It's a movie about the longest criminal trial in U.S. history, it's directed by Sidney Lumet, and it stars . . . Vin Diesel in a wig? Can Lumet be serious? Actually, no. The characters may be based on real people, with much of the dialogue culled directly from court transcripts, but Find Me Guilty plays the whole thing as comedy, and as everyone knows, putting a self-serious egomaniacal movie star in a bad hairpiece is comedy gold. Diesel plays Jackie DiNorscio, a low-level Mafia crook offered a reduced sentence if he'll agree to testify against other members of the Lucchese crime family. DiNorscio refuses, even though doing so will land him on trial alongside them. Disillusioned with his previous lawyer, he decides to represent himself, and his clumsily amusing antics proceed to charm the jury and aggravate the judge and lawyers. Lumet (Network, Dog Day Afternoon) is probably never going to be as good again as he was in the '70s, but his work here with the actors is strong.
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Sidney Lumet, T.J. Mancini and Robert J. McCrea
Producer: Bob Yari, Sidney Lumet, Robert Greenhut, Vin Diesel, George Zakk and Robert J DeBrino
Cast: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver, Annabella Sciorra, Linus Roache, James Biberi, Paul Borghese, Alex Rocco, Marcia Jean Kurtz and Richard Portnow