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Dick Tracy
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Reviews & Ratings for
Dick Tracy More at IMDbPro »

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53 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Incredible Colors, Incredible Cast

9/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
21 March 2006

This is amazing-looking movie with the whole thing done in just six or seven colors. When it came out over 15 years ago, it stunned audiences with its color scheme, being so different from anything else that had ever been put on film. Those colors, for me at least, make this an absolutely fascinating film to watch. There are literally thousands of scenes I wish could freeze and somehow convert them to a painting to study for their artwork.

The characters and the story don't match up to the greatness of the photography, but they are all over-the-top, especially the villains. The famous actors who played them here must have a had a lot of fun on the set playing "Flatop," "Pruneface," "Lips," "Mumbles," etc.

Meanwhile, Warren Beatty and Gleanne Hedley are good as Dick Tracey and girlfriend Tess Truehart, and she's as sweet and soft as her name. Another good addition is Charlie Korsmo as the delinquent young boy Dick and Tess take under their wing. The colorful other characters are played by Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, William Forysthe, Paul Sorvino, Mandy Patinkin, Madona and other names you know but are too numerous to list here. Check the full credits on the main page and you'll amazed.

The only negatives I found were Pacino's voice which grates on you after awhile, Madonna's off-key singing voice and the fact that the film would have been better trimmed about 10 minutes. Those "faults" are all minor because overall, this is a fun movie....a cartoon strip coming to life in an incredibly-colorful fashion.....like nothing you have ever seen.

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35 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

All those colors

9/10
Author: Dockelektro from Portugal
11 August 2001

If Dick Tracy was in black and white, the pope wouldn't be religious. Giving a new sense to the concept of color in a movie, we are offered an unique experience throughout a comic-strip world, and it's one of the few movies which succeeded in doing so, thanks to a serious script, good direction, great performances (Al Pacino is astonishing) and most importantly a powerful mix of cinematography, art direction and costume design. Using only primary colors, the experience is quite different from anything we have seen before. And there is also a quite successful hommage to all the gangster-movie genre, pratically extinct from modern cinema. Overall, I see this movie as a fresh attempt and a touch of originality to a cinema which relies more and more on the old and already-seen formulas. 7 out of 10.

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30 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Why Wait for the Sunday Funnies Section?

8/10
Author: pamkirkliz from Chicago
12 October 2003

"Dick Tracy" is one of our family's favorites -- the actors are great -- the art direction is exceptional -- the music is magic. It's not supposed to be "To Kill A Mockingbird" -- it's a fun experience.

Stephen Sondhemim's songs are stellar: "Back in Business" is energetic, "Sooner or Later" is just right, "What Can You Lose" is haunting -- even tunes like "Live Alone and Like It" add to the story

Got to love the giddily over-the-top performances of Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Glenn Headly, Charlie Korsmo, Mandy Patinkin, James Caan, Dick Van Dyke, supporting villains... The list is far too long. And, yes -- even Madonna and Warren Beatty are awesome. Written with a smile a minute (how many times have we looked at each other and said, "Wait a minute -- I'm having a thought -- it's gone!"?).

However, one of most telling things about in this film is that everyone involved seems to be having a good time -- and that above all adds to the enjoyment for the viewer. So, if you haven't already, why not give "Dick Tracy" a chance -- accept it for what it is -- a Sunday comic strip brought to life -- and in a wonderful way!!

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43 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

One of the best comic book adaptations of all time.

10/10
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK
6 December 2004

I've been watching "Dick Tracy" for years, and as a result it's become a vital part of my life - it was with me throughout childhood and I used to see it quite often. Seeing it now, as an adult, it's still a very good movie - dark, satiric and incredibly misunderstood. About the only thing that can be said is the Oscar nomination Pacino received - other than that it is rarely discussed and didn't make much of a fuss when it came out.

Pacino is over-the-top but to good effect as he's clearly having loads of fun. Beatty is great as Dick Tracy and behind the camera manages to capture the atmosphere of a film noir comic book better than any other film, possibly, I have ever seen. Just taking a look at one scene from the film is breathtaking. The lighting, velvet overtones and smog/smoke combine to create a great effect.

There are some really funny cameos including one by Dustin Hoffman as "Mumbles," and I don't think there are any flaws at all in terms of acting - even the mandatory kid-character is far better than expected.

