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Sea of Love is a suspenseful film noir boasting a superlative performance by Al Pacino as a burned-out Gotham cop.

Handsome production benefits from a witty screenplay limning the bittersweet tale of a 20-year veteran NYC cop (Pacino) assigned to a case tracking down the serial killer of men who’ve made dates through the personal columns.

He teams up with fellow cop John Goodman to set a trap for the murderer. Clues point to a woman being the killer.

Early on, Ellen Barkin appears as one of the suspects, but after an initial rebuff Pacino is smitten with her and crucially decides not to get her fingerprints for analysis. Pic builds some hair-raising twists and turns as the evidence mounts pointing to her guilt, climaxing in a surprising revelation.

Pacino here brings great depth to the central role. A loner with retirement after 20 years facing him, this cop is a sympathetic, self-divided individual and Pacino makes his clutching at a second chance with femme fatale Barkin believable.

Sea of Love

  • Production: Universal. Director Harold Becker; Producer Martin Bregman, Louis A. Stoller; Screenplay Richard Price; Camera Ronnie Taylor; Editor David Bretherton; Music Trevor Jones; Art Director John Jay Moore
  • Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1989. Running time: 112 MIN.
  • With: Al Pacino Ellen Barkin John Goodman Michael Rooker William Hickey Richard Jenkins
  • Music By: