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Sea of Love
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Reviews & Ratings for
Sea of Love More at IMDbPro »

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59 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Great, funny cop thriller. Goodman-Pacino pairing is gold!

7/10
Author: Ben Parker (ben.cheshire@optusnet.com.au) from Australia
29 June 2004

Men who've answered personal ads in the lonely hearts column featuring poetry are being found naked, face down on their beds. There are cigarette butts with lipstick on them in their ashtrays. Detective Frank Keller (Al Pacino), along with his sidekick Sherman (John Goodman), decide to enter their own ad in the lonely hearts column, and try to match the killer's fingerprints.

A great premise that definitely justifies making yet another police procedural, this Al Pacino vehicle won this reviewer over, which is hard to do these days with cop thrillers - once you see enough they all start to look the same.

But here we've got a great script, with some terrific wisecracking cop lines, great actors, especially Pacino, Goodman and sexy Ellen Barkin - which make for a very enjoyable ride. Sure the score is a little 80's, and Ellen Barkin may look back and regret that hair-do, but otherwise this is a very successful piece of film.

This is largely due to the terrific screen presence of Al Pacino - he's such a firecracker! And the hugely enjoyable chemistry between partners Pacino and John Goodman. They play off each other so well. The dating scenes are particularly fun - personal highlights for me. And, of course, Ellen Barkin exudes sensuality. Its incredible.

The title may sound pulpy and cheap - but its for good cause. We find out in the first few minutes that its the name of the song the killer was playing when the first murder of the film occured. Its also ironic - the crime-ridden world of this film is anything but a sea of love.

7/10. Must-see for Pacino fans and fans of cop thrillers. For everyone else, not essential, but great saturday night fair.

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60 out of 83 people found the following review useful:

"Do you remember the sea of love"? I hope so because it's one of the best and most underrated thrillers ever made!

8/10
Author: Brian-272 from Oakwood, Virginia USA
3 June 2001

I remember seeing Sea of Love at the theater in 1989 and left saying to myself I had just seen one of the best thrillers made. Sea of Love is just one of those movies that kept me in great suspense and excitement I really felt surprised in the end when the killer was revealed. Since then I have caught Sea of Love about a dozen times on cable and still to this day enjoy the thrilling drama. The story is just great with the legend Al Pacino as Detective Frank Keller who tries to catch and bait a lonely hearts killer. Pacino is helped in his search by Detective Sherman played great by the very funny John Goodman this was one of the better performances from Goodman. Then the search takes a good but yet a bad turn when Pacino (Detective Frank Keller) finds an interesting friend a very sexy and erotic type looking female played marvelously by the attractive Ellen Barkin. I must say that with the stunning performance Ellen gave with this role she should have gotten any work she wanted to in films. I will not say nothing to any of you who haven't seen the film I will let you enjoy the surprise like I did the first time I saw Sea of Love. Sea of Love doesn't get the respect it deserves still it airs on cable but watch this on a dark and rainy night alone or day for that matter and feel the thrills and suspense of this steaming thriller you would see it's one of the best films around I don't see who would or could dislike this so take a swim in the sea of love!

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47 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Edgy, smart thriller

8/10
Author: The_Core from Seattle, WA. USA
21 January 2002

Great screenplay, acting and settings combine to make a dynamite film. The constant tension between the police investigation and Pacino's love interest keep the suspense going strong, and the chemistry between Barkin and Pacino is fabulous. John Goodman is excellent as always, the sex/death themes add to the tension, and the ending will throw most for a loop... this film delivers. Try it, you'll like it.

8/10

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30 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

I Remember Sea of Love -

8/10
Author: Galina from Virginia, USA
3 November 2006

I've watched it many times and never get tired of it. "Sea of Love" is one of few films where Al Pacino is very sexy, and it is adds to the film's many pleasures. The rest of them are - well constructed story of a New York Homicide cop (Pacino) attracted to a mysterious blond woman with a charming crooked grin (Ellen Barkin - talented, sexy and underrated actress) who may or may not be a serial killer. The chemistry between Pacino and Barkin is powerful and undeniable and the love scenes between them are among the best and most memorable ever filmed. John Goodman is very good as Pacino's partner and friend and yes I love the soundtrack and the title song.

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40 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Lonely Nights

Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
30 May 2005

Al Pacino is excellent as the lonely and alcoholic Frank Keller, a veteran New York City cop, hot on the trail of a serial killer. In addition to Keller, and his tough-minded romantic interest, Helen, played well by Ellen Barkin, a third major character is the city wherein the story takes place. Ronnie Taylor's noirish cinematography and Trevor Jones' appropriately downbeat score paint rather a lonely picture of nighttime Manhattan, with all that colorful and flashy neon and the dreary rain. The overall effect is a sense of psychological isolation, alienation, and ... danger.

It's a perfect setting for a story about a series of murders, seemingly tied together by oldies-but-goodies songs. Keller searches for a killer who seems normal, but on the inside is a smoldering volcano. As a murder mystery, "Sea Of Love" works, because of its focus, and because of its restrictive narration. The viewer knows what Frank Keller knows, but nothing more. Clues are very subtle, and lie more in what is not said, than what is said. The ending was a surprise to me. I did not see it coming.

