• Trust Weighted Great
  • 79 Trust Points

On Demand

Netflix On Demand

Amazon Instant Video On Demand

$2.99 Rental

iTunes On Demand

Not Available


Tag Tree


Wick's Review

Created Nov 27, 2008 10:03PM PST • Edited Dec 30, 2021 02:14AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Great 4.0

    This early Al Pacino classic holds up well, especially as a prototype for the bevy of counterculture hero and realistic cop movies that followed.

    Highly recommended for cop movie fans, Pacino fans and those interested in 60s counterculture.

  3. Very Good 3.5

    Pacino’s perfect performance outshines everyone else on screen. His nasally hippie-cop remains an icon of cool, and established him as a counter-culture posterboy, right up there with Dustin Hoffman’s Ratso Rizzo and other non-John Waynes. Coming a year after his breakout performance in the Godfather, Serpico marked Pacino as an actor of uncommon range and power.

    Tony Roberts – always distinctive – provides the only other memorable performance. His stoner scene with Pacino is a classic hoot.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Good 3.0
  6. Female Costars Good 3.0
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Great 4.0

    What we often think of as the 60s actually happened – or went wide – in the 70s. This movie proves the point, showing the evolution of a clean-cut, ethnic cop into a shaggy, sensitive seeker living the bohemian life in Greenwich Village.

    Apparently they filmed this progression in reverse. According to IMDB, “Al Pacino began with long hair and a beard, then for each scene, his hair and beard were trimmed bit by bit until he became clean-cut.”

  9. Direction Great 4.0
  10. Play Really Great 4.5
  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.9

    Mild by current standards, though two scenes stand out. Serpico gets shot in the face, with the aftermath well depicted. He also gets dumped by his girlfriend while they’re taking a bath together, with the camera lingering on their bare chests.

    Interestingly, the starlet playing the faithless girlfriend apparently later married Serpico producer Martin Bregman, demonstrating yet again that there’s no business like show business.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Fierce 2.0
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.0
  18. Glib 1.2

    Impressively realistic according to most accounts. In fact, much of the movie’s impact stemmed from being one of the first accurate depictions of police life, even absent the corruption. Subsequent movies and TV shows – like Hill Street Blues – were soon to emulate this realism.

    Even Serpico’s gunshot to the face and its aftermath are accurate, as far as his Wikipedia bio is concerned.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.5

    One known reality deviation is that Leslie Lane, the girlfriend who dumped him in the bathtub, was really his wife of the time. Apparently he wouldn’t have come across as a liberated 60s guy if already married.

  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


Subscribe to Serpico 0 replies, 0 voices
No comments as yet.