Dog Day Afternoon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dog Day Afternoon Reviews

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½ July 22, 2016
From the moment it begins with Amoreena from Elton John to the very end it is wonderful story-telling. The film wastes zero time betting right into the botched bank robbery. Pacino is at his peak and the direction is fantastic making the whole retelling of the story extremely believable. Appropriately nominated for many awards. It also provides a visceral snapshot of New York in mid-70s hot summer.
July 20, 2016
what can i say about dog day afternoon i could talk about it all day long but ill make it short.the film is amazing it was so compelling and i was on the edge of my seat the whole time and its over forty years old and still holds up.this is one of many reasons why Al pacino is known as one of the greatest actors of all time!.
½ June 21, 2016
Al Pacino's character's love interest is the only thing that feels out of place in this magnificent movie with amazing dialogue and powerful acting
Super Reviewer
½ June 18, 2016
A bit of repetition and few pacing issues aside, Dog Day Afternoon is an outstanding film, fueled by Pacino's incredible performance, some great editing, and a script that is both exciting and thematically rich, exploring the rising role of media and television in society and the nature of humanity. It is every bit as interesting as it is exciting, and it's absolutely worth your time.
½ June 14, 2016
Dog Day Afternoon finds Sidney Lumet at his very best combining poignant humour with sharp drama to tell a fascinating real-life event with impressive eye for detail - and boasting yet another electrifying performance from Al Pacino.
April 30, 2016
Just perfection. One of the most realistic films of all time, with a cast that oozes perfection and a treatment of minority groups that is generally quite rare, even in 2016. Al Pacino's best performance, undeniably layered and beautifully put to screen, it feels very natural throughout (same goes for all actors in this film, especially Cazale and Sarandon).
Super Reviewer
April 24, 2016
An honest, gritty and unexpectedly sensitive performance by Pacino with strong support from Durning make this film well worth watching. Although the film is dated in many ways, its social messages are as relevant today as they were back then.
½ April 10, 2016
Al Pacino is the man.
March 30, 2016
Fantastic film, arguably Pacino's best work. In this movie, a bank robber, Sonny tries to rob a bank to get money for his lover's sex change, but fails miserably. Soon, hundreds of people are watching and rooting for Sonny, as the police try to settle things down. Near perfect movie, and definitely one of Sidney Lumet's best, Dog Day Afternoon is worth your time.
½ March 24, 2016
Al Pacino's best performance in a motion picture!
March 17, 2016
If you come near me, you're gonna get it. You're gonna get fucked over and fucked out.
March 7, 2016
One of the Pacino films that has gone under the radar. A must watch.
½ February 24, 2016
What is considered to be a classic by many, Dog Day Afternoon stars Al Pacino as Sonny and John Cazale as Sal as two men who rob a bank one afternoon and everything goes wrong from the beginning as a team member of theirs quits, and the cops, FBI, and news reporters are surrounding the bank. And I found this movie to be great. the acting is top notch of course from Pacino and Cazale. and it is very capably directed by Sidney Lumet. the first hour of this movie is perfect from the dialogue to the attempted robbery and the great suspense that doesn't let up. however around the halfway point, the movie dragged a little bit as yiu find out more and more about Sonny as a person. certain things are revealed about his character and his motivations for the robbery, and although it is interesting and important, it slowed the pacing down a lot. the movie is also not predictable at all which is a huge plus for me personally. Overall this movie deserves to be a classic, it is great, the pacing was just a tad bit off and you don't learn much about Sal as a character which were two flaws that brought the movie down from what I was hoping would be a 10/10. still very good.

