Albino Alligator (1996) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
68 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Okay, the cast is better than the script but it's still a solid hostage drama, and definitely worth watching.
Infofreak1 July 2003
Any hostage drama can't help but get compared to 'Dog Day Afternoon' and will therefore be found lacking, but 'Albino Alligator', while not without a few flaws, does a credible job. Kevin Spacey shows some promise as a director, but the script sometimes let's him down. Even so it's pretty entertaining, and the best thing about it is the outstanding cast. You might think Spacey would call upon his Usual Suspects buddies but instead we have Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise and William Fichtner as criminals on the run, Faye Dunaway, M. Emmett Walsh, Skeet Ulrich, John Spencer and Viggo Mortensen as the occupants of an after hours bar they hold hostage, and Joe Mantegna as the cop on the scene. All the actors performances are good, but I especially enjoyed Fichtner's redneck sociopath and Mortensen's mysterious French Canadian who may not be the average joe he appears to be. Both actors have been favourites of mine for some time. 'Albino Alligator' is no masterpiece, but if you want to see some good actors do their thing I suggest you check it out, you won't be disappointed.
12 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
An Actor's Movie.
abqdiva19 March 2005
There are movies that are made because the studios know they'll make money. There are the movies that are made because someone believed they would and they held out long enough to get them made. Then there are the "actor's movies," the ones any actor worth his/her salt would love to make themselves. This is Kevin Spacey's "actor's movie." That's not a bad term in the least. The majority of the movie is set inside a New Orleans bar, but the scenery doesn't get tiresome. This is due to the fantastic performances of the cast. I love it when I can watch a movie and forget that the person I'm watching is otherwise known as Gary Sinise, Faye Dunaway, or Viggo Mortenson.

The film is also a classic tale of inhumanity, on how far people need to or will go to save their own skin, on choices. It sounds cliché, but the movie doesn't come across that way in the least. Overall, I recommend the film for a lazy Saturday afternoon, like it was for me.
23 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
See you later alligator
jotix1007 November 2005
Kevin Spacey's film debut impressed this viewer when this film debuted in 1996. On second viewing, recently, it still is an interesting film to watch, but it basically left a lot of questions unanswered because of the screen play Christian Forte wrote. One can see what attracted "Albino Alligator" to Mr. Spacey. It's a film where the situation that is created at the beginning of the film allows for intense performances by the first rate cast the director was able to put together. There are holes in the plot, like the enigmatic presence of Guy, the Canadian man one sees sitting at Dino's but whose role in the whole thing is not well explained by the screen play. Matt Dillon, as the man in charge of the bandits makes a good contribution. Faye Dunaway is excellent as Janet, the bar maid that must make tough decisions at the end of the film. William Fichtner is at his most intense playing Law, the loose cannon. Gary Sinise doesn't have much to do. The ensemble cast is good under Mr. Spacey's direction. John Spencer, Skeet Ulrich, M Emmet Walsh, Joe Mantegna, Melinda McGraw and Frankie Faison are effective in their roles. A film to be seen as a curiosity because it marks Kevin Spacey's film debut as a director.
17 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Uneven directorial debut for Spacey
SKG-215 February 1999
Kevin Spacey is, of course, one of the best actors we have, and he shows talent in his first time out as director in this crime story. Specifically, he does a good job creating a tense atmosphere in such a claustrophobic environment as a bar. And although there's a lot of camera movement, it's not overdone. Also, he's good with his actors, especially Dillon, Dunaway, and Sinise.

