True Confessions - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

True Confessions Reviews

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August 2, 2017
The acting compensates for its lackluster ending.
April 25, 2016
Robert de Niro plays an L.A. priest whose brother, a cop played by Robert Duvall, investigates a crime involving a prominent businessman closely linked to the archdiocese. De Niro, his ambitions turned to nothing, ends his days in much reduced circumstances, and thanks his brother for bringing him down to earth.
April 2, 2016
This is a very good film, but it should have been a great one, given the great material and actors. I had the impression that I had watched a heavily edited film, with things missing from a director's cut that could have provided greater continuity and coherence. So this is one of those very good films that left me neverthless feeling disappointed at what could have been.
September 16, 2015
With the kind of star power that this movie had I guess I was just expecting more from it. The movie was good, very enjoyable. But I am relatively sure I will forget this movie, it just isn't memorable.
½ August 24, 2015
John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion were, at one time, two of the best screenwriters in the business. It doesn't mean they were always successful. Their script for "True Confession" is a smart and intellectual examination of corruption at the core of two of the most hypocritical institutions in the world: The men who enforce the law and the men who offer forgiveness for their sins. The idea of using two brothers to represent The Cops and The Catholic Church is a strong idea. The idea of trying to bring in the infamous "Black Dahlia" murder is also an interesting twist.

The problem is that Dunne/Didions' script is so busy being "smart" and "intellectual" -- they forgot to add some wit, suspense or anything beyond endless chattering.

Duvall and De Niro are both solid, but their parts are are so restrained by dialog that neither can find a way out of the box.

It probably didn't help that Ulu Grosbard was given the task of the film's director. Grosbard was exceptional with character driven films. It must have seemed the logical choice. Sadly, despite all the "chatter" neither characters are truly formed. The brothers are more like talking ideas than fully-fleshed characters.

It is interesting that RT shows the critics' rating as 73%, but if one actually follows "the fresh" ratings to the reviews, most of these critics did not like the film. ?
½ May 13, 2015
The after affects of the collapse on United Artists caused by the debacle of Heavens gate meant that most films which followed where eclipsed by the massive failure of that film.
Ulu Grosbards LA noir was one of those films and despite some small issues this really is a criminally neglected gem .
Robert De Niro plays a high ranking priest who enjoys all the trappings LA high society brings him and his ability to fix problems which arise from time to time.
Robert Duvall plays his cop brother who is a more earthy and hard-bitten soul who has a more cynical view of his surrounding's
When a call girl is found cut in half on a piece of waste ground a relatively simple murder case becomes more complex embroiling both brothers .
De Niro and Duvall are both in outstanding form here despite my thinking they should have played the other role they give the film a high gloss edge which keeps you guessing all the way to the end.
The film is in a similar vein to Chinatown in its attacks on corruption and hypocrisy in LA society and how in the end the bad dealings of some will overcome the valiant efforts of the many.
The film can feel a little slow in places but if your willing to stick with it this is a film which ranks alongside the best neo noir films of the period
½ November 29, 2014
Two great actors in a murder mystery. Need I say more?
November 8, 2014
Didn't really buy in (which was a shame). Too emotional on Duvall's part
October 24, 2014
The novel is terrific and this strangely overlooked winner is close behind. LA noir filled with engaging characters and unexpected events. DeNiro excellent, as he always was, at this early stage of his career.
½ June 20, 2014
Looks and sounds good, but merely something to have in the background. I'm agreeing with William F. Buckley, Jr., De Niro was miscast and is not entirely convincing.
February 19, 2014
Considering all the talent involved, "True Confession" could've been so much more--what a shame.
December 30, 2013
The acting is fine, but the story is fairly slow moving.
December 27, 2013
I watched this film at just the right time because today I also started playing "L.A. Noir" today and they have very much the same look and feel. Both have a lot of brightly lit, but still very noir feeling 1950s Los Angeles. The story involves two brothers, one a LA police detective and the other a rising star in the Catholic church, who are both connected to a murder investigation. The film has a bit more of a gritty, realistic feel to old LA than "Chinatown," but it also makes the film feel a bit more drab. The look and feel of the film is it's the main strength because the story is ponderously slow. However, the production design, photography, music and atmosphere, along with the great Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall, make it well worth watching if you're in a patient mood for a slow movie Black Dahlia-like mystery. Charles Durning, Kenneth McMillan, Burgess Meredith, Dan Hedaya and James Hong help make-up a solid supporting cast.
September 6, 2013
This is one of my all time favorite movies.
½ July 25, 2013
It isn't paced well, and there are too many moments of silent brooding and nothing else, but the core of the story is good, and I felt something by the end of it. Not near as good as it should have been, but not bad either.
½ July 9, 2013
This one was a joy to watch. DeNiro and Duvall are at the top of their games in this one and have an amazing script and very well written characters to sink their acting chops into. They do not disappoint and provide us with a wonderful show of tour de force acting. The movie itself is a real film noir throwback kind of film and for fans of the genre it is not to be missed.
½ June 11, 2013
It's a well known fact the Irish have more hemorrhoids than other people

Father Des Spellacy is an aspiring priest with a bright future within the church. Detective Tom Spellacy is the father's brother, he has a very checkered past, and he is brought in to help solve who is behind a murdered prostitute. Somehow, each of their worlds is tied to the crime. Can they solve the mystery without bringing each other down?

"Want to play carnival?"
"What's that?"
"It's when I sit on your face and you guest my weight."

Ulu Grosbard, director of Falling in Love, The Deep End of the Ocean, Georgia, The Subject was Roses, and Straight Time, delivers True Confessions. The storyline for this picture is just okay and not overly well presented. The characters are interesting and the conclusion is pretty good but the script and overall plot could have been better. The acting is pretty good and the cast includes Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Charles Durning, Cyril Cusack, and Kenneth McMillan.

"You show me a priest whose eyes twinkly all of the time and I'll show you a moron."

I DVR'd this picture off a resent Robert Duvall marathon on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). This was the first time this picture has aired on TCM. It should be the last. This is far from what I would call "a classic movie." This was the first movie Duvall and DeNiro were in together (technically, they were both in Godfather 2, but they didn't have a single scene together in that picture). Overall, I found this movie a bit bland and boring. I recommend skipping this picture.

"I need you like I need another fuck."

Grade: C
May 28, 2013
Yes, slow....but so too is much of life. Perfect ending.
May 22, 2013
Two exciting, dangerous actors have little to do: Duvall spends too much time pacing and waiting; De Niro's big scene has him hanging up his vestments.
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