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This movie is loosely based on the real-life case of Larry Davis, a drug dealer who shot six cops but was acquitted (with William Kunstler as his lawyer) after charging that the police were trying to kill him because they were involved in the drug trade. The Manhattan district attorney, Robert Morgenthau, was also nicknamed "Morgy". See more »
Fascinating story of politics and justice in New York, or anywhere else for that matter. Most don't realize that on 3% of murder cases ever see a jury; most are plea bargained. But, there are those, like the one depicted here, that are essential, not for justice, but for the political ambitions of the DA and Mayor.
Sidney Lumet (Find Me Guilty, Dog Day Afternoon) likes working with ethical questions, and he did a good job here in presenting a world that is not black and white, but gray.
I generally do not like Andy Garcia (Ocean's Eleven, The Godfather Part III) or Ron Leibman (Zorro, the Gay Blade), but that may be because of their politics off the screen. It affects my judgment. I have to say that they both gave interesting performances that made this film worth watch. But, there were a lot of good stars in this film: Sir Ian Holm (Chariots of First) as Garcia's father, James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) as a corrupt cop and Holm's partner, Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland's Opus, The Goodbye Girl, Jaws) as a liberal lawyer, Colm Feore (Bon Cop, Bad Cop, The Red Violin, Chicago) as an ADA that wants the top job, and Lena Olin (Enemies: A Love Story, Chocolat, "Alias") as the love interest.
Very good acting throughout and a compelling story.
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