But the movie suggests Spacey should learn about reading scripts next time. The movie harks back to films like PETRIFIED FOREST, but is little more than a clone of them, and writer Christian Forte often falls back on obscenities to substitute for character development and plot. And some of the scenes strain credulity, like the ending.
19 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Grand Film, Small Scale
Maus-527 June 1999
The look and feel of this film is that of live theatre. The minimalist approach in set and costume as well as simple, yet dramatic lighting, create an intimacy and immediacy which accents character development and showcases each actor's individual talents. Beautifully written, directed and acted, it's worth a look, and a look again. Most notable is the character of Law, portrayed by William Fichtner, whose electric intensity keeps the nerves raw and the eyes riveted. Kudos to Kevin Spacey for a deliciously original directorial debut.
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Interesting and engrossing
AKS-61 June 1999
As everyone already knows, Kevin Spacey is an extremely good actor who never does a bad job acting. The man is also a great singer (check out the soundtrack to "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"), so it's not a surprise that he turns out to be multitalented; he's obviously a great director as well. This is the first movie he has ever made and it is such an engrossing and interesting movie. The acting is also superb, Matt Dillon doing such a great job was a surprise to me. The story itself is also interesting, and I liked the fact that this movie was in many ways theatrical. It doesn't work in every movie, but with this premise it worked out fine. Let's hope Spacey directs many more movies!
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
When criminals get put in the line of police fire. When Actors get behind the cameras.
abyoussef9 February 2004
by Dane Youssef

A gang of crooks. The perfect plan. It all goes wrong. They're in trouble. The police are outside. They're cornered. What are they gonna do now?

Sound familiar?

The movie seems like it's trying to be a combination of the acting workshop, the "indie" film and the theater.

It's the kind of things that actors love--it's kind of like a workshop or a play because it mostly consists of tight focusing on the actors acting... acting angry, tense, scared, conversing, scheming, planning--giving the performers a lot of free range to really ham it all up.

A trio of crooks, one leader, one goon, one brother, come up with a big heist scheme... and a monkey wrench is thrown into the works. To top things off, there's a bit of a "fender-bender" and one of the crooks in flung through the back of the windshield.

The cops are on their tail and they stumble into a bar named poetically (and leadenly) "Dino's Last Chance."

Spacey, as a director, tries to keep the focus on the actors' performances and delivery of dialouge. He pans over to a bright passion-red cigarette ad of a smoking and smoldering Bogart. And he keeps all the violence off-screen, really.

I think that was a mistake. Focusing on the intensity and gruesome violent scenes would have given the movie some edge.

The problem with the movie is that it moves too slow and suffers from miscasting in almost every role. Matt Dillon ("Drugstore Cowboy" and "Wild Things") seems too young and too idealistic to be the leader of this gang.

Gary Sinese seems to brooding and deep in thought to be a spineless tag-along with these guys and Joe Mantaga is effective as the traditional routine foul-swearing mad-dog police lieutenant who's all thumbs, but he isn't given anything to really do here.

William Fischter is the only actor who is believable in his role as a brainless grunt who just wants to spill blood.

And the crooks are in a tense situation where they either go to jail or they try to think of some way out of this.

Spacey lacks the ability to create a lot of tension and keep it going. The characters are mostly chatting away, trying to think of a plan... and they're to calm and too articulate. There's even a scene where the crooks are playing pool with a whole swarm of armed cops right outside, ready to strike. At one point, one of the crooks even call the police who are right outside the bar. Oh brother. Oh bother.

These cops are going to either blow them away or going to lock them up. Shouldn't the holed-up crooks be a little scared, a little uneasy? Meanwhile, all the real action is happening inside.

Someone whips out a gun, a baseball bat, which leads to an ugly confrontation off-screen and there's one more casualty that happens that's... well, kinda sad. But...

Faye Dunaway also should have spent more time with a dialect coach, improving on her New Orleans accent. Skeet Ullrich is fine in a smaller part.

A cop listening in reaches for a pack of matches at the absolute worst time is a nice look. And so is a scene where someone goes right through the rear windshield.

The dialouge is obviously trying to go for a David Mamet approach and it's as profane, but never as realistic or as insightful. I'm guessing Christian Forte is a fan Mamet fan.

