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The Son of No One: movie review

Al Pacino is relatively restrained in the cop thriller 'The Son of No One,' which sounds more like a shout-fest.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / November 4, 2011



Muddled cop thriller “The Son of No One” has a top-drawer cast and a bottom-drawer script. Channing Tatum plays Jonathan "Milk" White, a rookie policeman with a past: As a young boy in 1986 (played by Jake Cherry), he more or less accidentally killed two junkies while living in the projects in Queens, New York. His late father’s cop partner, played by Al Pacino, covered up the killings and no one was ever charged. Now, in 2002, an anonymous letter writer to a local Queens paper threatens to heat up the cold case. 

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Writer-director Dito Montiel is big on lower-depths melodrama and scenes of people yelling until they’re blue in the face. Chief yeller is Milk’s boss, played by Ray Liotta, but he has stiff competition from the rest of the squad, not to mention a dogged newspaper reporter played, inexplicably, by Juliette Binoche. (She appears to be the only employee at the paper. Is Montiel making a social statement or did he just lack the funds for extras?) Pacino is – for him – relatively restrained in his supporting role. He’s mellowing or maybe he’s saving his lung power for something worth yelling about. Grade: C- (Rated R for violence, pervasive language, and brief disturbing sexual content.)

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