved but effective performance of a man wrongly accused of murder, not necessarily by the police, but by the press and one reporter in particular played ably by Sally Field. Of course, her reporting messes up Newman's (character's) life and Newman puts up a fight to get his life back. But the actor that steals the show is Wilford Brimley who comes to clean up the mess as the U.S. Attorney General.
½ January 28, 2014
A very relevant yet a tad slow film studying the consequences of bad/sloppy reporting that affects the individual.

Both Sally Field & Paul Newman work excellent together & bring to the table the depth needed to make the film work.

It's an interesting film that focuses on the importance of morals & ethics much more than typical Hollywood themes. In many ways it's rather low key but it's an interesting watch.
½ December 18, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013

(1981) Absence Of Malice
SOCIAL COMMENTARY DRAMA

Somewhat effective but quite outdated, since right now a percentage of people resort to going online to hurt people these days where their was a time newspapers used to do that sort of thing. It's also been done before back in 1931 called "Five Star Final" starring movie icon Edward G. Robinson, for "Absence Of Malice" can be labelled as a much more current version since times had changed from the 1930's. Reporter/ journalist Megan (Sally Field) stumble onto a particular agent's involvement of a reopening of a 20 year old case involving a missing union leader and the connection with a son who's still alive of a one-time well known gangster, his name is Gallagher(Paul Newman). And Gallagher gets harassed both by reporter Megan and by people working for gov't worker in charge of the investigation by the name of Rosen (Bob Balaban) for any possible leads even though their may not be anything to look for. This movie showcases how journalism doesn't often have any limits whatever and whomever it writes about regardless who gets hurt at the end which this movie sometimes question our own ethics regarding what we see, hear and type.

3 out of 4 stars
October 29, 2013
Wilford Brimley manages to steal the show with about a total of 10 minutes of screen time. Sally Field is simply too likable for Megan, a naive, somewhat ignorant reporter who can't help but print every single thing she finds.
August 24, 2013
Politics uses the media, the media uses politics, and the public never really knows the truth.
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