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The Devil's Advocate
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Devil's Advocate More at IMDbPro »

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329 out of 356 people found the following review useful:

Morality According to Lucifer

Author: LittleGotti
28 April 2003

"Let me give you a little inside information about God..."

Despite the misleading title, "The Devil's Advocate" is a shocking and inspiring thriller, visually beautiful as well as thought provoking. The Devil has been portrayed thousands of times throughout the years. Every year Hollywood produces countless movies about Lucifer. Yet, there has not been a single film or book (besides "Rosemary's baby" ) that was good enough to be called interesting. Most of what we see about the subject is either regular horror films, that despite of their primitive premiss take themselves too seriously, or we watch action films of supernatural forces where the Devil is nothing more than a foul beast. In either case 90% of these movies are pure cliches - dumb and predictable. When I went out to see "The Devil's Advocate" I was expecting one of the two "genres" mentioned above. I got neither. What I saw was a fabulous, intelligent and amazing film, which engages both heart and mind. The first surprise was the cast, which can boast of Keanue Reeves, Charlize Therone and, in my opinion, the greatest actor of all-time Al Pacino. Only the fact that some of the most famous, and not to mention, talented actors of our time agreed to star in this film immediately draws your attention. Throughout the picture, you start realizing the unusual complexity of the story and script.

Kevin Lomax (Reeves) is a success in the courtroom and out of it. He's a young Florida defense attorney who has never lost a case. No matter how repugnant the crime, no matter how guilty the defendant, Kevin Lomax has the power to mesmerize the jury into accepting his arguments, buying into his logic, being convinced by his charisma; and freeing his clients. Soon after he has successfully won the case, where he defended an obviously guilty child molester, Lomax is invited to New York, where a powerful law firm has become aware of the Florida hotshot's acquittal record. Here he meets John Milton (Al Pacino), the founder and head of "Milton, Chadewick, Waters", a mysterious and powerful law firm with contacts and clients all over the world. It is this charismatic and charming man that opens the door to a completely different world; a world of luxury and pleasure, wealth and power; a world of endless possibilities. This is heaven on earth. But as Lomax tastes the power of being a wealthy New York attorney, something in him changes. Winning is no longer just a goal; it becomes an obsession. Soon he starts to realize that things are not what they seem to be; and all the things he once had and cared about -a happy marriage with Mary Ann (Charlize Theron), his relationship with his mother, all his happiness - everything disappear amidst the sparkling illusion of paradise. He suddenly realizes that Heaven and Hell can coexist..at the same place and at the same time.

I do not intend to reveal anything else, since all of the interesting surprises will be presented in the intense and inspiring climax. 'The Devil's Advocate' is a story about some characteristically American values: ambition, drive, materialism. Going after success and its trappings is a classic American male behavior, and Kevin Lomax shows us what can happen when that behavior gets out of hand. Winning has become such a core value in our culture that we never stop to consider the consequences of our own actions. This is a story about a man that has always been a winner and was rewarded for it with the kind of things that winning brings - wealth and power. At the end he realizes that winning may not always be the best thing, but then it is too late. The characters in this film are both complex and real, partly because of the good writing, partly because of some wonderful performances by every actor. This is probably Reeves' best performance. He manages to create a believable character - a kind of example, a role model for the American way of life. Kevin's wife, Mary Ann is most likely the hardest character to play, since she goes through a complex and difficult emotional evolution. From being strong, devoted and ambitious (a female copy of her husband) to vulnerable, hurt and on the verge of madness. Charlize Theron gracefully floats into this character. The most interesting of performances and characters is John Milton - the essence of Kevin Lomax's temptation. The invitation by a modern-day Satan to enter a world, represented by the excess of our most worldly pleasures. Al Pacino is nothing less than astonishing, an award worthy performance that is as good as anything seen this year. His power and presence is felt everywhere throughout the film, even where he is not present. This eerie and unsettling feeling is one of the elements that help creating the movie's intense and frightening atmosphere. At the same time he provides the most entertaining moments and colorful quotes. I can't imagine an audience not smiling when he screams out: "I am a humanist!" . And the fact that Milton's law firm is involved in all the dirty business, from drugs and money laundering to murder, doesn't prevent the Devil to call himself John Milton, who is the author of the most brilliant epic about Christianity. This is entertaining by itself.

As I have said previously, the major difference from the other films with diabolical themes, is the complexity of the story. The Devil is not shown as a ugly monster with red eyes. And the purpose of his existence is not to posses innocent children. One of the many interesting things in this film is the fact that the Devil is never really pulling the strings by himself -- he's giving people their choice, their free will to decide -- a demon whose world is our own, with all its mundane events. He appears in human form and presents human choices, and his greatest lure is what we have in common with him: our greed, ego, jealousy, competitiveness, lust, dishonesty. Another thing is that the director is very careful to not let the monster out of the box, so to speak, by using any images that are obvious. Things appear and disappear in a moment; sometimes they seem real and sometimes they seem like a bad dream, so that when the events in the story actually do emerge into reality, the Lomaxes don't know what's real and what isn't anymore. The third element is the fabulous production design, grand art direction and rich cinematography. These elements help creating a strange and surreal world - heaven and hell almost floating into each other. Hell is here not a blackness, haunted by ghosts and monsters, but the rarified world of New York's ultra-wealthy and privileged society.