I have a couple of problems with the film, neither of which is serious. First, there are several plot segments that seem unnecessary, and could have been edited out. Second, certain scenes involving the victims are confusing.

"Sea Of Love" is a mystery/thriller that I recommend highly. It is psychologically intense, and it has an atmosphere that is suitably sinister. The acting, the music, the cinematography, the script, and the production design are all credible. And I could listen all day to that oldies-but-goodies song by Phil Phillips, from 1959.

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29 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

A fine thriller, and a great movie with great acting.

10/10
Author: Clifford04 from Sweden
5 August 2005

This is one great movie, not only a thriller which it is also. Sometimes a movie will come out so that watching it will be like reading a good book. This is one of few. Excellent script, great acting and directing and photo – and the additional point in introducing Barkin's character far into the film makes for a much more convincing narrative. Both Pacina and Barkin have always been great actors, and here they are at their best, perhaps because of a certain tension between them – one cannot decide if they are friends personally or hate each other, or perhaps they create the ambivalence just because they are superb actors. Anyway, I don't know if this one got any major awards, but it sure should have. Besides Barkin is one hell of a woman, and I supposed that Pacino is one hell of a man.

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27 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

An intense film noir with so many different shades…

7/10
Author: Righty-Sock (robertfrangie@hotmail.com) from Mexico
23 September 2008

Within a kind of light and shadow there's almost a trademark photography for a film noir movie, and "Sea of Love" is a film that takes place in the shadows…

Al Pacino plays Frank Teller, a self-conscious detective—in search of a serial killer—drawn into a torrid sexual relationship with an attractive young woman he met in a super market when all the good citizens of the city are asleep and the people who are walking around are the ones who are leading the most solitary lives…

Helen Barkin is just so right for the part… You can believe her when you see her dressed in her red leather jacket and tight jeans… She's a lady of the night, sexy as hell, and a woman who can take care of herself… Between her and Pacino, there were enough attraction that's deep but also there were feelings of vulnerability and suspicion…

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25 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

The perfect movie for that 'first time-break the ice' date that men can enjoy too.

8/10
Author: Andre-148 from New York, USA
17 October 2004

Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin sizzle in this murder-mystery/love-story. For all those guys out there that are forced to watch 'chick flicks' and for the ladies that sit through over violent action thrillers, here is a movie both will enjoy. Pacino has made a career at attracting both men and women in his movies and you will be hard pressed to find a more beautiful woman than Barkin in this movie. John Goodman is a Detective and Pacino's partner reminiscent of another very good Ellen Barkin Love-Thriller 'The Big Easy' with Dennis Quaid. In 'Sea Of Love' the passionate love making combined with several possible endings in classic 'who-done-it?' style, will keep your attention and mood in check. Light candles and break out the wine you won't be sorry.

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26 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

One of the Best and Most Underrated Thrillers Ever

9/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
9 October 2006

In Manhattan, Detective Frank Keller (Al Pacino) is an efficient and veteran cop with twenty years on the force, who is lonely and misses his ex-wife Denise. She left him to live with his colleague from the same precinct Gruber (Richard Jenkins). When a killer kills his victim with a shot on the neck and leaves a single playing "Sea of Love", Frank is in charge of the investigation. Detective Sherman, from a district outside Manhattan, joins Frank when a second victim is killed in the same MO. They find that both victims have written poetry in the lonely hearts column of the single magazine "New York Weekly". When there is a third case, Frank convinces his chief to write for the magazine and work undercover investigating the women that reply the advertisement. Frank fall in love for the prime suspect, the manager of a shoe store Helen Cruger (Ellen Barkin), jeopardizing his investigation.

"Sea of Love" is one of the best and most underrated thrillers ever. I do not know how many times I have seen this movie since the release in the movie theaters, then on VHS and now on DVD. The classy story is a film-noir perfectly developed, and shows one of the most erotic love scenes of the cinema history. Al Pacino is simply perfect, showing a perfect chemistry with the sexy Ellen Barkin, who is in the top of her career, and also with John Goodman. The soundtrack is also one of the most beautiful of the cinema, and the CD with eleven songs is fantastic. Samuel L Jackson, in the beginning of career, plays a criminal in the story with a minor participation. My vote is nine.

Title(Brazil): "Vítimas de uma Paixão" ("Victims of a Passion")

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25 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

I Liked It Better Than My Friends Did

8/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
21 July 2006

Some of my friends thought this is one of those films that is great the first time you see it, but diminishes after that because the heavy suspense questions have been answered. However, Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin and John Goodman are all so entertaining to watch that I've always enjoyed this film no matter how many times I've seen it.

The suspense is what this film is all about, but I am fascinated with these actors, including supporting performances by Michael Rooker and William Hickey. Although her looks are a little hard and her mouth way too profane for my tastes, Barkin never looked better and sexier. That Pacino's character, "Detective Frank Keller" would fall for her is understandable, especially know what part of his anatomy is doing the "talking." However, adultery, once again is excused in this film along with other not-so-moral acts so this isn't a film you want to show to your church group. All three of the leads are very weak, ethically-speaking.

The fact that this film can go on for almost two hours with very little action and still keep you riveted to your seat speaks highly of its entertainment value. Why critics knocked it so much, I don't know. Hey, it's good entertainment. What more do you want?

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