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37 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Very Good Movie

Author: FrenchyAlex from chicago
29 May 2004

Don't pay that much attention about all the bad comments you will hear: this is a very interesting movie.

To sum up, Al Pacino is an agent for all kind of people: stars, politicians... Therefore, he knows a lot of people and way too much about them. Now, the problem is that to many spectators the movie seemed empty. True there is no action, and true there is no big storyline. But it doesn't matter! This movie is about describing the "high spheres" of New York society. It is a good lesson on how corrupted the system is, how hypocrite people can be, and how you can't rely on anybody, even so-called friends. Everyone will turn his back on you when it comes to his own interest.

Al Pacino acts great in this movie. It's a very hard part since there is no real guideline, but he does the job wonderfully. You will see an OLD Al Pacino, a TIRED Al Pacino, that might disappoints you if you remember him as the lively and shouting "mister Devil's Advocate", but it's an interesting side of him that you might discover.

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31 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

landmark latter-day Pacino performance.

Author: t-mieczkowski from Cincinnati
30 November 2004

Pacino is extraordinary. The much-lamented accent is sorta a bisexual/Georgian/"Noo Yawk" ... it represents a complex mixture of dialect for a complex character perfectly portrayed by Pacino - balls and all. His work seems to become increasingly esoteric over the years, and outside of his character, the storyline is uneven and downright wretched in some parts.

But Pacino redeems even the drek and delivers a landmark performance that one wouldn't expect as he nears closer to being able to collect Social Security. Gutsy, bold, and brilliant. The script and direction needed quite a bit of work- but Pacino's performance is compelling enough to wonder exactly what he will do next. A must-see for Pacino fans.

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26 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

For Pacino and New York Fans!!!

Author: JackBravo69 from Casablanca
4 January 2003

This is not a bad movie. However its a movie that never really defines itself. It tries to focus on a great number of issues, social and human, but in the end, it doesnt really acomplishes in any field.

We have the political point of view. The struggle for success, the hipocrysy of the so called "governors of the world" and the false morals of many civil rights fighters, more interested in their personal power than in really succeeding in something good for the people! I loved those pictures of Jessy Jackson on the Pacino´s office!

On the other hand, we have a lonesome man, with a wasted life, always working for others well being and forgetting his own problems and needs.

The problem with Pacino was his ingenuity! And thats also what is so hard for me to accept! Is it possible for a person with his kind of life experience to be caught of guard? He actually believes he can do some good to the society, and that the powers are actually willing to in an unselfish way help him! Thats so hard to believe!

So to simplify "I Know People" is is a story about a call to reality, of an old man, who looses all its hope, and close to the end of his life, understands, it was all meaningless, and that the system is unbeatable.

Like him, we go on a trip, and ugly and dirty one! Its a rude awakening! Its sad, and I felt for this good man, whose ingenuity is his perdition!

Unfortunatly, on the techinical side, "IKP" fails, which makes this movie slow, tedious, confuse, in fact even hopeless sometimes!

But Al Pacino saves the day, with an amazing performance, another one. This is one of the best actors ever, and its a pleasure to watch him work! As always he delivers a masterpiece performace. But one has to wonder if it´s enough. It was for me!

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20 out of 25 people found the following review useful:


Author: cynharm from Canada
22 January 2003

Inspired by the SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS and THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, this labour of love is the sort of film made for New Yorkers by New Yorkers. While not being particularly fresh in it's ideas and story, PEOPLE I KNOW more than makes up for it's short comings due in large part to another strong turn by Al Pacino.

Pacino is surprisingly gentle and small as a has-been impresario who is desperate for one last benefit to do some good in the city. Why exactly this benefit means so much to him is never really explained but Pacino, with that wonderful expressive face of his, is content to carry the drama with subtly and grace, using those great bags under his eyes to convey a sense of pleading exhaustion throughout the film. In many scenes, his character seems so fatigued that we expect Pacino to expire on the spot, so heavy is the burden of his life lived as a heel.

