Capsule Review: ‘MANGLEHORN’ – An Admirable Yet Disconnected Drama


Cole Clay // Film Critic

MANGLEHORN | 97 min | R
Director: David Gordon Green
Cast: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina and Harmony Korine

Al Pacino has had a banner year in the twilight of his career as he teams with Texas based filmmaker David Gordon Green (PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, JOE) in this experimental morality tale called MANGLEHORN. When he’s not helming big budget comedies for the Judd Apatow camp, Green explores the abstract emotions of the human condition. All of Green’s independent projects are riddled with subtext revolving family dynamics and life lessons. He’s a filmmaker that always resonates even if the dots don’t always connect.

Al Pacino in Manglehorn (photo courtesy of IFC)

Al Pacino in Manglehorn. Photo courtesy of IFC Films.

MANGLEHORN follows the titular A.J. Manglehorn (Pacino), a heartbroken locksmith reflects on his life and tries to connect with his estranged son (Chris Messina) and finds an unexpected friendship along the way.

Pacino is known for his broad performances, but Green directs him into a subtle yet biting performance. But everything else surrounding the character of Manglehorn falls flat. I’d recommend watching Pacino in an underrated role from earlier this year DANNY COLLINS.

MANGLEHORN is available on iTunes, VOD and in limited release on Friday.

About author

James C. Clay

James Cole Clay has been working as a film critic for the better part of a decade covering new releases, blu ray reviews and the occasional drive-in cult classic. His writing is dedicated to discovering social politics through diverse voices, primarily focusing on Women In Film and LGBTQ cinema.