Promising young lawyer Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves) has never lost a case--even when his client is guilty. When Kevin is seduced away from his sleepy hometown in Florida to work for a flashy, charming lawyer (Al Pacino, in a role he seems born to play), his mother (Judith Ivey) has reservations. But as he works his way up the corporate ladder, Kevin manages to put them aside, along with his wife's (Charlize Theron) needs and the stirrings of his conscience over knowingly defending the guilty. However, his vanity won't let him start losing now. As Kevin's career skyrockets, his neglected wife Mary Ann begins to see evil, violent visions. Hoping a visit from his mother will help, instead Kevin finds himself confronted with a secret his mother has never told him. As Mary Ann seemingly descends into madness, Kevin begins to suspect his boss may be much more than he seems, and he finds himself faced with a choice between saving his own life and saving his soul. Thought-provoking, inventive, and entertaining, director Taylor Hackford's film is reminiscent of psychological horror films like ROSEMARY'S BABY. Andrzej Bartkowiak's lush, innovative cinematography complements the smart script and dead-on acting.
Main Cast & Crew:
Taylor Hackford - Director
Craig T. Nelson
- Format: DVD
- Run Time: 144
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 883929075676
- Genre: Suspense
- Rating: R (MPAA) (for sexuality, nudity, violence, and language)
- Release Date: February 1998
A hotshot Florida defense attorney (Keanu Reeves) takes a too-good-to-be-true position with a Manhattan legal partnership headed by the unctuous, powerful, and inappropriately named John Milton (the gleefully evil Al Pacino), who proffers a fabulous Fifth Avenue flat, untold riches, and scuzzy, amoral clients who are guiltier than sin of murder and child molestation. But is the ladder to success literally the road to hell, with Satan himself in the executive washroom? DEVIL'S ADVOCATE is more morality play than supernatural shocker, with a rich supporting cast and tasty cameos from the evil likes of Don King and former senator Alphonse D'Amato.
Theatrical release: October 17, 1997. Filmed on location in Florida and New York. Keanu Reeves, already involved in the project, volunteered to slash his salary to enable the producers to hire Al Pacino, whom Reeves thought perfect for the part. Delroy Lindo has an uncredited appearance as a Santeria practitioner whom Lomax must defend against charges of animal sacrifice. Donald Trump's own Fifth Avenue penthouse was used as the home of Craig T. Nelson's character, Alexander Cullen, a real estate developer. Charlize Theron tested four times for the role of Mary Ann Lomax. Although director Taylor Hackford liked her for the role all along, he was afraid that she was so beautiful, audiences would find her unsympathetic. For the scene in which Milton morphs into his younger self, special-effects artists merged a model of Reeves's head with models of Pacino's own face from his younger days in THE GODFATHER.
"...Executed with unconventional panache and anchored by dazzling performances from Al Pacino and Charlize Theron..." - 12/01/1997 Box Office, p.50
"...The film is brightly lit and bizarrely jaunty....Pacino lets loose with his full range of mannerisms..." - 01/01/1998 Sight and Sound, p.38
"...Seductive....A lavish-looking, cleverly entertaining morality play with shades of ROSEMARY'S BABY..." - 10/17/1997 New York Times, p.E12
"...THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE is probably Pacino's finest bad performance since SCARFACE....He emotes with lewd abandon..." - 10/24/1997 Entertainment Weekly, p.40-1