The movie feels like too much of what it really is... a really low-budget movie with an actor behind the camera for the first time directing other actors from a script that's "not bad, but needs a few more re-writes." Spacey shows he's not a terrible director, but he lacks a sort of feel for "shaping a movie" and it feels like he's just filming actors act.

These actors are all talented and could work with the material, but they all feel out of place. As I said before, the movie really suffers from miscasting.

I don't mean that the wrong actors were cast. I think they found just the right cast, but placed them in all the wrong roles. I think switching some of the roles would've helped immensely.

Having veteran mob actor Joe Mantagna play the leader of the pack, Gary Sinese as the angry police lieutenant outside on his bullhorn giving orders and barking at his troops, keeping Fischter in his "bloodthirsty goon" part and Matt Dillion as the sacrificial lamb. That would have been a big improvement.

When some actors direct, it works. They can even win Oscars for it. But a lot of the time, when actors direct, they have a tendency to just focus on the performances. Just shoot the actors acting.

Sometimes it works... but they need a good showcase for it. An excuse for it.

Hostage situations are all pretty much the same in real life just like coming-of-age stories so it's only natural that movies about them will go from point A to point B as well.

There are a few really great entries into this genre.' Spacey himself appeared in a similar movie about hostage situations: "The Negotiator."

This certainly won't become a cult classic, let alone one of AFI's 100. Still, it does have a few nice moments and personal touches, but in the end, it's instantly forgettable and the kind of movie that would play best on regular TV. It's just not worth going out of your way to see.

I give a 3 out of 10.

Spacey's other directorial credit, "Beyond The Sea" was reportedly a better effort. Hmmm... maybe it's true. You need to fail before you succeed.

--One Bad Alabaster Crocodile, Dane Youssef
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
An admirable cast, but a slow movie
bsinc22 February 2003
Kevin Spacey's first try at the director's chair is a nice one to say the least, but he could have done much much more with the actors. There are just to many great and known actors in this movie and sadly not enough screen time for every one of them. But this movie has other things to offer; besides the good photography, the nice music and a strong cast it draws its energy from the script that has some great moment(albino aligator), but somehow fails to deliver in the end. "Albino Aligator" will appeal to those who like a dark crime movie but is just to plain to be something more. 6/10
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
All-around terrific film
Tito-823 May 1999
Kevin Spacey is obviously an amazing acting talent, but this film proves that he's almost as good a director. This film was satisfying from beginning to end, and it just got more interesting as it went along. The story is fairly simple, but it was powerfully performed by a hugely talented cast. Dillon, Sinise, and Dunaway all give stand-out performances, but really, the whole cast is top-notch. Mantegna wasn't given as much material to work with, but he still had the only truly funny scene in a generally serious movie, and yet the humor didn't seem out of place. There is certainly room for Spacey to improve as a director, but this is most definitely a great way to start off.
12 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not a lot to show for so much talent
grahamclarke5 May 2004
With so much talent aboard this could have been great cinema. That it's not is due to an unsure screenplay, lacking in credibility, though not lacking in promise. The story in itself, if tightened up, could have been riveting. But despite the actor's efforts, "Albino Alligator" fails to deliver the goods. By the end (which in itself is powerful), one has become a bit tired of it all.

Spacey was obviously drawn to the clear theatricality of much of the action taking place on one set, in effect on one stage. It's hence very talky and stagy, though Spacey is careful to keep the camera moving in interesting ways. The few outdoors scenes too are shot with great visual style. Combining a keen eye, together with his understanding of actors and acting, Spacey will probably at some point bring his directorial talents to fruition. Hopefully he will be more fortunate as far as a suitable screenplay is concerned.

Matt Dillon in the lead does a fair job. As is often the case with him, he manages some moments of excellence, but on the whole is capable rather than brilliant. (He sustained an exceptional performance is the "Saint of Fort Washington" and surprised many with "Drugstore Cowboy".). It's as if there is a depth to him which he seems to have a lot of trouble reaching. There is a brief scene in "Albino Alligator" in which he talks to himself in a facing mirror. It's a moment which reveals those depths which so often seem to elude him.

The other players do as well as one would expect. Gary Sinise is superb as Dillon's elder brother, William Fichtner is truly edgy and sinister and Faye Dunaway's bartender has a ring of truth to it.

Despite all this talent and a story with possibilities, this is not one to seek out.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
AWFUL MOVIE THAT WILL WASTE YOUR TIME!!!
jholcombe8 August 2000
Although it has been 2 years, I still remember the complete waste that comprises the entire plot of the movie. Unfortunately, I came across this movie after my friends and I selected it while browsing through the new releases at Blockbuster. We decided to pick the movie because it was the only one we all had not seen and it sounded like it may be enjoyable. Although it has been quite some time since I viewed the movie, I still remember the lack of plot (seriously, there is no true plot), and complete waste of time that was spent watching the movie. If you are in the video store and this film catches your eye, walk on and find a better movie. If you did end up seeing this movie, I understand your pain :)
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Nice little diddy
DutchECK19 July 2004
Albino Alligator is a relatively short and cheap crime thriller. Still, it managed to hold my attention for its duration. The sets are simple and cheap, but they work. The film has a nice plot with a few good plot twists. I was unable to find something I didn't like about this film. However, I didn't find something I really liked either.

This film is ideal for a rainy evening when you have nothing better to do. It will certainly entertain you for an hour and a half and you will want to know what happens, but you won't stay awake at night thinking about this film. Albino Alligator is a film like there are so many: a nice little diddy, but quickly forgotten.

If this film is on and you don't have anything better to do, by all means watch. But don't rent this film. There are so many better films available.
9 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Spacey is not a director
pepekwa11 September 2007
On the face of it, this should be a great film, a great cast, a plot with many possibilities and one of Hollywood's finest behind the camera for the first time.

However, its clear why it was another 8 years before spacey decided to try directing a movie again. This movie fails on so many levels. In a film where there is not much action and most of the scenes are shot in a couple of locations, it is imperative that suspense and continuity are provided by the director. Not so here, the great cast is horribly under-used, none more so than the great, late John Spencer, the plot is so run of the mill and nothing you haven't seen in a hundred other TV movies. There is so little character development you end up not caring for any of the protagonists. At least we know spacey has a lot of mates and clout in Hollywood studios to get away with a poor flick like this
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
GREAT
jamie_7111 April 2000
I've seen most people rented this movie b/c of Kevin Spacey...truthfully, I rented it b/c of Gary Sinise. I've seen a lot of his stuff, and only one turned out to be a dud-Mission To Mars. I went to get Of Mice And Men and saw him on the cover of this movie and immediately grabbed it. This is one movie that kept me saying "What's gonna happen!?" "Who IS this guy?!" and random things to that nature. I think the plot is amazing. It took the second time watching it for me to really grasp what went wrong in the beginning. It has just the right amount of comedy relief as well. I think everyone has a 'great!' role and acts in it well! Dillon and Dunaway could have been more 'convincing' but all around, wonderful! I plan on buying this movie!
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
It cost me $1, and I still think I got ripped off
tastyhotdogs30 April 2006
For some reason I really wanted to see this when it first came out. Whether it was the intriguing trailer, or because Kevin Spacey was involved, or because there wasn't much else on I don't know. Funny thing is I never got round to seeing it until yesterday after I picked it up on VHS for $1.

The movie has a decent cast, but a very slow storyline. 3 petty criminals get involved in a bungle, kill 2 cops and need to find a hideout. They stumble across a basement bar (think of "Cheers") early in the morning and quickly take the few drinkers and workers hostage. They are soon trapped with only one entrance and cops swarming. How will they escape? See it and find out (or read a review with spoilers and save yourself one and a half hours).
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Too much trouble to figure out a convoluted and under-developed plot.
Doctor_Bombay29 March 1999
When a new screenwriter is trying to get his script made, the best way to draw attention (nee money) is to attach a star, someone with visibility, someone bankable. Surprisingly, I don't think stars really read a lot of scripts, certainly not all the way through, certainly not with a mindset toward how to make this into a good, completed film.

