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  Publicity Stills of "Find Me Guilty"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Drama/Comedy
Director: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Vin Diesel, Joe Pesci, Peter Dinklage, Annabella Sciorra, Richard Portnow
RunTime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16 (Coarse Language)

Official Website: http://www.findmeguilty-themovie.com

Opening Day: 4 May 2006

Synopsis :

A drama based on the longest Mafia trial in U.S. history. Jackie Dinorsio (Diesel) who was sent to prison on a drug charge, refuses to turn government witness against his former associates in the New Jersey Lucchesi crime family. However, prosecutor Sean Casey mounts a huge case under the RICO statutes involving dozens of defendants and their attorneys, including Nick Calabrese. For Casey it looks like an open and shut case, until Jackie, who is already serving thirty years, decides to defend himself. Initially dismissed as a lunatic, Jackie has a forceful
personality and an intrinsic understanding of the legal process that gradually change the course of the trial.

Movie Review:

For some reasons, films that are based on mafia often have serious undertones. In “The Godfather”, the audience is first presented with the life of the Corleone family before witnessing tragedy after tragedy of death and violence. In “Scarface”, gangster Tony Montana saw his friend’s limbs being sawed off. In “Once Upon a Time in America”, a group of friends finds tragedy while living the life of a gangster and in “Goodfellas”, violence surround the protagonists as they battle for their lives in New York.

Now finally in “Find Me Guilty”, the audience can finally find some comic relief while still enjoying the gangster theme in the film. Not to mention that even the soundtracks sound like those used in “The Godfather”. In “Find me Guilty”, the audience has it all. Drugs, booze and racketeering. Check. An arch enemy in the form of a persecutor. Check. A trial (in fact, this being the longest mafia trial in US history). Check. The largest number of mob family members ever gathered in the courthouse as the accused. Check. A wacko with a real heart who towers over the rest and shoots off his mouth like nobody’s business. Check. Yeah, you heard the last one right. And that’s Vin Diesel for you.

After “Pitch Black”, “XXX” and “The Fast and the Furious”, one would expect Vin Diesel to continue to utilise his majestic physique to the maximum with more action-packed movies. But no. He chose not to be stereotyped and opt for creating maximum impact on the audience with his new image: a 3-piece suit, hair on his head and pure smart-ass attitude.

Portraying mob boss Giacomo “Jackie Dee” DiNorscio, Vin Diesel shines as the righteous mob boss (ironically as it may sound) who defended both himself and the mob Families. With smart questions while providing some laughter in the courthouse, Vin Diesel tease, insult and rebut all witnesses who dared to take the stand. While annoying at times, it’s hard to discount him as the primary deciding factor in this trial.

Even more heart wrenching is the fact that Giacomo chose to forgive his family members (including one who shot him). This film starts slow and moves progressively into the trial, with the bulk of the film focusing on the latter. A tad similar to “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” in its trial procedures and fight-outs, “Find Me Guilty” has the additional factor of humour added in for good measure. Laughter and court procedures do not usually go hand-in-hand but in this case it does. And the film executes it perfectly, winning the audience over with its hilarious banters between the defendants and the persecutor.

The film is not without its flaws though. A slight diversion towards the later half of the film slows the film down. As it is not a critical plot line, the film would have performed better if this has not happened. Also, the film seems to have the male lead as the primary focus. While this seems rational as the film aims to chronicle Giacomo’s court battles, it will be better if some screen time can be given to develop the supporting casts to add colour to the theme.

Nevertheless, Vin Diesel truly shines as the mob boss who defends anything and everything against the mob families. He is truly the thug who outwardly prowls the seedy alleys and dark streets for profit with a holstered gun in his coat but having a golden heart deep in his soul.

“Find me Guilty” is a truly great movie that preaches the true meaning of sacrifice and “triad brotherhood” in every sense of the word.

Movie Rating:

(“Hilarious and witty, ‘Find Me Guilty’ is Vin Diesel at his best! ”)

Review by Patrick Tay

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