The script, by New York playwright Jon Robin Baitz, knows it's world well, as demonstrated by the excellent lead characters and the numerous small, but equally well conceived characters that pepper the screenplay. Plot-wise the Baitz's script is less than successful. The screenplay suffers from two well-meaning maguffins - Pacino's big benefit and the `toy' Tea Leoni finds - which don't really pay dividends and lead the film to a somewhat flat finale.

The direction by SEX IN THE CITY helmer Daniel Algrant is unobtrusive and safe, with no real effort made to assemble this film in anything higher than TV movie quality. Algrant is content to keep attention on his cast, which - when dealing with Al Pacino - is never a bad idea.

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Surprise winner!

Author: shepardjessica from sparks, nevada
18 August 2004

I'd never heard of this 2002 film until Ebert and Roper reviewed a few weeks ago and I was pleasantly suprised since I don't think Al Pacino has been doing his best work lately. In this film, he's right on target and the film is pretty fascinating. He looks haggard, overworked, and struggling with all kinds of things. Even Ryan O'Neal is believable for a change (of course, the character he plays fits him to a tee).

I don't know if this one went straight to video or what, but search it out (especially Pacino fans). A definite 7 out of 10. Tea Leoni is sharp as a tack playing a flake. The entire supporting cast blends in nicely and this resembles a David Mamet script.

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23 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

One of Al Pacino's best roles, better then Michael Corleone in both "Godfather" movies.

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
29 July 2004

****SPOILERS**** Brutally honest and shocking movie about those in power and how they use that power to control the lives of millions of people from top elected politicians and Wall Street executives to the rank and file working man and women and how far they would go to keep and hold on to their power.

Eli Wurman, Al Pacino, is a top publicity agent in New York City. Having graduated from Harvard Law School #4 in his class he found out that doing publicity for his favorite cause, improving race relations, was more effective then being a top flight civil lawyer or advocate. One night Eli bails out one of his client's actor Cary Launer, Ryan O'Neal,lover who came to see him from California TV star Jill Hopper, Tea Leoni. Instead of driving back to Jill's hotel room she tells the limo driver to take her and Eli to Wall Street.

Going into this secret club thats a cross between a high-class bordello and opium den Eli sees who he's not supposed to see, the makers and shakers in the world of power in both politics and big business, and doing what there not supposed to be doing :drugs sex and making under the table deals that affects countless lives.

Jill's thrown out of the club for going there with an uninvited guest, Eli, but she also secretly took photos of the club and the people there with a hidden camera. The next morning Jill is found dead in her hotel room from an apparent drug overdose. Eli who was there with her out cold in her bathtub, and who her killer didn't see, saw what happened.

Eli is really not a danger to those in power since he's obsessed with his benefit show that he has planned the next day for the improvement of race relations in the city of New York. Trying to get people of fame and power to attend his benefit gives some of them, who Eli saw at that secret club, the idea that he's blackmailing them even though Eli only wanted them to show up and make the benefit be a success. It should have dawned on Eli that his life was in danger by what and who he saw at the club the night before and the death of Jill the next morning but he's so wrapped up with his dream of racial harmony that he didn't realize just how really dangerous things were for him. Still those in power can't take any chances with him blowing their cover and exposing them and in the end they took things into their own hands and that spells D-E-A-T-H for Eli.

Al Pacino's performance in "People I Know" is what I think is one the best of his career on par if not better the his fine work in both "Godfather" movies as well as his roles in "GlenGarry Glen Ross" and "Scent Of A woman" for which he won an Academy Award for best actor. For some strange reason "People I Know" has never been released theatricality but went straight to the video and DVD market like some B-Movie you would see on an airplane for free?

Besides Al Pacino there's fine performances in the movie by it top-rate cast of Kim Basinger Ryan O'Neal Richard Schiff Tea Leoni Robert Kline and Bill Nunn as a fiery Al Sharpton-like Reverend Lyle Blunt who stole almost every scene that he was in. It's Al Pacino who really carried the movie "People I Know" with his both sensitive and tragic role of Eli Wurman who was so absorbed in the good that he was trying to do that he didn't see the evil that was all around him for years that he only noticed when it was too late.