At the time this film was made, Kevin Spacey was hot, very hot. His performances in Seven, Swimming with Sharks, and The Usual Suspects had brought him not only rave reviews, but an Academy Award. His want to direct, this inherent heat, plus his ability to attract additional star power, namely Faye Dunaway, Matt Dillon, and Gary Sinise, and a spec script from a first time writer had the financial backing it needed.

Maybe Albino Alligator would have been a weak film in even the most accomplished hands, it certainly is a weak film in this first time director's. The premise is sketchy, the through line distorted and vague. Some of the characterizations seem forced, or contrived, as if, for example, Faye Dunaway (or Gary Sinise)'s part were quickly created or expanded to accommodate their agreeing to particpate.

Many good young film makers are making daring, exciting, edgy films right now. This is not one of them.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Tense little drama
DB-08-DB4 September 2001
Albo Gator (to quote Bill Fichtner) is a tense little drama, superbly acted. The film is so small in scale and so tightly staged that it feels very personal to watch. The film, written by Christian Forte, tells the story of three small time hoods (Matt Dillon, William Fichtner and Gary Sinise) on the run who take shelter (and hostages) in a small down-town bar. As the tension escalates within the bar, so does the chaos outside, as the police surround the building and begin negotiations. The film feels very much like a stage production, which is not a bad thing. In fact, it feels like a very good stage production. The performances are nothing short of dynamite, the bar itself being filled with the who's who of modern character actors and supporting players. The great M. Emmett Walsh is the owner of the establishment and on this particular night his unfortunate customers includes trucker John Spencer, tough-cookie Faye Dunaway, pool player Skeet Ulrich and enigmatic stranger Viggo Mortensen, who may or may not be hiding something. They are all great in their respective roles. Dillon, Fichtner and Sinise shine as the conflicted criminals. The jazzy score from Michael Brooke is the icing on the cake. Albino Alligator, small but perfectly formed.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Spacey's directorial debut is exciting
keithdavid-3117317 December 2018
Albino Alligator, the directorial debut of 1996's Best Supporting Oscar winner, Kevin Spacey, is a cagey, claustrophobic noir thriller highlighted by a few clever plot twists, some nicely- honed dialogue, and a half-dozen top-notch performances. Many will doubtless compare this movie to Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, but, while there are similarities in plot, intent, and style, Albino Alligator is a more intimate film. If not for the car chase that opens the movie and sets up everything that follows, this could easily be mistaken for the screen adaptation of a play. In an era when Tarantino-flavored crime thrillers are becoming more commonplace, Albino Alligator manages to distinguish itself. For the most part, Christian Forte's script is smart, even if the characters aren't, and Spacey's direction is sure-handed. There's something darkly delightful about watching a movie like this, which, despite occasionally falling back on formulaic conventions, still manages to surprise its audience from time-to-time.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Unimaginative direction by Spacey ruined this potentially great film .....
PimpinAinttEasy7 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Dear Kevin Spacey,

you had everything a director could ask for. This film has a great setting - a bar in New Orleans. A great story - a hostage thriller inside a bar but the patrons and staff at the bar are not what they seem like. There is a brilliant twist as well. The dialogues were great. It has a great cast - Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, Viggo Mortensen, Emmet Walsh and William Fichtner. What could go wrong? Well, the direction was crap. I mean how scenes were shot. Where the camera is placed. How tension is built. What the actors are doing. How the scenes are edited. How the background score was used. All of this contributes to making a film great. You failed in all these areas, Kevin.

The film did begin with a bang. The action scenes were terrific. But the drama inside the bar soon becomes uninteresting due to bad direction. And the actors mumbled too much at times. The scenes outside the bar with the police officers and the news reporters were not particularly well written. I am not saying it was utter crap. It was interesting for a while. This is another film Tarantino might have been inspired by when he made The Hateful Eight.

Best Regards, Pimpin.

(6/10)
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Half stage play, half independent film, half baked
ginocox-206-33696831 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Albino Alligator" was Kevin Spacey's directorial debut, produced in 1997 for $5MM. It has a talented cast ,with Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise, Viggo Mortensen, E. Emmet Walsh, Joe Mantegna, Faye Dunaway and William Fichtner.

The film asks the dramatic question: Would you kill an innocent person to save your life? It's an intriguing question that deserves a much better screenplay. It also deserves a much better answer than offered by the filmmakers.

The screenplay is a mess. What should be a character-driven story seems largely driven by unlikely coincidences.

Much of the action occurs off screen. A burglar alarm is tripped, a character commits suicide and a character commits murder – all off screen. These are three points that alter the course of the plot, but the audience doesn't quite know why they happened. The burglars seem to have tripped the alarm trying to gain access. If so, the police wouldn't be able to charge them with much, unless they have prior warrants. They could have simply split up and walked away in separate directions. They might have dropped their weapons and lock picks down a sewer grating. Instead, they call attention to themselves by speeding away in a stolen car.

The character motivations are unclear. An international criminal arranges a meeting at closing time in a basement bar with no back exit. The person he is supposed to meet never shows. A possible exit has been covered over with cinder blocks. Unless the cores are filled with concrete and steel bars (which is uncommon), cinder blocks are fairly easy to break with a sledgehammer, claw hammer or anything reasonably hard. With enough shells, they could break through with the shotgun. But they don't even try.

The police procedures make no sense at all. The plan for escape made sense in the Bill Murray comedy "Quick Change," but not in a serious drama, although the trope worked reasonably well in "16 Blocks."

The least sensible and least satisfying part is the answer to the dramatic question. One character commits suicide, presumably because he's been betrayed and he refuses to kill innocent people. One person is a sociopath, so doesn't face a moral dilemma. One character is given a revolver and given a choice between killing an innocent victim and going free, or dying. But one would think holding a loaded weapon would offer a third option. This is the climatic moment, but it occurs off screen. The characters who choose to kill an innocent person do survive, while those who do not die.

"Buried" was produced four years later with a much smaller budget of $3MM. It was gritty, compelling and effective. AA is not nearly as effective. The difference is primarily due to the caliber of the scripts.

The film looks more like a stage play than a feature film. Most of the exterior shots could be eliminated without severely damaging the story. Since the exteriors really show the budgetary limitations, the film might actually have been improved.

The movie has a good cast. It's not sufficiently compelling to engage the audience, but neither is it sufficiently egregious to completely alienate.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Overall a big disappointment
TxMike1 September 2014
Warning: Spoilers
With a fine cast, and set in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities, I was anxious to see what Kevin Spacey could do in his first feature directorial effort. Overall I came away disappointed.

First off, it doesn't appear to be actually filmed in New Orleans. We see a couple of stock shots, the bridges and a few streetcars, but the movie takes place almost completely in a small basement bar, and New Orleans doesn't have basement bars. The water table is so high they bury bodies above ground.

Second, the petty crooks end up in the bar around closing time, to get care for an injured buddy, terrorizing the four occupants. The cops are alerted and they have to try to figure out how to escape from a small bar with no rear exit and no windows.

I came away unsatisfied with my viewing experience.

SPOILERS: In the end it turns out the cops were after a different set of major crooks and when the survivors finally got out around daybreak the cops didn't even try to arrest them.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Watering Hold Up
wes-connors27 July 2013
When a New Orleans robbery turns into a deadly pursuit, three crooks take refuge in a spacious basement bar and hold those inside hostage. The "Dino's" bar invaders are: handsome bad-boy Matt Dillon (as Dova), muscular psychotic William Fichtner (as Law) and quietly wounded Gary Sinise (as Milo). Of those unlucky enough to be in the bar on this eventful night, the biggest parts go to mouthy barmaid Faye Dunaway (as Janet), secretive businessman Viggo Mortensen (as Guy) and cute pool player Skeet Ulrich (as Danny). The drama was written by Christian Forte (son of 1950s "teen" celebrity Fabian) and directed by Kevin Spacey (the highly accomplished actor)...

