Story is pretty average (based on a true story, but still not terribly fascinating), and it definitely drags in a couple places, but Pacino is great. He really needs to work with Lumet more often, because between this and Dog Day Afternoon, I think Lumet gets the best performances out of him.
Al Pacino's brilliant performance and Sidney Lumet's flawless direction transforms what would have been a decent cop drama to a great film, albeit the score was rather cheesy and innapproraite at times.
I love Pacino in this role as a good cop who won't bend his morals even at the risk of personal harm. There is something oddly powerful about his short stature and hippie dress combined with his unflinching sense of right and wrong.
This feels like a sane reaction to the protofascist DIRTY HARRY. Pacino is compelling and makes Serpico's integrity feel like a true passion rather than grandstanding heroics. The cast is also populated with a slew of "hey it's that guy!" actors. The film (based on a true story) has a gritty realism and a narrative that makes economical use of jump cuts without disorienting the viewer. It's not the kind of movie that's worth getting too excited about, but it's very solid and watchable.
One of the all-time great career performances of Pacino. The film does a great job of developing a feeling of claustrophobia as it often seems that there is simply no way out for Serpico. However the supporting cast can't quite live up to the performance of Pacino here and some shots and parts of the soundtrack seem a bit out of place, it doesn't take much away though as the movie is nicely tied with a ribbon in the end and definitely a must-see for Pacino fans.
I've always considered Pacino to be a great actor (especially after seeing Dog Day Afternoon) but this can be looked upon as the performance that made him one of my favorites. Of course he had help from one of the all time greatest directors Sidney Lumet. The two of them are just magic and every scene is drenched in their wonderful aura.
Sometimes I think Al Pacino may have been the best actor of the 70's and that is one high honor. Of course Sidney Lumet was one of the better directors of the 70's turning out a few masterpieces, this one included. The script is great too and I love it whenever I can watch 70's New York on screen. It does a feel a bit too long but a classic nonetheless.