Dog Day Afternoon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dog Day Afternoon Reviews

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½ June 5, 2018
Delightfully absurd.
June 2, 2018
Great performances, well paced thriller.
½ April 17, 2018
i'm on your side on this one..

Dog Day Afternoon

The sense of urgency fades away for a brief period of time in its middle act and that's the only weak link in this masterpiece that contains gripping screenplay, brilliant execution and stellar performance working all the way up to the ladder. Sidney Lumet still needs to be a bit strict on editing part but other than that he has done a great job from his side. Al Pacino is as usual, brilliant on portraying this broken real persona and brings out the best of him without any support (he literally is a one man show in this one). Dog Day Afternoon hits hard and fast with amusing perspective that stays true till the last frame along with an intense showdown between the cat and mouse sequences in its last act that always will be the highlight of this feature.
April 12, 2018
A classic film and a joy to revisit!
March 31, 2018
It's without a doubt Pacino's finest work in a film that still holds up today utilizing a bank heist plot to tell a story that is extremely intense yet at times humorous and very charming overall showing that it's flawed characters are more complex than their actions.
March 29, 2018
B+. Brilliant acting with lots of emotion and realism. Some really touching/exciting scenes. It still left me yelling at the stupidity of the main character during hostage negotiations.
February 17, 2018
1001 movies to see before you die.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2018
I love the wonderful sense of New York in the 1970's that this film gives us. The characters, dialog, and shots on location in Brooklyn are all highly authentic. It's Al Pacino who really makes the film though, with a performance that is captivating and endearing. He's bumbling and ill-prepared as the leader of this bank heist, yet he's cagey and street-wise as a New York rat.

We first get a glimpse of how amateurish these criminals are when one of the three bails early on in the robbery, which is a comical moment. We also smile at Pacino's handling of the situation. He realizes the importance of the hostages he suddenly finds himself holding, but far from being heavy-handed, he tries to be decent with them. He whips the crowd up into an anti-establishment frenzy by shouting "Attica!", throwing wads of money into the air, and paying for pizza delivery. He gets into a shouting match with a police sergeant (Charles Durning). He talks to his wife, mother, and transgender lover (Chris Sarandon), and each conversation is touched with pathos, and fantastic. To his mother he says "I'm a fuck-up and I'm an outcast. If you get near me you're gonna get it. You're gonna get fucked over and fucked out." It's the outcast underdog that we find ourselves rooting for.

I love the simple acceptance of his sexuality, which is incidental and doesn't devolve into some type of stereotype - well ahead of its time. Director Sidney Lumet shows the seamy side of New York, but at the same time, its humanity. The characters are blunt, but understanding of one another when they simply say what they want. The relationships in this tense stand-off are fascinating.

I also liked how Lumet gets us into the story immediately. We learn the backstories and characters of the criminals, including Pacino's henchman (John Cazale) gradually, and in little moments, such as finding out he fears their escape plan because he's never been on an airplane before. The film works as both a hostage drama and as a character study. It may be a teeny bit too long at 125 minutes, but has held up well over the years, and is definitely worth watching.
½ January 14, 2018
A well-made bank robbery film. Great acting from Al Pacino and John Cazale. (First and only full viewing - 10/20/2010)
½ November 25, 2017
Dog Day suffers from the same pacey issues that many loquacious films of the 70s do, but in every other respect it is perfect and perfectly executed.
November 8, 2017
Sidney Lumet had an extraordinary talent for making movies that kind of sneak up on you with their greatness. I have seen this film at least a dozen times, and I know I love it, but I'm consistently surprised by just how great it really is and how many different things this film tackles and how well it accomplishes everything. It's a character study and it contains what is easily one of Pacino's greatest performances. (I was struck by how much you can just enjoy staring at Pacino's face on film.) It's about the relatively new phenomena of a media circus surrounding an event, and it's probably never been dealt with in a better way on film. It's pretty much a perfect film.
½ October 8, 2017
Lumet's 'Dog Day Afternoon' is many things. It's a true story. It's the playground of an actor, Al Pacino, who gives an extraordinary performance. It's tension, suspense, black humor. It's a deadlock from its very beginning but still holds attention, maintaining enough hope to not be sad. It depicts four hours in its two-hour length, and does it therefore with vivid detail, paying a particular attention to the depth of the dialogues, and portraying a heartbreakingly human Sonny, an antihero by nature more endearing than a hero for being so fragile, so disoriented.
September 26, 2017
viewed on 12/9/04 (Sun)

I have always perceived this movie as a heavy social commentary tale. The first half turns out to be rather funny. Two bank robbers run into some outrageous hiccups while robbing the bank. An accomplice backed out in the last minute. One bank robber tries to be smart and burns a register in a bin. The smoke attracts a passer-by, risking being caught. After going through all the trouble, the bank vault is actually left with a small sum of money only. Then, without a clue, they are on national TV, surrounded by police, TV media reporters, a huge crowd and ... gay supporters. Al Pacino's character is a bisexual who is married to a chubby woman with two kids and has a guy he claims to be his wife. He robs the bank for his sex change operation. It is afterall a comedy?

Not really. The second half sees the movie declines into darker depths. It ends in a tragedy. I really hope the movie will end with a lighter note. It feels unbalanced.

Based on true events so I kind of cannot complain much.

Rating: B
September 2, 2017
Brilliant movie! Sidney Lumet once again proves that you don't need fancy sets or multiple exotic locations to make one hell of a movie.

Deserves a re-watch and probably a buy.
½ August 25, 2017
Great film! Pacino is superb! I loved the crazy, intense arguing between Pacino and Durning! It felt so real, even adlibbed! The feel of the movie is incredibly real too - sweat robbers and hostages, dirty door window of the bank, almost everyone looking worn out and exhausted. I love when filmmakers realize that makeup and hair aren't perfect in real life! This film also touches on social issues, like gay marriage, trans gender issues, working man poverty, etc. Pretty progressive! I'd definitely watch this again! " ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!" p.s. - love that 3 "Godfather" actors are in this!
August 6, 2017
Ridiculous, but super well shot by Sidney Lumet with Al Pacino grand performance
May 17, 2017
Grade - B+
'Dog Day Afternoon' tells an unbelievable true story and, although its first half is definitely stronger than its second, it succeeds thanks to a great script along with a memorable performance by Al Pacino as the unusual bank robber.
April 23, 2017
Dog Day Afternoon is one of my favourite al pacing films. He plays a very pissed off bank robber. I liked the retro feel of the film and the paranoid atmosphere.
½ April 18, 2017
A fantastic movie all around. Fantastic performance by Pacino, great characterization all throughout, and a fascinating story all make for a tense, funny, and engaging movie.
March 16, 2017
The second Al Pacino and Sidney Lumet film I have seen in a row and unlike Serpico which I liked but felt somewhat cold towards I am struggling to find anything major to dislike about this film. Pacino is great as Sonny and the rest of the cast also put in solid performances, it is edited really well, I like the fact that the film manages to up the tension and keep the plot moving at a quick pace while being situated in one area for the majority of the films length, unusually there is no score which actually is to the benefit of the film as the script is so well written and dark in its humour that a score would take away from the scenes that go from aggressive, to funny and then all the way back to poignant. I can see why this is considered a classic from the 70s and is easily one of my favourite discoveries of the year so far.
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