The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Description   [from Freebase]

The Devil's Advocate (marketed as Devil's Advocate) is a 1997 horror film based on a novel of the same name by Andrew Neiderman. It is directed by Taylor Hackford and stars Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino and Charlize Theron. The film's title is a reference to the common phrase "devil's advocate", and Pacino's character is named after the author of Paradise Lost, John Milton. The movie has some minor allusions to Milton's epic, such as the famous quotation "Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven". Kevin Lomax, a defense attorney in Gainesville, Florida, has never lost a case. He defends a schoolteacher, Mr. Gettys, against a charge of child molestation. During the trial, Kevin realizes that his client is guilty, and a reporter tells him that a guilty verdict is all but inevitable. However, through a harsh cross-examination Kevin destroys the credibility of the victim, Barbara, and secures another not guilty verdict. As he celebrates, Kevin is approached by a representative of the New York law firm Milton, Chadwick & Waters, who offers him a large sum of money to help the firm with a jury selection.


It takes a story this ridiculous to be this good. Imagine The Firm, but with the Devil. (Cue demonic laughter.) Keanu Reeves stars as a rising star of a lawyer, and Al Pacino stars as the Devil himself (sample line: ‘Call me dad!’). The movie plays perfectly into Pacino’s penchant to overact the crap out of his part — only this part has no limit to the attitude you can throw at it. The rest of the film is simply very well-made. Special effects, acting (particularly Charlize Theron as Keanu’s sanity-vacating wife), music, set design — it’s all there. No, it ain’t Oscar bait, it’s just one, ahem, hell of a good time.

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