February 16, 2016
Classic Pacino of the 1970s. Very quirky subject matter based on a true story and heist. The ending is great. Good acting all around.
February 8, 2016
Not like any other bank heist movie, Dog Day Afternoon is a well paced and well acted retelling of the true story
½ January 31, 2016
The prime goal of a bank robber, besides immediate financial gain, is efficiency, and this is for a number of reasons. Nobody wants to hear the story about a successful bank robber for the very virtue that he was successful and, on that particular day, evil won. The immortalized stories and the ones that get repeated through generations, or, in this case, get movies made about them, are those that were peculiar or not-so successful. An inefficient bank robber has more of a probability of their identity being discovered, their alibi in case of indictment being compromised, or their ultimate goal of getting the money and running being corrupted by the police, who's prime goal is also efficiency. The issue is that robbing a bank can go a number of different ways and nobody really knows what will happen until it is happening.

These reasons and more are why the story of John Wojtowicz is so intriguing. Based on the true story - a story so absurd that it must be reiterated time and time again that it is indeed rooted in fact - of a bank robbery taking place in Brooklyn back in 1972, Dog Day Afternoon follows three men, Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino), his friend Sal Naturale (John Cazale), and another accomplice named Stevie (Gary Springer). The three men attempt to rob the First Brooklyn Savings Bank one morning, and the plan goes awry almost immediately when Stevie loses his cool and abandons the two men after Sal first draws his gun. In another unfortunate circumstance, Sonny and Sal realize they've chosen to rob the bank right after the daily cash pickup truck has arrived, meaning the bank only has around $1,000 in the vault.

Sonny attempts to make up for this circumstance by stealing the bank's traveler's checks and burning the bank's ledger that keeps track of all of them. The smoke from the small blaze alerts nearby businesses and law-enforcement of suspicious activities, and what was supposed to be a routine, by-the-numbers robbery becomes a hostage situation and a media spectacle. The incompetent and defeated Sonny winds up attempting to hold the young, female bank tellers hostage, as well as maintain his cool long enough to request enough supplies and transportation to get him and Sal to safety as quickly as possible.

The problem is that, throughout the course of Dog Day Afternoon, nothing happens as quickly or as conveniently for the characters as possible. The result is like watching a pathetic bank robbery put on by a band of Saturday Night Live cast members, as both Sonny and Sal are stuck between a rock and a hard place throughout the entire film. This also makes this particular film so interesting because of its constant situational humor that seems to keep building and developing as the film goes along. Nothing goes right for the characters, despite their efforts to make things work, and that's one of the fundamental building blocks of comedy that director Sidney Lumet and screenwriter Frank Pierson constantly toy with.

By classification and its inherent nature, Dog Day Afternoon is a crime drama. It centers around a bank robbery and, regardless of how ill-conceived and managed such the bank robbery is, its narrative is ultimately fixated on a crime. Having said that, it's worth noting how seamlessly Lumet and Pierson interweave comedy and dry wit into the film's narrative, not turning the contents of the story into a laugh riot desperate for uproarious reactions from the audience, but allowing the pathetic characters and the poor circumstance to work for themselves and create comedy very naturally. It's only right that Al Pacino, an actor who can play both low-key and over-the-top, often in the same film, lead the cast as a character who, throughout the course of the film, looks like the personification of an unattended pot left to hopelessly boil over on the stove with nobody in sight to save or cool it down.

Dog Day Afternoon's sole setting and slight number of characters allows for familiarity in faces and locations to build very elegantly. Neither Lumet nor Pierson get too caught up in the spectacle of the entire event and shift the focus away from the interior meltdown to the commotion occurring outside. I'd actually be hardpressed to believe, at least after seeing this, that a short film centered around a successful bank robbery captured in one setting would be as tense as this. The unpredictability and the sheer lunacy of all that is unfolding really assist the film in creating something so crazy without gratuitous shock value that it's truly something to behold for all of its one-hundred and twenty minutes.

Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Gary Springer. Directed by: Sidney Lumet.
½ January 18, 2016
Terrifically acted and perceptively satirical. Lumet's direction is as assured and textured as ever, and Pacino creates one of the most memorable of modern film characters.
January 12, 2016
It is a decent movie from My childhood days and great for nostalgia. Who could deny Al Pachino? Nothing mind provoking though and easily skipped in the pursuit of higher culture.
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