The Devil's Advocate (1997)

The Devil's Advocate (1997)

1997 R 144 Minutes

Drama | Horror | Mystery | Thriller

A hotshot lawyer gets more than he bargained for when he learns his new boss is Lucifer himself.

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • Devil's Advocate blends courtroom drama with religious connotations. An interesting combination that evokes several themes. The problem is though, the two don't necessarily marinate well together constantly. A hot shot talented lawyer is unstoppable as he wins every case. A big cheese comes along and takes him under his wing which proves to be far more life altering than first anticipated. It's no spoiler, given the title and front cover, that this is about the power of evil. Vanity, power, lust, fact, include all of the seven deadly sins as well. Depicting the idea that there is evil within everyone and that good does not necessarily always prevail. Our protagonist starts his new career with the best of intentions for him and his wife. He then starts to dabble into temptation and unknowingly evil creeps into his subconscious, tainting his view on love and life. Gradually becoming a marionette to a greater puppet master, which of course is perceived to be the Devil. I like the portrayal of how careers and relationships are built upon good, only for them to be maintained by evil. The narrative clearly shows this, the problem is the balance between the courtroom cases and the effects of the Devil's influence are skewed. They do not blend constantly. This becomes clear towards the end where the plot reveals a few twists. The religious connotations and subtext that follow are far too forced in a film that primarily focusses on law. Perhaps injecting the subtextual layers into the narrative more frequently would've given a better result and not such an underwhelming ending. Wasn't a huge fan of the final five minutes, hate it when films do that (you'll know what I mean if you've seen it). Surprisingly Keanu Reeves held his own against Al Pacino, and I thought Charlize Theron projected fragility really well in what is one of her earliest performances. It's a good drama, with many psychological concepts but unfortunately didn't explore the influence of evil to a greater extent.