Overall, a really fine movie that has become misunderstood over the years since its release and is incredibly underrated with only 5.7/10 average on IMDb. The critics' reviews are very positive (check out RottenTomatoes.com) and after seeing the film once again it's not hard to see why - this is a perfect example of capturing the essence of a comic book, from style to eccentricity.

Highly recommended. 4.5/5 stars.

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33 out of 48 people found the following review useful:

Tracy, Tracy, Tracy!

10/10
Author: Mister-6 from United States
24 August 1999

I never attended the midnight showing of a movie before "Dick Tracy" came out.

I still have the "t-shirt ticket" I had to wear to get admitted to the showing around here somewhere and, like that shirt, "Dick Tracy" has stuck with me ever since.

If you've seen the movie, the sharp visuals, bright primary colors and strong characters have no doubt been etched into your brain. It's a wonder to behold.

As director/star/co-writer/producer, Beatty knows what works in a film and shows it here, taking a familiar American icon and re-creating him for a whole new era. Still set in the '30s, "Tracy" has a kind of timeless quality like all good films do. I've lost track of how many times I've watched "Tracy" and I still catch something new every time I do.

The others are all top notch, starting with Pacino's Big Boy Caprice (a reminder that he can do comedy with the best of them), even Madonna's Breathless Mahoney is a relevation in that under the right environment, she can act (GASP!).

But there's still such themes touched on as the necessity of family, keeping true to one's self, good versus evil, even Machiavellian themes are explored. Odd for a comic strip film, but hey, it works.

All in all, "Dick Tracy" is a classic unto itself. Compared with other films of this decade, it makes a strong statement. It's a good, strong film that doesn't depend on blood, violence, profanity or nudity to make its point.

There's a lesson to be learned here.

Ten stars. Great Scott!

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23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Sooner or Later It Will Get Its Due

Author: BaronBl00d (baronbl00d@aol.com) from NC
4 July 2003

This is a marvelous film. Warren Beatty managed to film it just like a comic book MIGHT be brought to film with humourously grotesque and bizarre characters, beautiful colours, and a plot that really only could have come from a comic book. The buildings, set design, make-up, and props are like nothing I have ever seen in film before. Now, never having read the original strip leaves me out as far as making probably very insightful comparisons with this film and the original source. That being said, I think that Beatty, although drastically changing some of the villains in the film to fit smaller roles, tried to keep the spirit of the film inside the comic strip. Does that make sense? Probably not. Anyway, Dick Tracy offers a lot. It is a visual feast with a decent story and some prime time stars doing some things you may not expect from them. Beatty is very good as the lawmen, but much of the supporting cast steals many scenes from him. Al Pacino as Big Boy Caprice is sensational as an over-the-top thug out to get every criminal under his control, while he intermittenly quotes folks like Nietchze, Jefferson, and other historical figures. Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles is wonderful - if you can finally figure out that it is him(notice in the scene where a stenographer is taking down what he says((That is Oscar winner Kathy Bates!))). James Caan has a brief yet good scene with Pacino Godfather style and Beatty gives Michael J. Pollard and Estelle Parsons cameos as well(both co-starring with him in Bonnie and Clyde). Then there is Madonna. She tries her best to live up to her name of Breathless and does a VERY credible job at it. And then of course there is the music of Stephen Sondheim, an Oscar winner for this film. It is very good and in some ways more memorable than much of what goes on in the film. Perhaps a song here or there might have been cut, but for the most part the music greatly added to the overall effects created in the film. Is Dick Tracy great? No, but it is a whole lot better than it is generally given credit for. In some ways its innovation must be reviewed again. I think that for its type of film it is one of the best.

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24 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Simplistic but enjoyable.

8/10
Author: Matt..377 from United States
4 May 2002

Don't look for an overdeveloped plotline here....just sit back with some popcorn and enjoy this one. A gallery of stars pop up as the classic cartoon character's villains in this live action comedy, which features incredible makeup and set design, not to mention knockout performances from Beatty, Madonna, and Pacino. Great fun for kids and adults alike.

*** out of ****

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18 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

It Does Make an Impression.

Author: tfrizzell from United States
3 July 2002

An all-star cast, vivid colors that could give you a headache and Madonna's sizzling performance made many think that "Dick Tracy" is much better than it actually is. It is one of those typical quantity over quality projects that uses smoke and mirrors to make the audience think that it is something unique and intriguing. However, the film is little more than a comic strip that jumps up at you ala the "Superman" or "Batman" group of films. Warren Beatty's performance and in-your-face direction are not totally successful. The seemingly endless name of cast members also becomes dizzying. Al Pacino (Oscar-nominated) steals every scene and pulls a Jack Nicholson from "Batman" out of his hat. "Dick Tracy" is a good film, but it is far from being a masterpiece. 4 stars out of 5.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Pure Dick Tracy Nostalgia

9/10
Author: rjtrules from United States
13 January 2008

I thoroughly enjoyed this true to form take on the Dick Tracy persona. This is a well done product that used modern technology to craft a imagery filled comic era story. If you are a fan of or recently watched some of the old Dick Tracy b&w movies then you're sure to get a kick out of this rendition. The pastel colors and larger than life characters rendered in a painstakingly authentic take on an era gone by is entertainment as it's meant to be. I personally find Madonna's musical element to be a major part of this film-the CD featuring her music from this movie is one I've listened to often over the years, it's just so well done and performed musically and tuned to that era. In my mind, Madonna's finest moment both on-screen but especially musically. This is sure to bring out the "kid" in you.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Impressive, enjoyable comic book movie (spoilers)

Author: Alain English from London, England
26 January 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Released in 1990, Warren Beatty's take on a popular one-time comic book detective is at once successful and distinctive. It doesn't have the preachy Americo-centric moralism of the "Superman" movies, neither does it possess the dark and tragic depths of the early "Batman" films. "Dick Tracy" is distinctive as it just tries to be what it is: a literal live action comic strip. In this the cops headed up by a straight-laced detective (and his plucky kid sidekick) are the heroes, with a horde of ugly, scheming gangsters as the villains.

In a town simply named The City, Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) is an honest but reckless detective who divides his time between chasing villains and going out with his girlfriend Tess Trueheart (Glenne Headly). He finds himself a new sidekick in the shape of the Kid (Charlie Korsmo), a homeless young thief he pulls off the streets. Tracy will need all the help he can get, as his arch-nemesis Big Boy Caprice (Al Pacino) is on the rise. He's just rubbed out his main rival Lips Manlis (Paul Sorvino), taken over his club and stolen his girlfriend, singer Breathless Mahoney (Madonna). Now he's preparing for a rampage that will ensure him complete control of The City.....

Take the story out of the movie and it would make a fine period melodrama. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep it interesting for the bulk of it's two-hour running length. The script mixes a healthy stock of comic book characters (hard-nosed cop, honest sweetheart, streetwise kid, mean ugly gangster and attractive but sleazy moll) and has the standard surprise ending. This is combined with a show of action scenes (featuring cement baths, punch-ups and tommy gun shoot-outs) but in keeping with the pictures lighthearted tone, there is nothing gory or explicit.

The setting and technical aspect is especially good in this film. The use of primary colours in both the backdrops, sets and costumes is brilliant and makes the whole film really come alive. Enhancing this is a wonderful music score, put to good use in both the action scenes and the quieter, more sentimental moments. Even Madonna's songs fit in well with the picture, as they're cleverly used in ways that bring the story forward and add irony to key scenes.

The performances are for the most part excellent. Warren Beatty is on form as eponymous detective and he works well in tangent with Charlie Korsmo as The Kid, who is both his partner and surrogate son. If the film has a recurring weakness, it's in the lack of chemistry between him and leading lady Glenne Headly. There is certainly more discernible tension in scenes between him and Madonna, who turns in a good performance as the scheming, gangster's moll. She is certainly no Oscar-winner, but neither is she the wooden disaster so many make her out to be.

The cast of prosthetics-clad gangsters reads like a "Who's Who" of vintage character actors: Dustin Hoffman, James Caan, Paul Sorvino, William Forsythe, James Tolkan, etc. The outstanding performance here, though, is Al Pacino as Big Boy. Usually known for his more serious portrayal of villains in films like "The Godfather" and "Dog Day Afternoon" it is a delight watching him go gleefully over the top here. Big Boy is deluded, cruel and arrogant and makes a worthy adversary for Tracy.

Not one of the most well-known comic book films going around, but it is still a joy to watch.

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