Most helpful positive review
Good acting, Very Good storyline.
on May 27, 2004
This is a movie with a good handle on reality-- warts and all. It focusses on imperfect characters who feel completely real-- incuding DeNiro, whose acting, bad haircut, extra weight, and "average joe" clothing all successfully overcome our preconceived notion of DeNiro as a top-of-his-game mafiosa.
Instead, we see DeNiro, but AS THIS CHARACTER: a warts-and-all cop & bad father, looking for a second chance.
Also, DeNiro's star power doesn't overshadow this movie's second plotline, about a junkie (DeNiro's son), also looking for a second chance....and some kind of family life.
Likewise, the physical setting and peripheral relationships all have a REAL feel. Viewers will come away with the feeling that this is the seamy, redeemable side of real life.. a place you wouldn't want to live, but a state you can recover from.
*spoilers ahead. Stop reading now, if you hate spoilers.*
We get a happy ending, but not a Hollywood unbelievable ending. Some of the relationships STAY fractured, and other elements of the resolution also have that real, imperfect, but therefore acceptably non-saccharine happy ending.