Loyalty on Trial

Vin Diesel plays mobster Jackie DiNorscio in Find Me Guilty. It’s a true story. New York prosecutors sought to take down the mob, DiNorscio defended himself, and the trial set a record for the longest in US history.

Through all of it, DiNorscio stood for loyalty. He expected it, he earned it. That’s really what’s on trial – already serving 30 years, DiNorscio refuses to take any deals that shorten his sentence, as they all require him to snitch on someone else.

Confined primarily to one courtoom, Sidney Lumet’s penultimate feature doesn’t offer an engaging visual space. Find Me Guilty asks a lot Diesel. He’s fantastic. To his benefit, DiNorscio had a wild, brash personality, using every ounce of it to swing the jury his way. Although Find Me Guilty draws the comparison between the macho DiNorscio and prudish lawyers for the prosecution – a clear hero/villain dynamic – not lost is how guilty the accused are. Admissions of drug use, drug trading, murder, shootings; all of it comes out with evidence. That loyalty though – the jury respects it.

Find Me Guilty is a story of loyalty, as much as it asks for the same

The lead prosecutor’s lawyer melts down at one point, pounding a table and screaming, noting the crime family’s history of murder. It’s quite absurd, even unbelievable were it not true. That’s where Find Me Guilty draws its comedy, exposing the sometimes ludicrous court system as one of the accused suffers a heart attack. He’s then pulled back into court on a stretcher to serve trial.

Meanwhile, it’s Diesel at the helm, blasting witnesses with vulgarity-laced questions, telling jokes, and drawing out lies via unorthodox means. His counter is an actual lawyer played by Peter Dinklage, ever the professional and terrified of his client’s chances if the wackiness keeps up. It’s a clash of class and personality type. Plus, Find Me Guilty never draws anyone as inherently unlikable, even those with blood on their hands.

Again, Find Me Guilty is a story of loyalty, as much as it asks for the same. There’s no doubt as to the guilt. Yet the careful dialog and smart cross-examinations makes a connection to family. DiNorscio stares down a cousin who chose to turn, a critical moment that shows the emotional loss of a broken bond. Diesel’s work is outstanding here, the hurt visible on his face, and making him the instant anti-hero. There is empathy in that moment. The entire case rides on it.

Video

It appears Find Me Guilty came from both digital and film-based sources. Information is murky. What that means for Blu-ray is a persistently noisy presentation from a so-so encode. Some fault lies with the source, the rest this disc.

Get past that and detail does flourish. Diesel endured heavy makeup for this role, still invisibly applied even under HD scrutiny. Facial definition offers consistency and purity, while long shots of the court keep everything sharp.

Color range generally chills a natural palette, attractive though and producing accurate flesh tones. The wood-based courtroom brings out strong, deep browns while various suits add in primaries. Contrast spreads indoors, layering images pleasingly over stable black levels.

Audio

Other than keep courtroom dialog moderated, the audio isn’t offering much. The choice of Dolby Digital doesn’t matter to any real extent.

A jazzy score does activate the subwoofer on occasion, but otherwise the front-focused soundstage never ventures outward.

Extras

A nine-part interview with director Sidney Lumet runs a touch under five minutes; it’s none too detailed. A handful of trailers follow.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Find Me Guilty
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4

Movie

Finding a way to sympathize with known killers, Find Me Guilty hosts a stellar Vin Diesel performance as he battles the court system.

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