Critic Consensus: Paterno, elevated by deft direction from Barry Levinson and a strong Al Pacino performance, presents a hard-hitting dramatization of a gut-wrenching real-life story.
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Critic Reviews for Paterno
Brilliant as ever, [Al] Pacino is the master trickster who manages to both demonize and humanize Paterno.
It speaks to viewers with disparate reactions, but it also speaks to anyone who didn't dig into the scandal at the time by outlining what happens when we are too quick to defend the famous faces instead of those claiming to be victimized by them.
Unfortunately, no amount of makeup or prosthetic noses can hold [Al] Pacino back for long, and his growl is so loud sometimes that it overpowers the vision of the wounded god Paterno became.
Al Pacino's Paterno is so convincing, and eerily lifelike it becomes necessary from time to time, to remember that this isn't the actual coach
Audience Reviews for Paterno
Child abuse, ethics and morality and idolatry are the major themes that run through Barry Levinson's movie Paterno. Framed through the Pulitizer Prize winning investigative work of Sara Ganim (Riley Keough) director Barry Levinson juggles all these themes and delivers a credible film dedicated to detailing the what did Penn State football coaching legends Joe Paterno know about the actions of serial child rapist Jerry Sandusky and when did he know it. Performances all around are excellent. Place Al Pacino's performance as one of his finest.
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