After a thought provoking finale, I sat amazed by what I have seen. If you are looking for entertainment, action and ugly monsters, this is not the right answer for you, but if you are interested in a more serious and inspiring film experience, this is a spectacular and meaningful movie that is well worth your money and time.

This is clearly one of the most clever and stunning works of art I've ever seen, and a pivotal film of the 90's.

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118 out of 143 people found the following review useful:

this is how you make a thriller

Author: Special-K88
12 April 2002

Stylish, sexy, suspenseful thriller stars Reeves as an accomplished southern lawyer who's never been beaten; he travels to New York City to take a job with powerful legal mogul Pacino, but his once ideal life is soon turned upside down as he's plunged into a surreal, demonic world of lust, temptation, and vanity. Slick writing, direction, and an array of startling scenes, breathtaking effects, and dazzling performances make this an imaginative thriller quite unlike any other. Reeves gives one of his finest performances to date, aided immeasurably by a wild, wickedly over-the-top performance from Pacino and a first-rate supporting cast. Not for all tastes, but highly watchable indeed. ***½

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98 out of 118 people found the following review useful:

The Most Underrated Film of the '90s

10/10
Author: boognish-6 from Savannah, GA
4 April 2006

The reviews for "The Devil's Advocate" were not too kind, to say the least. But what did the critics refuse to see in this? With movies nowadays being nothing but flashy, over-the-top, masturbatory, CG-fests, "The Devil's Advocate" holds up like osmium.

The cinematography is good because it's quite understated and that's a virtue in today's cinema. The acting, while containing pretty lame Southern accents, is still pretty good. Even from Keanu, dude.

Sorely forgotten in it's day, the script tells a very deep, original and interesting story, with lots of development, respect for the characters, delicate pacing, and a head-spinning ending. The movie is solely about the people and their struggles. Fear takes hold of the audience through the dialogue.

Think of "The Devil's Advocate" as Woody Allen trying his hand at a horror/thriller and succeeding. This movie never makes you jump, but it puts you in a general state of discomfort through it's atmosphere. As with all memorable supernatural dramas, this one handles its spectacle with discretion and grace.

Isn't that what we hope to see when we watch any movie? 10/10

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86 out of 104 people found the following review useful:

All Quality Elements of a Magnificent Movie!!!

9/10
Author: EdwardsMovieKit from Malaysia
2 July 2006

I watched this movie on DVD. It will be enough for me to mention that there had been no other movie where I'd had to pause the play in mere awe at the magnificence of the storyline! At a point, It was as if I could see my jaw on the floor praising in thorough amusement the brilliance, relevance-to-our-daily-lives, deepness of message, sophistication, great portrayal, top-of-the-class creativity, marvelous acting/directing/screen writing all having come together in a movie, which called for a rating of 9 out of 10 and no less, certainly, undoubtedly.

Al-Pacino's acting is to no surprise as brilliant as ever, exuding confidence, proficiency and clarity as always. Keanu Reaves leaves a great master-play in his work, meeting up to the acting skills required in displaying a character of wisdom, success, love and perhaps, of vanity. Charize Theron too puts up a play of passion in its right.

But what amused me more than all were the great and fantastic script-lines thrown around. All very meaningful and interesting indeed. The whole movie got me stunned and fixed at the edge of my desk seat, but the favorite part for me has to come at the end, where the theme of the movie comes to words and finds a chance as of clarifying itself in one the most brilliant ways I as one have ever seen possible! Recommended for everybody willing to enjoin on a meaningful story and a blend of excellent plays... surely a 9/10.

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104 out of 163 people found the following review useful:

You mean, Keanu Reeves can act?

9/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
16 May 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, I am amazed. He actually has some talent. No offense, Keanu. Very rarely do I see a great performance by him.

"The Devil's Advocate" is a great movie. I was a little surprised that the rating wasn't a little higher. After all, it has a great all star cast that gave their best in the movie. The effects are awesome; and the plot is beyond incredable. Except, I always had an idea that lawyers work for the devil. :D Just kidding!

I would recommend this movie to anyone. It has great acting and it's just a kick @ss movie to watch.

9/10

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65 out of 90 people found the following review useful:

wow

Author: forever_dream_chaser from toronto, ontario
22 April 2002

this movie received many many bad reviews, including personal opinions of friends of mine ... however, the premise, script (although thin at times) and finished product were all amazing ... keanu reeves gives an extremely surprising performance ... when it starts off he is every character he has played, not a bad character actor, but not over the top, just a regular guy... but as the story progresses his ability takes on a transformation and he really astonishes ... of course, al pacino's performance goes without saying; he is a genius in any and all of his movies ... and charlize theron is at her best as she often is in her films ... however, despite both pacino's and theron's talented performances reeves is the one to watch ... look out for the change in him ... it is completely awe-inspiring...

