True Confessions (1981) - Crime, Drama

Hohum Score



A worldly ambitious monsignor clashes with his older brother, a cynical Los Angeles homicide detective who is investigating the brutal murder of a young prostitute.

IMDB: 6.3
Director: Ulu Grosbard
Stars: Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall
Length: 108 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 15 out of 62 found boring (24.19%)

One-line Reviews (51)

If you like your mysteries to be ponderous, pretentious, and dripping with Catholic guilt over the horrible sin of being human, you will love the heavy-handedness of True Confessions.

A flawed but fascinating look at murder, hookers, ambition and the Church...

The acting was good yet overly restrained and the cinematography was drab.

True Confessions is a most entertaining film about two brothers.

This movie is so slow, I think some modern reptile bones petrified before final credits.

I was under the impression that this was going to be very similar to LA CONFIDENTIAL and for brief spots the movie hints it`s heading in that direction with its subplot of the murder of a prostitute and pornography but there`s far too many slow talky scenes with static direction and there seems to be a subtext of catholic guilt in there somewhere which will probably confuse anyone who didn`t attend a catholic school as a child .

Plain boring and nonsense.

We also see both Tom and his partner Frank, Kenneth McMillan, being called over to Brenda's whore house where they find a well known priest, actually a Pastor, Father Mickey dead from a heart attack while engaging in sex with one of Brenda's girls.

It is the story of flawed Characters among corruption and vice and in this atmosphere the gravity is intense.

"True Confessions" plays a bit too slowly, and is rather predictable.

True Confessions (1981) *** (out of 4) Entertaining if ultimately unsatisfying movie about two brothers, one a monsignor (Robert DeNiro) and the other a L.

This was obviously was a fascinating movie.

Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall are compelling and believable as two brothers, Des and Tom Spellacy.

Most of all, the dynamic between De Niro and Duvall is fascinating.

The problems were that the plodding pacing was not complimented by any vibrant emotional drama.

Far more gripping to see Duvall alone poking through the abandoned barracks where Lois Fazenda was sawed in half, and finding a bathtub covered with dried blood.

Some form of salvation from the mess and the muddle seems to arise with the sudden discovery of a dead body that's meant to remind audiences of the yawn-yawn-yawn Black Dahlia murder, though the way it's handled makes it more like the Case of The Drooping Tulip.

If Didion and Dunne had simply concentrated on the murder and let the messages indirectly seep into our heads, I think they would have had a stunning film.

If you are going to plod, you need doses of energy sometimes or intriguing interest.

The actors were very accomplished, but the apparent preoccupations of the characters they were required to play and their thoughts on life in general were so boring that sympathy or empathy was impossible.

And I find it's still an enjoyable and interesting film, even on the inevitably faded VHS video from my local library.

Roberts Duvall and DeNiro are indeed great actors, but they were wasted in this snore-fest.

The combination is breathtaking.

The pace was rather slow, the plot a bit obvious possibly predictable, in few words not what DeNiro or Duvall (who I found to have very poor chemistry on screen) got me used to.

Well worth watching.

Too Slow For Some Tastes ....


Plodding "Mystery" Smothered With Catholic Guilt .

Pace of this movie is slow, even too slow and plot is also predictable.

The reality of the characters is stunning, even though they are necessarily stylized to a large extent.

Although for me the movie is something of a disappointment, it's a fascinating one.

Photography is mundane and direction, pedestrian.

It's that slow.

This is a great looking Movie with some stunning Performances and a terse, if confusing at times, Script with some scenes that simmer, percolate, and are intense from Dialog exchanges.

Hugely disappointing, totally unabsorbing, lethargically paced and practically plotless film.

He has an intense dislike for both Amsterdam and what he believes is the hypocrisy of the Church.

The difference between watching this film and paint drying is that watching paint dry is more exciting.

The acting is, as you might expect, of a high order, and the closing moments are very fine, but the story generates little interest and the film is about as cinematically exciting as an average episode of an average TV series.

The movie goes on with a number of more confusing scenarios with Brenda killing herself with no real reason given other then she was again busted by the cops and Amsterdam who we find out is dying of cancer going to church and confessing his sins, in secret, to Desmond.

DeNiro's portrayal of Monsignoir Spellacy, an Irish priest with a decidedly human side, is positively stunning, in the manner of DeNiro's other historic performances of the era.

Also, his scenes dealing with the church and his fellow priests or performing services are deadly dull.

Easily one of the 10 most boring movies I've ever seen.

Some of his work is downright boring.

But definitely,it was definitely one of the most entertaining and intelligent films ever made during the 80's.

So don't waste your time and skip this film.

A complete waste of time.

" I will warn you that they don't have a lot of scenes together, but the story is riveting and should keep you more than interested.

Slow, slow, slow .

great set design (count the number of authentic cars milling about in the street, or smell the mustiness and dried in blood at the pornographer's studio where the butchery was done) and an absorbing and involving narrative intertwining the lives of the great and the good in a tale taking in sibling relationships, sex, corruption, murder of course and even religion...

It is here then that I make my statement: any scene revolving around, but not necessarily merely involving, Des is anticlimactic and seemingly pointless.

Contrary to viewers who were bored I could not tear myself away from the screen.