Turk and Rooster, two aging NYPD detectives who have been longtime partners are faced with a serial killer who is murdering sociopathic criminals. They both have personal issues, and when they start working with a younger ... more »team, Perez and Riley, tensions between the pairs of partners is inevitable, especially since Turk is now living with Perez's ex-girlfriend, also a homicide detective.« less
Second DeNiro/Pacino Team-Up Is Good, But Could Have Better
Terence Allen | Atlanta, GA USA | 11/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Righteous Kill is only the second pairing of two of cinema's greatest actors - Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Their first on-screen collaboration, only featured them together in a couple of scenes, and left the public wanting more.
Righteous Kill has them playing NYC detective partners who've been on the job for 30 years. A serial killer start killing criminals who gotten off on technicalities. Soon, all the evidence points to the killer being a cop. And the cop would seem to be De Niro's character, Turk, a rough-edged type who isn't above falsifying evidence to convict suspects. He's balanced out by Pacino's Rooster, a calm, soothing influence on Turk in a relationship that seems as much like a marriage as it does a professional partnership. Added to the mix are John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg as younger cops investigating the killings and Carlo Gugino as a forensic specialist in a relationship with DeNiro.
The movie works well as a police drama, less so as a mystery, although the solution of the killings does take some interesting turns. If two lesser actors were playing Turk and Rooster, the film might have been touted as asking interesting questions about the nature of friendships, partnerships, and romantic relationship amid all the stresses and strains of police work. But with De Niro and Pacino in tow, the viewer expects more, and doesn't necessarily get it with this film.
However, the two greats still know how to pull off great performance, and know how to elicit sympathy, affection, and every other possible emotion from an audience. Righteous Kill isn't a complete misfire, but might require a third teaming of these great actors."
Above Average Thriller
Eric M. Milillo | West Islip, NY | 01/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two veteran cops, Turk and Rooster (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) work to solve a string of murders in which the victims are criminals that they have previously arrested and have been acquitted of their crimes. Something's seems a bit fishy, at least that's what two younger cops, Detectives Riley and Perez (Donnie Wahlberg, John Leguizamo) start to think. Furthermore, they suspect it's a cop. Anyway you splice it, the decorated members of the NYPD are looking for a killer. One who leaves a bit of poetry at every scene and happens to murder the filth of society that has slipped through the cracks of the judicial system.
"Righteous Kill" is only a slightly above average thriller given the big name talent. De Niro and Pacino both put forth great performances; De Niro as the hot headed, do whatever it takes to get a conviction cop and Pacino as a much calmer, honest detective. It seems a bit cliché, the whole good cop bad cop, but nonetheless it worked well and the duo's performances were very well balanced to convey not just an occupational partnership, but also a friendship. While the film will leave the audience thinking they know all the answers within the first twenty minutes, the plot does take some interesting turns.
It's great to see the two legendary actors are still performing. "Righteous Kill" is not completely predictable nor is it unwatchable. Give it a try. "
N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 01/11/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Seeing Al Pacino and Robert De Niro together on-screen is the kind of ultra-rare treat that could make any film worth seeing. That fact alone is the only reason that Righteous Kill is worth seeing in the very least, as both cinematic icons elevate what would be an otherwise dismal cop drama to something that is only instead a disappointing flick that isn't worthy of having Pacino and De Niro in the lead roles. Both play aging veteran cops who find themselves embroiled in a serial killer case in which there are some big implications, and the twisting screenplay ends up getting to the point of being purely incomprehensible, with a majority of the major story developments not being surprising in the least, and the choppy film editing doesn't help things either. Directed by Jon Avnet, who directed Pacino in the unbelievably bad 88 Minutes, Righteous Kill just ends up not being worthy of the immense talents of Pacino and De Niro, and sadly, both of whom just seem to be on autopilot here. Other actors from John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Carla Gugino, Brian Dennehy, and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, are just wasted here in supporting roles. Still, seeing Pacino and De Niro on screen together for the first time since Heat is something special indeed, and makes the film worth seeing on its own. I f you're expecting another Heat however, or anything remotely close, you've definitely come to the wrong place."
This could have been great
Bryan Creel | 03/03/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Righteous Kill could have been awesome with DeNiro and Pacino. It wasn't. The two superstars didn't have a great chemistry, and even worse, didn't have a great writer. The plot just didn't grip me and I couldn't summon any caring for the characters. I reserve one star ratings for movies I can't even finish, and this was one of them."
Great Actors; Ham-Fisted Plot
Ana Mardoll | United States | 05/11/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Righteous Kill / B0015OKWL2
I really wanted to like Righteous Kill. I love ambiguous morality dramas like The Brave One (Widescreen Edition), and was looking forward to seeing the psychology behind a police vigilante - what motivates him (revenge? justice? protection? disgust? anger?) and whether or not we would agree with his motives, if not his methods. With Pacino and De Niro, I was sure I couldn't be disappointed. In the end, I was both right and wrong. I was disappointed with the movie, but not with the acting. It was the ham-fisted plot that did it for me.
The movie starts out, promisingly enough, with De Niro performing a voice-over, video-taped confession - explaining why he murdered his victims, what motivated him, how he chose them. We flash back to 'the beginning' and are treated to the stereotypical long standing cop-partnership: De Niro is the hot-head and Pacino is the mediator, calming him down and keeping him out of trouble. Pacino cleans up De Niro's messes and holds the deep tenderness and understanding that seems to characterize long marriages and cop partnerships.
As De Niro explodes repeatedly over various incidents ranging from disputed baseball plays and criminals walking free on court technicalities, the savvy movie goer begins to find themselves on the edge of a doubt. As De Niro sweats under the inquiring gaze of the other police officers and seems constantly on the verge of discovery, it hits us between the eyes that De Niro can't be the killer, because he's just too obvious a set-up. The voice-over confession, the constant raging temper, the internal investigation: all these are so blatant, obvious, and ham-fisted that we realize, long before we are supposed to, that the killer must be Pacino because, well, De Niro is just too obvious.
This is irritating. As an avid movie-watcher, I expect twists, sure, but the twist shouldn't be set-up so obvious that it's being shoved in your face. When the entire movie seems to be one long shout of "De Niro is the killer!! De Niro is the killer!!", then the movie-goer is forced to switch gears from the subtle intricacies of vigilantism and into the teeth-grinding, "Well, who is the REAL killer?" mode. Let's see, it can't be De Niro because he's too obvious. It can't be his girlfriend because she's there to be a sex object and a victim, and not anything so glamorous as The Killer. (Which is a shame, because it would have been an interesting twist, with Pacino thinking that De Niro is the killer and covering for him, only to find that he had misjudged his partner all this time.) Nope, it's got to be Pacino because he's a head-line name and his character is charming and patient, which is an extremely suspicious thing to be in these sorts of movies.
After the viewer is slammed in the fact with the "twist" thirty minutes ahead of schedule, all interest is lost. The movie isn't really about exploring vigilantism, or delving into the psyche of someone who witnesses daily horrors - it's about finding out that Pacino is the real killer. Having already let that slip via the ham-fisted set-up of De Niro, there's nothing much left to do but let it grind down to the end.
This movie provides closed captions for the hearing impaired."