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Film Reviews, Festivale movie section, a reel life
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Festivale online magazine, January, 1998
Devil's Advocate movie review
Film review, Devil's Advocate, Festivale movie review section

The devil has the best lines

Keanu Reeves is Lomax, and Florida attorney who has never lost a case, no matter how despicable and guilty the defendant. Al Pacino is John Milton (get the reference?), a big-time, big-town lawyer who entices Lomax and his wife (Charlize Theron) to his firm. A new apartment, a big salary, it's the too-good-to-be-true life. And then, all is not as it seems. Sounds a bit like The Firm doesn't it?

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Well, this is the law with a very wicked twist. Remember in Broadcast News when it was suggested that the devil would come to Earth as a big network news anchor? In The Devil's Advocate they suggest that maybe the legal profession, as practiced in America, would be the natural home for evil.

The Devil's Advocate is disarming, a straightforward lawyer story that might come straight out of the pen of John Grisham, it hints more and more strongly of something more wicked as the film progresses. It the lovely wife going mad, or is she perhaps seeing most clearly?

Ultimately the film becomes something other than a lawyer story, but it lacks a growing sense of horror. Pacino revels in his role, playing with the minds of men and women, enjoying the pleasures of the flesh, but Reeves is as stiff as ever. His acting has a jerkiness, as if someone has fused a steel rod to his back, making his movements and his vocal delivery restricted. He needs to project from the depths of his soul, we know that he is a thoughtful actor, but his rigid control interferes with his performances.

Ultimately, this film is not as emotionally exhausting for the audience as it should be, we should come out of the film looking at our boss and wondering, ... are we really alone on this Earth ...

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Ali Kayn

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Just the facts:

Title: Devil's Advocate (1997)
Written by: Jonathan Lemkin & Tony Gilroy, based on the novel by Andrew Niederman
Directed by: Taylor Hackford
Produced by: Arnon Milchan, Arnold Kopelson And Anne Kopelson; Taylor Hackford, Michael Tadross, Erwin Stoff, Barry Bernardi And Steve White; Stephen Brown
Edited by
Director of Photography:

See: official site
The Players: Keanu Reeves; Al Pacino; Charlize Theron; Judith Ivey
For session times of current films, use the cinema listings on the Movie links page. For scheduled release dates, see the coming attractions section.
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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