The term "Albino Alligator" is explained in the story and has some character parallels. This is an enjoyable directorial debut for Mr. Spacey. However, the actors appear to bounce around a lot, and a hidden rifle could have been handled better. Three big "secrets" are revealed - the most important could have been "introduced" along with the opening robbery, for maximum tension; let's anticipate that explosive confrontation. Of the other character relationships, one is a surprise and the other is not; neither adds anything by being held back. Also, the "hero" we're left with at the end would probably be unmasked in real life. But, this is the movies, and the story is engaging.

****** Albino Alligator (9/9/96) Kevin Spacey ~ Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, William Fichtner, Viggo Mortensen
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Blu-Ray version of this is 1.77, not 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio
chuckju-120 July 2012
A number of new movies out recently in Blu Ray, this one, and many others, are in much smaller aspect ratio than original theatrical release! Next of Kin is another example. This should be protested and not allowed to continue. Normally I expect a Blu-Ray to be a duplicate of the original release. HOWEVER, I BELIEVE THIS IS SIMPLY AN ERROR IN AMAZON'S PRODUCT DESCRIPTION. I CHECKED "OUTLAND" AND THOUGH LISTED AS 1.77 TO 1, IT WAS THE CORRECT 2.3 OR SO TO 1 THAT IT SHOULD BE. This is a rip off of the customer. I bought a very good Blu-Ray of "Cellular" a few weeks ago, but it's in 16 X 9 aspect ratio. Now the new version of "Cellular" in Blu-Ray is the correct 2.35 to 1 aspect ratio.

The Cellular BluRay at 16 X 9 was excellent but for the aspect ratio.

I don't know if this is a ruse to force cinephiles to pony up for another Blu Ray later or not. But I do hate it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Flat hostage drama
Wizard-824 March 2012
In the past I have enjoyed a number of movies involving hostage taking, from "Dog Day Afternoon" to "The Negotiator". So I was pretty sure I would enjoy "Albino Alligator". While the movie is not without merit, overall I felt let down. I will say the movie is well made for a low budget, there is some good acting, and some humor in the movie is funny. But there are a number of problems. For one thing, none of the characters - hostage takers, the chief ATF agent, nor the hostages - are made to be colorful or compelling enough. And I found the central story to be surprisingly dull. There is little tension, the movie moves VERY slowly, and the movie resorts to using clichés found in other hostage movies instead of trying to put a new spin on things. While this isn't an awful movie, it is pretty flat, and you'd be better off instead rewatching those movies I mentioned in the first sentence of this review.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Boring chit chat hostage movie
pkzeewiz12 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Three guys running from the police hide out in a bar and hold the handful of people inside hostage. One of the men is badly injured and they talk and talk and talk about what they are going to do then near the end you find out one of the hostages inside is actually a bigger outlaw than they are. Some get out and some don't. By the end of the film you will more than likely find you don't care about any of these boring characters.

I have seen this a few times and never have enjoyed it. It is so extremely slow that it's hard to set through. Kevin Spacey behind the camera offered nothing. The acting was good, but with such a boring movie it didn't matter. Faye Dunaway, M. Emmet Walsh, William Fitchner, John Spencer, Viggo Mortensen, Skeet Ulrich, Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise all did good, Matt Dillon is a horrible actor and should not be in anything. The music was horrible and made this bad film even worse.

This movie is pure drama, 95 percent of the film is spent in the bar with the three idiot bad guys trying to figure out what to do next, it's a hard film to watch because it is so slow.2/10 stars
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed