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Wick's Review

Created Feb 24, 2009 09:23PM PST • Edited Jul 24, 2014 12:09PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Engrossing and terrifically sexy, this perfect thriller combines star power, a deep cast, and a plot worthy of Hitchcock to create a movie that never goes out of style.

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Classic Pacino for sure, but Ellen Barkin peaks in this movie as a blonde ultra minx: skintight skirts and jeans wrapped around her high and mighty ass, over-the-top big hair, all-night libido and that crooked grin – heart melting – she so famously sports. Shot during her tumultuous marriage to Gabriel Byrne, Sea of Love came a couple of years after she torched the screen with future hubby Byrne in Siesta and with Dennis Quaid in The Big Easy, a three year run of femme fatality as sultry as any in film history.

    She’s at her feline best here. Strutting around Al’s apartment, wrapping her bare body across his back and then sliding around his waist, she makes future cougars like Samantha from Sex and the City look positively demure. A fantasy MILF, she fucks all night, once more in the morning, returns home to be a Mom all day, then puts on the heels and lingerie to do it again the next night.

    Oh, yeah, Pacino is stellar as well. Perhaps this isn’t one of his signature roles, but then Michael Corleone and Frank Serpico tend to force every other role – even great ones like this – into the back seat.

    John Goodman positively tickles as the other half of Pacino’s “two man task force,” smirking his way through in very entertaining fashion.

    Several terrific character actors spice up the proceedings.

    • Richard Jenkins, a Best Actor nominee this year for The Visitor, cuts a distinctive figure as the husband of Pacino’s ex, and his partner on the job!
    • John Spencer, later to be famous as Leo on The West Wing, serves as a convincingly earthy Lt.
    • William Hickey, a freaky old guy who is instantly recognizable, creates yet another indelible image as Pacino’s father.
    • Samuel L. Jackson even has a brief role.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    The movie captures NY and the late 80s both: thin ties, big hair, shoulder pads, the new phenomena of personal ads, all just before cell phones made phone booths obsolete. Plus it’s studded with great scenes.

    • Meet the Yankees: We learn that Pacino is wily, quick, and decent.
    • Detective’s Banquet: We learn that he drinks like a fish, and we meet Goodman. The scene where they all join on a singalong of Sea of Love rivals You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling from Top Gun.
    • Speed dating scenes: Funny and quick.
    • Shoe Store next to Giorgio: We learn that Barkin works uptown as well as she gets down afterwards.
  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    Like his female lead, director Harold Becker peaked with this movie.

  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    A plot worthy of Hitchcock the master, albeit with dialog that occasionally strikes a clunker.

  11. Music Perfect 5.0

    Sea of Love: Rarely has a title song – or song title – been used so effectively.

  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.8

    This movie defines the term erotic thriller. Sea of love, indeed.

  15. Sex Erotic 3.5
  16. Violence Fierce 2.5
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Glib 1.3

    Great thriller plot, which is to say circumstantially unlikely but dramatically unrelenting. As for bioreality, could these guys drink as heavily as they did and still function? A bit hard to swallow, so to speak.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.8
  20. Biological Glib 1.4
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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