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Review The Devil's Advocate (1997): Chilling film with incredible performances!

genre: drama, horror, mystery, thriller







Recently I purchased (online) the Blu-ray of The Devil's Advocate which got delivered today and I decided to watch it. I must have seen this film two or three times before but that has been a long time ago so I was real curious to find out if it still would hold up.

The answer is yes. In fact now I am convinced that The Devil's Advocate is a classic film. Even knowing how events will play out the film remains dark and chilling. This can be credited to the direction of Taylor Hackford and the incredible performances by the main cast. In particular Al Pacino who is menacing and terrifying just because of his expressions. I remember an interview where Al Pacino discussed that the film should not be special effects heavy. Whether they followed his advice or it was planned all along it turns out to be an incredible wise decision since most of the terror comes from Pacino himself. That and the atmospheric build up of suspense and dread. For the most part subtle and suggestive. It is very easy to dismiss the fantastic sequences as illusions or hallucinations. Charlize Theron's character is who sells the suffocating terror as she is the one plagued by nasty dreams and more. It is quite disturbing to see what this strong-minded and confident woman has to go through and how she ends up. Especially because of Keanu's character disinterest to support her fully. Yet he is not intentionally careless since he is being manipulated constantly. The moment he realizes what's going on it hits him. Hard. It is in this moment you see a Keanu Reeves you have never seen before.  

Al Pacino of course is the one who steals the show and it's quite perplexing that his performance wasn't nominated for an Oscar. I think his role here is superior to that of the one in Scent of a Woman. And that is saying something since he was excellent in that one. He does so much with mere expressions. The way he looks or smiles. It's very unnerving at times.

The Devil's Advocate is a title you won't get bored of even after multiple viewings. It's strength comes from the acting and direction. If for some reason you haven't seen this before then please go do so at once. You will love it and keep loving it.


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