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FIND ME GUILTY

This is the true story of Jack DiNorscio, a mobster who went to court to confront the serious federal charges against him. The one hitch: DiNorsio insisted on serving as his own defense lawyer.


CAST: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Linus Roache, Ron Silver, Alex Rocco, Annabella Sciorra, Raúl Esparza

DIRECTOR: Sidney Lumet

SCREENWRITERS: Sidney Lumet, T. J. Mancini, Robert J. McCrea



“Wearing a reddish-brown wig, his gut protruding over his belt loops, a goofy leer spreading across his mug, Vin Diesel's Jackie could be the cutup baby brother of Tony Soprano...Diesel succeeds in making a dangerous thug almost lovable with his sensational performance...‘Find Me Guilty,’ Mr. Lumet's first feature film in seven years, catches him near the top of his game. Now 81, this master surveyor of the urban jungle still has the machinery of police work and courtroom ritual down cold. His skill at conveying the feel of federal offices, jail cells and the eateries where cops and criminals gather to shoot the breeze is so precise you can almost smell the paint on the walls and the food in the kitchen.” --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“The galvanizing return of ‘The Sopranos,’ with the series' authoritative grasp of ethics and consequence, doesn't do any favors for ‘Find Me Guilty,’ a sharp-looking Mob drama with a gooey moral center...Never mind that ‘Find Me Guilty’ is directed by that great, 81-year-old chronicler of urban law and disorder, Sidney Lumet. Diesel's DiNorscio is styled as an untouchably charismatic mook in the softy script by T.J. Mancini and Robert McCrea, which can't decide whether to smile or laugh outright at the government's efforts to break the power of organized crime.” --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

“Vin Diesel, who had a particularly embarrassing comedy debut in ‘The Pacifier’ last year, mines genuine laughs as a Mafia wiseguy in Sidney Lumet's engaging dramedy ‘Find Me Guilty’...Sporting a tan wig, a paunch and middle-age makeup no more convincing than Heath Ledger's in ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ Diesel is virtually unrecognizable as swaggering small-time crook Jackie DiNorscio...The story is a great fit for the venerable Lumet, who has directed many films set in the criminal justice system from ‘Twelve Angry Men’ to ‘The Verdict’--and the hero's anarchic spirit is reminiscent in ways of Lumet's ‘Serpico’ and ‘Dog Day Afternoon’...The performances are solid across the board, but ‘Find Me Guilty’ belongs to the odd couple of Dinklage and Diesel, whose volatile performance finally proves he is much more than an action star.” Lou Lumenick, New York Post

“Jackie is made out to be a hero because he refused to testify against his Lucchese crime family cohorts in what became the longest criminal trial in US history. Most Mafia movies are unduly sympathetic, but this one takes the cake.” --Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor


“Shot quickly and cheaply in high-definition video and almost entirely on one set, the movie has almost zero visual energy, but it teems with snappy dialogue and the same carnival anarchy Lumet brought to ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and ‘Network’ — from the defendants wheeled in and out on stretchers to the silver-tongued midget attorney (Peter Dinklage) who holds the courtroom rapt with his every utterance. Still, the whole thing might backfire were it not for Diesel’s commanding performance, a tribute to Lumet’s storied magic touch with actors if ever there was one...Who’d have thought that, as he turns 82, Lumet would release his best picture since the 1970s?” -- Scott Foundas, LA Weekly

“It's no wonder Sidney Lumet's ‘Find Me Guilty’ had trouble finding a distributor. Its target audience is behind bars...It's one thing to project sympathetic qualities onto fictional gangsters like the Corleones and the Sopranos; it's another to make protagonists out of actual members of the Lucchese crime family.” --Jack Mathews, New York Daily News

“If the movie lacks a battle between good and evil, it also lacks drama. The outcome of the trial seems to be a foregone conclusion. ‘Find Me Guilty’ exists in its moments. There is an electric conversation between Jackie and his former wife Bella (Annabella Sciorra) that makes it perfectly clear why they drove each other crazy, and also why they got married in the first place...This movie by its nature is not thrilling, but it is very genuinely interesting, and that is rare.” --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Lumet's skill at bringing out the juice in actors isn't enough to save the film from overkill...Vin Diesel, saddled with a bad wig and overextended comic business, is clearly jazzed to escape the shallows of ‘The Pacifier.’ But except for a scene with the electrifying Annabella Sciorra as Jackie's ex-wife, Diesel cuts up when he should cut deep.” --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Sidney Lumet directs with his usual unfussy efficiency. But the script, based on transcripts, comes down to one flashy yet uninteresting question: Will Jackie succeed despite the disapproval of the judge (Ron Silver) and the disdain of his don (Alex Rocco)?... it's a courtroom procedural, with little room for characterization...Action hero Diesel doesn't embarrass himself. He doesn't distinguish himself either. He fails to modulate the physical force of his ‘XXX’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ roles into a humming mental energy. He's just a two-fisted version of an affable guy.” --Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun


“Sidney Lumet has a luminous history with this stuff: His fact-based crime pics teem with cops and mobsters, defense lawyers and prosecutors, marching the high and low of the legal system. ‘Find Me Guilty,’ alas, is no ‘Serpico’ or ‘Dog Day Afternoon.’ It's not even a ‘Prince of the City’ or a ‘Q & A’...There's nothing wrong with a wisecracking wise guy, but for all its ripped-from-the-headlines verisimilitude, ‘Find Me Guilty’ sometimes feels like it should have been called ‘Find Me My Cousin Vinny.’” --Stephen Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer