The Rat Pack - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rat Pack Reviews

Page 1 of 3
April 5, 2016
For fans of The Rat Pack this is a must-see. Some people have a hard time accepting Liotta as Sinatra. After about 30 minutes it was no problem for me. All the actors brought a lot of emotion to their roles. This could have ended up really dopey - this ended up with a good edge that kept it interesting. A tad too long though the period sets, cars, houses, furniture were excellent and added a lot to the enjoyment. You have to appreciate the era and The Rat Pack though to really enjoy this movie. The politics and ties to the mob did not pull many punches which I appreciated.
October 1, 2014
While certainly not the definitive account, this inventive biopic mixes politics and history with dazzling color and visual style.
June 6, 2013
As interesting from a historical perspective as from an entertainment one. Great performances all-around.
April 24, 2012
Not bad for a cable movie. Never really bought Liotta as Sinatra. Joe Mantegna and Don Cheadle are very good as Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. the movies mixes in politics as Frank Sinatra works behind the scenes to get JFK elected President.
February 22, 2011
Hello, pointless frame story. Hello misogyny. Goodbye two hours of my life I could've spent with a Joan Crawford movie.
½ February 22, 2011
A bit TV movie-ish, but cool none the less...
½ February 19, 2011
Good biopic on Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack": Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford & Joey Bishop. Mostly concentrates on their links with the Kennedys and organised crime, and how this helped shape their history. Gives a great perspective on the power wielded by Sinatra, especially, and the rest.

The problem is that the casting is a bit off. Ray Liotta looks nothing like Frank Sinatra, and doesn't come off as convincing. Joe Mantegna looks like Dean Martin, but just doesn't seem right for the role. Angus Macfadyen is OK as Peter Lawford, though the accent is a bit irritating.

Performance of the movie goes to Don Cheadle, as Sammy Davis Jr. He is superb in the role, and captures well the torment suffered by Davis in a still-racially-divided USA.

Good, but could have been better.
½ June 20, 2010
A pretty intense look at the different lifestyles of Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, and Dean Martin, the fifth member is left out a little bit. It shows their independent struggles and triumphs and their rise and fall as the pack. The most interesting for me was Don Cheadle's portrayal of Sammy, he did a great job showing his small pains, and how he dealt with the racism. If you love their music, check out this movie.
½ June 7, 2010
better than average but still a way to go to be the Kings of Cool
June 4, 2010
The "Rat Pack" is mostly about about politics and Frank Sinatra, and then about the Rat Pack. From what I have read of Sinatra's activities, I think this accurately covers his obsessive involvement with JFK and the Kennedy clan. Although the movie stops short of creating hypothetical situations, or introducing names like Jack Ruby or Lee Harvey certainly got me thinking that way.
April 4, 2010
It probably shouldn't be a 5 but I just loved it. I'm a huge Sinatra fan. Cool, classy and toe tapping film. Brilliant!!!
March 26, 2010
It's a good movie for a little while, like while they are entertainers. Then politics get involved and it is nothing but incoherent yelling and plot.
½ July 6, 2009
what a boring movie. i was expecting more lounge act less angst. i wish i'd seen it 10 years ago so i could just watch it and not sit confused as to why fat tony and grissom are in a movie together.
May 16, 2009
Enjoyed this one and the cast was great; it's what I kinda imagined it to be like.
May 14, 2009
The movies Hollywood makes about lowlives tend to glamourise them, usually quite intentionally, and even when they allegedly criticise their subjects, they generally manage to attract a subset of the audience to the lifestyle depicted on screen. This is why I normally do not watch biopics about criminals and other degenerates, and prefer to stick to documentaries, if that. I am therefore not the ideal reviewer for "The Rat Pack", although I was quite fond of Cohen's "Dragon."

"The Rat Pack" is probably more faithful to the facts than Cohen's earlier biography of Bruce Lee: released the same year as Seymour Hersh's hardhitting expose of the Kennedy administration, "The Dark Side of Camelot", it does not try to whitewash Sinatra's role as a mediator between Kennedy and Sam Giancana's maffia, which got the Democrat candidate elected. On the contrary, much of the film seems to be about the difficult position Sinatra found himself in because of his involvement with those two crowds, and how it affected his relationships with the other members of the so-called "Rat Pack" (a group of womanising, chain-smoking and heavy drinking entertainers.)

Perhaps the biggest problem with the movie is that its title fails to identify its main focus (this is not an ensemble piece about the "Rat Pack", although much is said about Sinatra's friendship with Sammy Davis Jr and his often violent conflicts with Peter Lawford) and it is constantly tempted to veer off target, because the period was so full of drama, and Cohen wants to get much of it in, from the death of Marilyn Monroe to the Civil Rights movement or the Bay of Pigs fiasco - all of these being alluded to through newsreels or newspaper headlines flashing across the screen rather than being dramatized.

This HBO TV movie also tries too hard to rival with Hollywood's 100,000,000 biopics, using every trick in the cinematographer's book to look more glossy and sophisticated than it can afford, from filters to smoke machines and soft focus. Just as seriously, I never felt that Ray Liotta "was" Sinatra or that William Petersen "was" JFK, just because the physical differences were too great. Joe Mantegna did look the part as Dean Martin, but unfortunately, his character is virtually non-existent, so that the only main character with any physical believability was Don Cheadle as Sammy Davis Jr, but he was also much too athletic and about five inches too high. Moreover, I did feel that Davis was stereotyped into the black victim of 1950s prejudice and may have been shown a little too much sympathy by the filmmakers. His romance with Swedish blonde May Britt is presented in a very idealised way, when it was in fact ill-fated (according to Wikipedia, "Davis performed almost continuously and spent little time with his wife. They divorced in 1968, after Davis admitted to having had an affair with singer Lola Falana.")

The film also uses a lot of rough language, as much of it is devoted to borderline psychopathic rows between Sinatra and his male and female entourage, and seems to be saying that however much one parties and sleeps around, one remains basically a decent fellow so long as one is not a racist, which has been the cultural drift for decades.
½ April 12, 2009
This movie left me wanting to know more about the Rat Pack. I found the movie entertaining and overall well made.
March 8, 2009
One of my favorite TV movies. I would have paid money to watch this in the theatre. Worth it for Don Cheadle and Joe Mantegna alone.
February 8, 2009
wow umn what a movie..i have seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a pretty good movie 2 watch...its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie..i think that ray liotta is great as frank sinatra..i think that even though its only a made for tv movie but its worth watching,,,i think that the director of this Television, Drama movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie..its a great movie n its worth watching
½ February 3, 2009
Good portrayal of the Rat Pack and their various friends of both the glittering and murky associations. John F Kennedy is obviously amongst the former but his daddy, Joseph P Kennedy, would appear to fall into the latter!
Page 1 of 3