City Hall (1996)

City Hall

★★★★☆

Directed by: Harold Becker

Written by: Ken Lipper, Paul Schrader, Nicholas Pileggi and Bo Goldman

This tightly-packed thriller reminded me a bit of a newer movie I reviewed here, The Ides of March. This is a movie about politics, choices, courage and convictions, with workman performances by John Cusack as the Deputy Mayor of New York City and Bridget Fonda as the representative of a slain cop. The standout is the layered work done by Al Pacino as fictional mayor John Pappas, a nuanced character who is both pragmatist and idealist. I particularly liked that the movie had a lot of intrigue and life-or-death elements, especially as the powerful men behind the scandal try to cover up their tracks, but at no point did it descend into silly or outrageous territory. Worth watching.