Critical Care

Nashville Scene

DIRECTED BY: Sidney Lumet

REVIEWED: 03-02-98

After the wildly incompetent A Stranger Among Us and Guilty as Sin, director Sidney Lumet spent 1997 learning how to make movies again. He started the year with the gripping, salty legal procedural Night Falls on Manhattan, and he closed it with this dark satire of modern medicine. James Spader stars as a cynical hospital resident who gets embroiled in a tug-of-war between two sisters, their dying father, and their respective insurance companies. Lumet indulges some needlessly zany subplots (Wallace Shawn appears as, yes, the devil), and he relies too much on one-dimensional character types. But he coaxes great performances out of Spader and Helen Mirren, and he lets the comedy bubble up quietly from well-placed close-ups and from the imaginatively sterile set design. The film is also worth seeing for Albert Brooks' riotous turn as a drunken administrator. If nothing else, Lumet has remembered how to cast.

--Noel Murray

Full Length Reviews
Critical Care

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Critical Care
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Other Films by Sidney Lumet
Night Falls on Manhattan

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