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47 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

A beguiling experience

9/10
Author: ereinion from Lemuria
1 April 2005

This is one of the most intensely dark and beguiling movies I have seen. The purpose behind it is to create a moral drama about the fight between good and evil in a man, or the devil's everlasting quest to conquer man's soul. In retrospective, there are few movies I've seen that bring out such strong feelings in me. Specially the first hour. We follow a young couple, played by Reeves and Theron in her first big picture, who move to New York from the south when he is given a job as attorney in one of the biggest firms in the country. We see the change come in Kevin as he is introduced to a world of luxury and pleasure by his boss, THE DEVIL, played by old master Al Pacino.

The ending brings a new, unpredictable and great twist to the story. I will not give it away. The supporting cast is pretty strong, specially Jeffrey Jones who plays a senior partner in Lucifer Pacino's firm and who first arises the suspicion in Kevin/Keanu with his mysterious behaviour, and Connie Nielsen as Cristabella, an extremely hot Italian colleague who is the very symbol of temptation. Nielsen looked even better here than in "Gladiator" and her performance is also more interesting. Charlize Theron displayed her range here for the first time, showing she had a great potential to become a star with her mix of ethereal beauty and acting talent. Reeves was also very good as the hotshot attorney and his looks elevated his macho hero potential. Al Pacino didn't disappoint, but his performance here counts as one of his least spectacular.

This is a dark movie with elements of horror and some gore and sex thrown in for good measure. I think Taylor Hackford never did it better. He gave us something to ponder on while entertaining and scaring us at the same time. It is a film one can't forget.9/10

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55 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Keanu's deal with the devil

Author: Wild-2
12 August 1998

I don't think you could put this movies in a particular catagory. It's not quite a drama and it's not quite a thriller but a bit of both. Both the movie is good, for instead of making the devil just a blood thirsty killer, it's based on temptation. Al Pacino lives in a world of beautiful women, money, power, and no guilt. There is a lot of nudity and extreme violence in this movie, but if it wasn't there the movies purpose and story wouldn't work. The final half of this movie put me in more suspense then any movie has in a long time. In conclusion, don't miss this film.

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45 out of 62 people found the following review useful:

Very Good

Author: Rob from United Kingdom
8 September 2004

When I first saw The Devils advocate I was in amazement of how good it was. I was thinking about it for a long time after and when I got to catch it recently on TV it made me think about it all over again and it this time raises some questions and.

I didn't find it as good the second time round. I have watched it many times since I first saw but the recent viewing I was paying more attention than ever. I still think Keanu Reeves was maybe not right as Kevin Lomax. He has great moments but I think he has to many moments where he is trying to act is ass off and making it look obvious. Is it me or in some scenes where Keanu is talking he sounds like Elvis with his accent. Just a thought. Al Pacino was perfect as John Milton but again he was a bit over the top but makes up for it in his charm and charisma which he tackles head on easily through the movie. The best acting we get here is from Charlize Theron which is no surprise to me considering how well she has done since in films like Monster. The story doesn't really kick off till the very end where everything unfolds very fast to a massive climax which without this film would have failed badly. I don't know much about Taylor Hackford's previous work but I am impressed with how he handled The Devils Advocate and if he directs an y others films of this caliber then he might be poised to win an huge award of sort. The film is just not about paranormal goings on with Satan, it is also a law film which actually makes being a lawyer look like a lot of fun with a lot of tension thrown in. If any adrenaline junkie wanted to go for a mainstream job then a lawyer would be his cup of tea as Kevin Lomax will show you.

The direction, music, cinematography and nearly everything about this film is perfect. The story is quite close but towards the end there is just to many revelations that happen all to quick and it gives you this feeling that the film is getting a bit silly and that's how I feel about it now. If you haven't seen it before and you are wanting to see it for yourself then you should see it without a doubt. Don't let any review including mine put you off as this as the movie is one hell of a ride but it may raise questions of how much they tried to cram inside the movie in the time it had. It does run for nearly two and a half hours but they run quicker than you can imagine and as soon as the film finishes you will be wanting to watch it all over again so you can see where everything makes sense.

Al Pacino does pack a punching performance to the very end and is as crazy as ever if a little over the top at times but without him we wouldn't be talking about this film as much.

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39 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Prepare to be gobsmacked!

10/10
Author: Sian from Perth, Australia
17 December 2003

What a surprisingly rewarding film. I have not watched a film that is so engaging for a long while. I had never even heard of the film before and only saw it by chance on the shelf at the video store. I am glad I picked it up as I enjoyed every minute of it. The Devil's advocate is heavy viewing, it is not a light cinema experience, yet it is rewarding in it's heaviness. It is very clever depicting the devil realistically and giving a totally truthful example of how people can un-knowingly be sucked in by evil. The film though dealing with a unrealistic concept is totally believable due the the fantastic acting by all involved. Keanu Reeves gives the performance of a life time, he is perfectly cast opposite Charliez Theron who is also very impressive. The two posses an obvious chemistry. I recommend you see this movie ASAP!

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