The Last Rites of Joe May - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Rites of Joe May Reviews

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½ September 16, 2014
Very effective story that is a showcase for the acting talents of Dennis Farina.
December 29, 2013
good gangsta pic/vehicle for the late dennis farina
December 29, 2013
Probably the best movie of my favorite fellow Chicagoan, Dennis Farina. A true Chicagoan and great man.
October 22, 2013
Dennis Farina carries this movie from start to finish. No real surprises, the story and script are ok but Farina makes it much better than it would have been with a lesser actor in the lead. The camera work is likewise very well done, as are all the other actors. Its a good flick.
June 22, 2013
This is a wonderful film. Dennis Farina is superb. The entire cast is wonderful. Brutal yet beautiful. Sad yet exhilarating. If you like character-driven film about real people in real situations without excessive dialogue, you'll love this film.
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2013
While not really showing us anything we haven't seen before, writer/director Joe Maggio offers a solid script and a well rounded title character that Dennis Farina swallows whole like a plate of spaghetti.

Farina is so naturally perfect in this character, which shouldn't surprise as he's played mob types most of his career - but here, even when the script teeters into some truly well worn territory (like how Farina wasn't "there" for his son while said son was growing up), he still remains totally convincing.

The setup here is a good one; Farina gets pneumonia and is forced into an almost 2 month stay in the hospital. When released he discovers that his car has been towed, and in typical governmental fashion, have termed the car "abandoned" and therefore sold at auction. He also discovers that his landlord, figuring that Farina is dead, has tossed his possessions and rented his apartment to a single woman and her 7 year old daughter.

Situations force them all together and a bit of bonding ensues, but it is not in the tale itself, but in the character study of Joe May that gives this film an interest factor. A low level hood who survives by fencing stolen or illegal goods, Joe believes that he is a player; far more important than he actually is. His sense of place is made evident in scenes where he cow tows to a boss (wonderfully played by Gary Cole) and then steps outside the restaurant and refuses a gift from a "lowly" driver, like an officer refusing to step into the enlisted men's club.

From his mannerisms and actions we find out not only who Joe is, but who HE thinks he is, and it is his steadfast refusal to believe that his time has passed that makes him a tragic figure. The final resolution shows the measure of a man, and Maggio does a wonderful job of putting it all into perspective with the closing scene involving Cole.

A flawed man, to be sure, but a real one - and Farina gives this character a chance to breath.
Super Reviewer
½ August 26, 2012
Joe Maggio's expectedly bleak tale of an aging, world-weary hustler is striking in almost every aspect. Underrated actor Denis Farina is finally given a well-written character to work with, and the result is a touching, brilliantly understated performance that works as the film's main selling point. As well, Maggio's down-to-earth direction complements the film's grim tone, which is captured excellently through the use of dark lighting and gritty camerawork. "The Last Rites of May" isn't outstanding due to its being routinely-written and sluggishly-paced, but it's nevertheless an unquestionably well-made character study and the obvious high points of both Maggio's and Farina's careers.
June 16, 2012
"How do I know that's not a bunch of ones with a twenty wrapped around it?" -Vinny Gambini
May 15, 2012
Unbelievable performance from the legend that is Dennis Farina in this tale of redemption. Farina must have the highest swear word count in cinema but when he says fuck, cock sucker etc it sounds beautiful almost shakespearan.
May 1, 2012
Dennis Farina is great as Joe May, movie is so datk and cold Farina is acting so great as an old and sick man, you feel the pain just like him too. Great movie.
½ January 15, 2012
Decent Movie. Filmed in Chicago with Dennis Farina. Good Story line, and well acted.
December 30, 2011
Good movie... bad ending
December 25, 2011
This film reminded me of the glory days of 70's cinema with it's bleak landscapes, wry sense of humor, unpredictability, and overall hard hitting realism. Dennis Farina gives an award worthy performance as a hustler at the end of the line, attempting to find some meaning in his life, while keeping some vicious dogs [crooked cops, scum bag associates] at bay. The film captures the scummy side of Chicago better than anything I've seen in recent, or distant memory. I loved how it flirted with the "old guy looking for his last score" cinematic cliche, and keep you guessing. This film is touching, uncompromising, and well worth seeking out.
November 26, 2011
great acting, writing, directing, love it.
November 7, 2011
Farina's best to date. His performance is stunning....strong,sensetive old neighborhood at it's best...KJR
½ October 30, 2011
This is a wonderful film about a petty hustler who, in the waning times of his life, finds his old self-indulgent lifestyle difficult to sustain. With few prospects ahead of him, and having burned the bridges that could have made a transition out of his lifestyle possible, the world seems to close in around him. How one deals in old age with the consequences of lifelong choices is something you don't have to be a short-money hustler to relate to. This is a poignant story, occasionally funny but also very sad. The ending was as it should be; and the final scene in particular, as the sounds continued on even into the credits, was nicely done. The direct has said that he was influenced by the films of the early 70s, and I believe that this movie is a worthy homage to some of the great films of that era.
½ October 6, 2011
Surprisingly good. Very well acted, not too predictable, heartwarming at times, uncomfortable at times. It captured a moment in these characters' lives and showed it on screen. It's a good, well made film.
*Sorry for the sparse review, but I'm just not in the analyzing mood tonight*
½ October 6, 2011
Thoroughly mediocre, but nice to see some local Chicago spots like Roberto Clemente High School. I saw this tonight at the International Film Festival and Dennis Farina was there.
May 19, 2011
A cliched drama about a guy who is struggling and finds a mother and daughter that become his family. An otherwise overdone movie that was saved by the fantastic performance of Dennis Farina.
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