I have to warn you that "People I Know" is a very dark and depressing film and it has no happy ending but it's so "ON" to whats happening in the world of politics and business today that it should be a must for every serious movie goer.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

public relations

Author: RanchoTuVu from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
13 July 2006

A public relations agent in New York (Al Pacino) tries to recapture his misplaced ideals by organizing an event in response to the mayor's crackdown on crime, a crackdown which results in widespread arrests and deportations. Years of drugs have diminished his effectiveness, and the drug culture is an essential part of the film's murky subplot, that has Tea Leoni as a strung out actress who Pacino bails out of jail and ends up going with to a crazy party where people are smoking opium. When she's murdered later that night in her hotel room while Pacino is reclined and nearly passed out in the bathtub, the story begins to be a rather ingenious combination of this effort to mobilize the intellectual, political, and religious elite in response to the heavy-handed mayor, while also wading through the colorful and dangerous gutter in which many of them occasionally like to plod around in. With a great part for Ryan O'Neal as an Oscar winning actor contemplating politics, and some very well cast parts and a great stand-off in the kitchen at the restaurant where the benefit takes place between a leading black minister and his bodyguards and his Jewish nemesis and his bodyguards as well, the film lashes out at the hypocrisy of all of them by focusing in on an addled and vulnerable publicity agent who's just about at the end of his rope.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Moving Character Study and Bogus Melodrama (SPOILER)

Author: Tom-497 from Los Angeles
22 March 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is excellent when it focuses on Pacino as a man whose attachment to an increasingly unpleasant job is turning him into a nervous wreck. It's a moving and believable story that many working people will be able to relate to.

Unfortunately, the film is pretty mediocre when it focuses on Pacino as the center of a conspiracy. At one point we see a poster for the wonderful "Parallax View," a 70s paranoid-thriller. But the political intrigue in this film is in nowhere near the same league. It seriously detracts from what might have been a great Cassavetes-style drama.

Still, there are a lot of good things here -- 8/10.


If you had just been stabbed, wouldn't you head for the hospital, rather than home for some TV? Unless the final moments of this film are suggesting an element of suicide, they are highly unbelievable. And even if there is some death-wish involved, it's still pretty unconvincing and works only on a symbolic level.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

People I Shouldn't Have Known

Author: Chrysanthepop from Fraggle Rock
24 January 2009

With 'People I Know' Dan Algrant tells a story of how the rich and powerful can get away with anything and everything. In the film, it is an actress, Jill (Tea Leoni) and a PR (Al Pacino) who fall victim as they threaten to expose the shady potentially scandalous secrets of the rich elites. Algrant's portrayal is very one-sided because he shows all the wealthy characters as big bad wolves and the lesser fortunate people in a more humane light. Examples include the scene where Tea's face lightens up as she thinks of a house in the country, and the sequences between Pacino and Basinger where we see a vulnerable side of Eli. It is the performances that stand out. Al Pacino displays a very intense performance, of a vulnerable and relatively weak character. It is entirely different from the kind of roles he has played earlier and one of his best parts. Kim Basinger lightens the screen as the supportive and loving Vicci. I liked how Algrant demonstrates the special relationship between Eli and Vicci. Their scenes together were some of the best moments of the movie. Tea Leoni is superb despite having a small role. Ryan O'Neal and Richard Schiff are adequate. 'People I Know' is a small film and the ending perhaps may not appeal to many but I thought it was an interesting, even though somewhat partial, take on how power corrupts and destroys.

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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of the most disappointing movies of the last 5 years.

Author: Edward J. Hahn from Hong Kong
15 March 2004

Al Pacino? Kim Basinger? Tea Leoni? Ryan O'Neal? Richard Schiff? My mouth was watering. I dropped everything to watch this movie on Cable. 30 minutes in I was having trouble staying awake. 60 minutes in and I hit the record button and fell asleep. Finished watching it the next morning. Shouldn't have bothered. What a waste of a great cast and an idea that could have been an interesting story of a "Day in the Life..." Cure your insomnia if you have it and watch this movie. I guarantee you at least an hour and a half of uninterrupted sleep. Dialogue horrible. Continuity non-existent. Camera work could have been done with a hand held Super 8 and looked better.

This movie was a total disaster.

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