Find Me Guilty

Director Sidney Lumet has always been inspired in his handling of courtroom dramas and New York crime stories, especially when they involve racial antagonism and ethnic loyalty. This mix turns up in all his theatrical screenplays: Prince of the City, Q&A, Night Falls on Manhattan, and now this audacious account of one of the longest criminal trials in U.S. history (1987-’88), of New Jersey mobster Giacomo DiNorscio, who grandstands while acting as his own attorney. Action hero Vin Diesel plays DiNorscio with scene-stealing brio, giving a performance with Brechtian consequences: what looks at first like a procrime drama eventually becomes a criticism of viewers’ biases. At age 82, Lumet has outdone himself. With Ron Silver, Peter Dinklage, and a terrific cameo by Annabella Sciorra. R, 125 min. (JR)

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