Righteous Kill (2008)

# 05062 IMDb

Righteous Kill (2008

taglineMost people respect the badge. Everybody respects the gun.

Director: Jon Avnet

Stars: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Melissa Leo

Crime, Drama, Mystery (1h 41min)


Rated 6.0 after 80,028 votes, 36% postive reviews on 15-Feb-19.

1 nomination


Two veteran New York City detectives work to identify the possible connection between a recent murder and a case they believe they solved years ago; is there a serial killer on the loose, and did they perhaps put the wrong person behind bars?


Jon Avnet (director) Robert De Niro Al Pacino 50 Cent Carla Gugino John Leguizamo Donnie Wahlberg

Robert De Niro (Turk), Al Pacino (Rooster), 50 Cent (Spider (as Curtis Jackson)), Carla Gugino (Karen Corelli), John Leguizamo (Det. Simon Perez), Donnie Wahlberg (Det. Ted Riley), Brian Dennehy (Hingis), Trilby Glover (Jessica), Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Gwen Darvis), Alan Rosenberg (Stein), Sterling K. Brown (Rogers), Barry Primus (Prosky), Melissa Leo (Cheryl Brooks), Alan Blumenfeld (Martin Baum), Oleg Taktarov (Yevgeny Mugalat), Shirly Brener (Natalya), Frank John Hughes (Charles Randall), Terry Serpico (Jon Van Luytens), Liza Colón-Zayas (Judge Angel Rodriguez (as Liza Colon-Zayás)), Malachy McCourt (Father Connell), Ajay Naidu (Dr. Chadrabar), Charles F. Krichman Jr. (Umpire), Rob Dyrdek (Rambo), James Shanahan (ESU Officer), Fatso-Fasano (Stubby (as Fatso Fasano)), Mia Barron (Jill Goldman), Andre B. Blake (Officer Jones (as Andre Blake)), Chris Cenatiempo (Hispanic Man (as Christopher Cenatiempo)), John Cenatiempo (Joseph Cianci), Judy Del Giudice (Hostess), Bryan Chatlien (Ellis Lynde), Shalaya Patty Ford (Latasha), Shaun Kelvin (Cop #2), Merritt Wever (Rape Victim (as Merrit Wever)), Les Chantery (Lawyer #2), Katie Bukovsky (Coach), Tyrone Smith (Fly Ty), Jim Jones (Jim Jones), Darryl Pittman (D / R Period), Margaret Head (Hot Girl)...

From the same director


Russell Gewirtz (written by)

Produced by

Jacob Avnet (associate producer: additional photography (as Jake Avnet)), Jon Avnet (producer), Rob Cowan (producer), Boaz Davidson (executive producer), Danny Dimbort (executive producer), Randall Emmett (producer), Brian E. Frankish (line producer (as Brian Frankish)), George Furla (executive producer), Lati Grobman (producer), Avi Lerner (producer), Alexandra Milchan (producer), Marsha Oglesby (co-producer), Daniel M. Rosenberg (producer), Trevor Short (executive producer)



Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are both very respected actors. They have created many great films and have set a legacy for themselves. However in this new film, Righteous Kill, it only further proves that these two are stars fading away from the spotlight.

The film follows two veteran NYPD cops as they chase a serial murderer that kills scums around New York City. Not only is this a very overused and clichéd plot, it is executed and presented in a very unfashionable way. The film begins by showing a confession tape of one of the cops. As the film's stars attempt to weave through the mysteries of the murders, short blips of this confession tapes is shown. This makes the story seem very disorganized and incoherent. Not only that, the story is everything you have probably have seen in many other cop drama films. It is very predictable and contain many plot holes.

It is very sad to see that the casts' acting seems to be superior to De Niro in this film. However, using the word "superior" does not seems to affect the overall picture of the film due to the fact that everyone's acting seems to be mediocre at best. Most characters seems very flat and acted out in a very over the top manner. De Niro's acting, in particular, is very banal and unrealistic. This issue is prevalent in one scene where his line is literally plagued with obscenities between every other word.

Finally, I am not a very big of having "gangsta rappers" in films as thugs. Strangely, in a film with De Niro and Pacino, this film also have 50 Cent playing a thug. Where as De Niro and Pacino at least had a good screen presence on film, 50 Cent's presentation of film seemed silly and out of place. It added no value overall to the film and seemed to do nothing more than attempting to draw people to the film for the fact that 50 Cent is in the film.

The ending, even with its plot twist, seems very unoriginal and exposed. The ending standoff is not even remotely exciting to see. The action sequences in this film is far few apart to begin with. And not only that, they are very bland. However, it is very likely that De Niro and Pacino fans will enjoy the film. Since this film is very average at best, I suggest going matinée for the fans and to avoid completely for everyone else.

Memorable quotes

[from trailer]
Turk: You don't become a cop because you want to serve and protect. You join the force because they let you carry a gun and a badge. You do it because you get respect.

15 total 


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.

4 total 


1 nomination 
Razzie Awards

Other titles

Las dos caras de la ley (Argentina, Peru) • Õigustatud tapmine (Estonia) • A Dupla Face da Lei (Portugal) • A törvény gyilkosa (Hungary) • As Duas Faces da Lei (Brazil) • Asesinato justo (Spain) • Border (Japan (English title)) • Frente a frente (Mexico) • Kurzer Prozess - Righteous Kill (Germany) • La loi et l'ordre (France) • Meurtre légitime (Canada (French title)) • Oikeuden kasvot (Finland) • Orijinal cinayet (ler) (Turkey (Turkish title)) • Ou fonefseis (Greece) • Pravedno ubojstvo (Croatia) • Sfida senza regole (Italy) • Zawodowcy (Poland (poster title))



Rated R for violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and brief drug use


Argentina:18 / Australia:MA15+ / Brazil:14 / Finland:K-15 / Germany:16 / Ireland:15A / Italy:T / Mexico:B15 / Netherlands:12 / Norway:15 / Peru:14 / Portugal:M/16 / Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) / Singapore:M18 / South Africa:16 / Sweden:15 / UK:15 / USA:R (certificate #44434)


Millennium Films (presents), Emmett/Furla Films (in association with), Grosvenor Park Media (in association with), Righteous Productions, InVenture Entertainment (uncredited), Nu Image Films (uncredited)


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