Movie Moxie’s 31 Days of Halloween – Day 12 – The Devil’s Advocate

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Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Warner Bros.

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Taylor Hackford

Review Rating: 8

A young and talented recruited lawyer heads for a prestigious New York firm, only to discover suspicions that he may in fact be working for the Devil!

This is a highly talented remake of a 1977 film, given an astounding cast with Keanu Reeves as Kevin Lomax, Al Pacino as Old Scratch himself and John Milton, even Charlize Theron as Kevin’s wife Maryanne. Kevin is a hotshot attorney from Florida, running from his religious mother, and in general winning a string of victories for possible bad guys, ignoring the whole moral code deal just to flatter his own vanity. Suddenly he’s whisked away to New York and the prestigious law firm Milton, Waters & Chapman, where the cases are darker, the surroundings are weirder, and hey his wife begins acting strange. Lusting after his extremely attractive colleague Cristabella (Connie Nielsen), Kevin runs from his own wife’s issues about children and buries his head in the sand called work, which happens to be a case that he’s still finding objectionable. Milton is merrily leading Kevin into temptation everywhere, he’s downright jolly about it. Things are spiraling out of control for Kevin, and when Maryanne takes her own life while Kevin’s mother is in town for a visit, Kevin’s suspicions turn to accusations against Milton in a final fiery showdown!

This fantastic piece owes itself in no small part to one simple fact: Al Pacino does some of the best rants anywhere. This film in particular stars Mr. Pacino as the Devil, giving ranting sermons defiant in the face of even Mr. “Little Friend” Montana. Not a thing is wrong with Keanu’s performance, except perhaps for the Floridan accent that flits in and out, otherwise Neo is golden as usual. Charlize takes the part of Maryanne, a role that originally could have likely fit any number of other actresses, and drives it like she owns it, even including the hysterics. Connie Nielsen’s Cristabella, you know, that lady who was Maximus’ love interest in Gladiator, is a stunning piece of work, and boy does she work it on Milton’s orders. Eddie Barzoon, acted by Jeffrey Jones who has actually played the Devil himself before, plays a great sacrificial lamb. Even Judith Ivey, who plays Kevin’s mom Alice, gives a gloriously strained performance, right up to her confession of who Milton really is to Kevin!

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