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Righteous Kill (2008)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  12 September 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 70,887 users   Metascore: 36/100
Reviews: 246 user | 197 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

Two veteran New York City detectives work on a case of serial executions of criminals who escaped justice.



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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spider (as Curtis Jackson)
Barry Primus ...
Martin Baum
Yevgeny Mugalat


Turk and Rooster, two aging NYPD detectives and longtime partners, are hunting a serial killer who is murdering sociopathic criminals. They both have personal issues, and when they start working with a younger investigative team, Perez and Riley, tensions between the two teams is inevitable, especially since Turk is now living with Perez's ex-girlfriend, also a homicide detective. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"There's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot" [UK] See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

12 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las dos caras de la ley  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,288,361 (USA) (12 September 2008)


$40,076,438 (USA) (12 December 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the first movie where Al Pacino and Robert De Niro starred together, The Godfather: Part II (1974), they both played gangsters. In their second movie Heat (1995), Pacino was a cop, and DeNiro was a gangster. In this, their third movie together, they are both cops. This is also the first movie where they have extended interaction. They never shared a scene in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and in Heat (1995) they only had two scenes. See more »


At the beginning, in the shooting gallery, the first targets being winched backwards alternate between intact and bullet-ridden. See more »


[first lines]
Rooster: One, between the eye!
Turk: Two, between the eye!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits, the sound of a train is heard. See more »


References The Butterfly Effect (2004) See more »


Chicago Style
Written by Larry Cohn
Published by Engine Co 30 Music Publishing (BMI)
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Acting, Very Weak Script
13 September 2008 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Turk (Robert De Niro) and Rooster (Al Pacino) are longtime NYC police partners, in this Jon Avnet thriller that has them trying to stop an unknown serial killer, a person who leaves a poem at the scene of each crime. Victims are law-breakers who were freed on legal technicalities. Two other cops, played by John Leguizamo and Donnie Wahlberg, become suspicious of the investigation, and this hampers the efforts of Turk and Rooster.

The script on which the film is based is rather poor. The setup is muddled; none of the characters are especially sympathetic, and secondary characters are not well defined. Further, "Righteous Kill" is not that much different from other serial killer or urban crime films.

The mood here is dark, and the tone is rather cynical. Characters go out of their way to telegraph their toughness by using lots of "hard" language. There's an edginess to the characters, and that's okay. But I could have wished for a character with some degree of softness. That would have provided much needed balance to the overall tonal savagery.

Without a doubt, the film's best element is the acting. There's not a weak performance in the bunch. Of course, the focus is on De Niro and Pacino. This is really their film. And it's their camaraderie, their back and forth playful banter, that makes the film worth watching. Production design and costumes are credible. Color cinematography is generally dark, consistent with the story's mood.

In spite of a weak script, "Righteous Kill" does provide some good plot misdirection that will leave viewers unsure as to the story's outcome. But the film's main virtue is the casting of De Niro and Pacino, two contemporary screen legends whose performances here are quite good.

166 of 221 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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I actually enjoyed it rbuonomo27
Terrible, just terrible dsh1998
Retirement age in NYC? ConnerysToupee
List other lame reasons Pacino might want to kill... jwire25
Is it worth watching at all? ap_four
If this was directed by Martain Scoresce........... KrazyKousins
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