Ty Burr
December 03, 1993 AT 05:00 AM EST

Guilty as Sin

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Rebecca De Mornay, Don Johnson, Jack Warden
director
Sidney Lumet
Producers
Hollywood Pictures
distributor
Buena Vista Pictures
author
Larry Cohen
genre
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a C-

What the hell’s going on with Sidney Lumet? Last year the high-class director of ”The Verdict” and ”Dog Day Afternoon” went slumming with the silly ”A Stranger Among Us”; now he leaps into the gutter with screenwriter Larry Cohen, the low-rent brain behind schlockers like ”It’s Alive.” Cohen wrote this entertainingly stupid trashfest, in which a high-priced lady lawyer (De Mornay) defends a slick ladies’ man (Johnson) who may or may not have offed his wife. Yes, the movie’s a pile of ”Jagged Edge” leftovers (down to Jack Warden in the Robert Loggia crusty-detective role), but they’ve been overheated to a tasty absurdity — and Johnson has a high old time as an oily gigolo mesmerized by his own charm. The dialogue reeks, the plot takes so many twists it bumps into itself coming the other way, and neither De Mornay nor Lumet seems to be in on the joke. In other words, a bad-movie fan’s delight.

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