Night Falls in Manhattan

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Night Falls in Manhattan deals with suspected police corruption, an honorable district attorney and a loving father-son relationship. At the age of 33, Sean Casey (Andy Garcia) has finally completed law school and is hired as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City. Sean's dad, Liam (Ian Holm), is a veteran policeman about to retire. He and his partner lead a raid to bring in one of the city's most notorious drug kingpins. Three policemen are killed, Liam is critically wounded and the targeted criminal escapes. Inexperienced Sean is handed the job of chief prosecutor in the drug lord's murder trial. Pagoda (Richard Dreyfuss), a seasoned defending attorney, loses his case but not before raising questions of police corruption. Sean's big courtroom victory leads to his election as District Attorney. He promises the public he'll conduct an intensive investigation into allegations of police wrong-doing and prosecute any officer found guilty. When very disturbing clues lead to Sean's beloved father, his moral dilemma provides suspense and heart-wrenching plot twists. Fans of police drama won't be disappointed with this intriguing story.

It's encouraging to see positive images of authority figures and Sean's respect for his father. Sean refuses to look the other way when his investigation could implicate his dad. Liam deals honorably and bravely with his misdeeds rather than plead for special favors. Sean responds candidly to media references to his affair with a defense attorney (Lena Olin). He acknowledges in public that he's living with her, but hopes she'll marry him. She initiates their liaison by approaching him with a very explicit remark, and a few hours later Sean is shown in her bed. However, the film's major flaw is its foul language - 50 obscenities and 12 regular profanities along with a string of crudities. The drug raid scene where the policemen are killed and Liam Casey is wounded is graphic and bloody, but fairly brief. When a corrupt officer puts a gun to his mouth, the screen goes black as the gun is fired. Sean's affair and the film's many obscenities and profanities spoil this intelligent film.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Paramount Pictures, 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (18) times - Mild 1, Moderate 17

Obscene Language: Many (50) times - (s-word 10, f-word 30, other 10)

Profanity: Many (12) times - All Regular (G-d 10, G 1, J-C 1)

Violence: Few times - Moderate and Severe (policemen shot in chest, head and face during raid; man commits suicide with gun in mouth)

Sex: Implied once (man spends night in woman's apartment)

Nudity: None; near nudity few times (scantily clad prostitutes)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (woman makes brazen remark to man; prostitutes shown with drug dealer)

Drugs: Several times (alcohol drinking)

Other: Son admires and respects father; public figure exhibits integrity, loyalty

Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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