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Plot: The film centers on Joe Paterno, who, after becoming the winningest coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his ... Runtime: 105 mins Release Date: 07 Apr 2018
Many of the low reviews are from the Paterno faithful. I found this a very fair accounting of how an institution protects profits and status quo, and the subjects willing to follow their leader regardless of wrongs. Of course Pacino is brilliant. This is 10 out of 10, don't be fooled.
All you need to know is this... (by hughman55)
About halfway into this film you will know that on Feb. 9, 2001, graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed a Penn State coach raping a ten year old child in the showers, on the university campus, and did not stop the assault. Though he was a seasoned college football quarterback, and a full grown man of significant size, he did not rush the rapist, beat the crap out of him, and rescue the child. He left because what he saw upset him. He left that 10 year old child defenseless, and still in the clutches of his rapist, Jerry Sandusky. This film shows that that night he only called his father. <more>
The next day he called Joe Paterno. Ten days later he told athletic director Tim Curley and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz. To what purpose? To stop the rape? No, that was allowed to continue on Feb. 9, 2001. To have Jerry Sandusky arrested and put in prison for the rest of his life? No, Paterno, Curley, and Schultz, already knew that Jerry Sandusky was a serial child rapist. They had been documenting his criminal activity since since the mid 90's. To find the victim an get help for him? Make sure his parents knew that they were handing their son over to pedophile rapist? No, they never even bothered, in fact they made certain, that they would never know who the victim was. This film shows that Paterno, Curley, and Schultz, had already asked Sanudsky to stop bringing his victims onto the Penn State campus. They just needed to know what McQueary saw so that they would know what more they needed to cover up. The four full grown men, Paterno, Schultz, Curley, and McQueary, the only men with any power to save this victim, prevent future victims, and bring justice to past victims, went into self-preservation mode to protect themselves. They stood by and did nothing, while children were being brutalized. Why?It is difficult to discuss the significant merits of this HBO film because the story itself is so infuriating. And while I am not certain that the reporter in the film, Sara Ganim, was personally responsible for this - wait for it, the film shows her typing out these words while making a report; "Jerry Sandusky was seen "having sex with a 10 year old boy in the showers at Penn State." I remember reading articles at the time with that exact wording. Who sees, or hears about, a 10 year old child being raped, and then describes it as two people "having sex". Again, it's her character, in this film, typing those words. I couldn't believe it because she's the "good guy" in this mess. This story has been characterized as "complicated". It's not. The "story" is simple. The coverup is complicated. HBO and Barry Levinson do a masterful job of revealing a culture gone mad where pedophiles are protected, victims are chased down school hallways, and college students riot against justice for sexual abuse victims because it might, just a little, harsh their football buzz. They make the Catholic church look like ameture hour. The enduing question in this story, and others like it, is this: why did Penn State, law enforcement, politicians, and Mike McQueary, do nothing? In fact, if they had turned Jerry Sandusky over to authorities in the mid 90's when as far as we know they first became aware of his crimes, they would not have lost their jobs or the bloated salaries that accompany them. They would have been hailed as heroes. So it must be something else. What could it possibly be? This film demands that we consider how this story would have played out had the victims been female children. It is really difficult to imagine that if Mike McQueary had found Jerry Sandusky sodomizing a 10 year old girl in the showers at Penn State on Feb. 9, 2001, that he would have just run away like he did when he saw Sandusky sodomizing a 10 year old boy? Had the victims been female I think he would have beaten Sandusky within an inch of his life, called 911, and been given a medal for heroism. So, what do you get for abandoning a, still anonymous, male victim. The answer would be a 12.3 million dollar settlement from Penn State for "wrongful termination". And that anonymous victim? No one knows what happened to him because no one even knows who he was. They didn't want to know who he was. Why?
Pacino delivers an all-time caliber performance! (by cubanoguy)
Looking at the film OBJECTIVELY, Barry Levinson does a fine job presenting the story centered on Paterno during the aftermath of the Sandusky sex abuse scandal without any major bias. Its to be expected that some who will see this film will simply condemn it or trash it based upon their own emotional or bias connection to the subject matter. I believe that this film does a great job portraying several aspects. One, just how disgusting and awful the actual child sex abuse scandal was and how it even affected the first victim who broke his silence. Then we have initial reporter who helped bring <more>
the story to life. Thirdly, the film effectively displays how it affected Paterno and his family in the aftermath. Lastly and most of all how Paterno himself handled the entire situation. If nothing else, this film provides a general condemnation of inaction and corruption with regards to the abuse and not taking quicker action on it.Al Pacino completely immersed himself into the character of Joe Paterno. Pacino is measured and controlled with how he portrays Paterno's struggle to come to terms with the Sandusky abuse, and how he possibly overlooked certain signs from the past, and even the betrayal of that partnership/friendship. Like some vintage Pacino performances aka: Michael Corleone , he communicates so much emotion through the use of his eyes and silence. Several scenes involve Paterno just sitting while his family debates and the question continues to be posed to him if he knew anything else or if he ever spoke to the child. Pacino brilliantly captures the overwhelming dread and sadness that filled the final days of his Paterno's life and how this particular dark moment that will forever change Paterno's career and legacy.Don't pay attention to all of the negative reviews on here from those that clearly have an agenda to do so. As a dramatic exploration of a man, Joe Paterno, who was a larger then life legend at Penn State and his sad downfall, the film succeeds on all levels, particularly Pacino's performance.
As I studied at PSU The Pennsylvania State University as late as 2009, I felt fortunate to have this opportunity to learn, albeit a surreal sadness at some dark happenings underneath the"Happy Valley" life, as it's known colloquially. This movie seemed to capture the essence of my memories - a work ethic and a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League, and esprit de corps which few will ever rival... I only met Joe-Pa one time, at a game. I felt so lucky to shake his hand, and knew I was in the presence of greatness, a man larger than life, a man with his name <more>
on the library I would spend so many hours sleeping in... haha That said, I only met Graham Spanier one time, by happenstance - I was searching for a seminar related to Asian Diaspora, but walked into the wrong lecture hall. I have never been greeted with more rudeness, or condescension in my life. I felt so small, and he gave me his card, advising me to refer any problems regarding my attendance, etc. to a number, which I just discarded. There were good and evil people who manifested this story. I felt no sadness for President Graham Spanier, as I thought very little of the man. I felt no empathy for the "security": Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley. In my humble opinion, these men were negligent in their most basic of duties, and I don't feel the need to extrapolate. I must come to terms and accept that this will never happen again, but only if people become less like my hero: Joe-Pa, a man only guilty of being naive in a world which doesn't revolve around football. Naivete aside... The acting, on all accounts, and by all involved, is stupendous! I cannot believe the low ratings, but I feel it will never be appreciated by those who never met the men involved, or understand the deep love of sports, success, and all those who facilitate it and further great institutions. I hope people may see beyond the media hype, and see this as a story of victimization, which can no longer be a ignored secret. We can no longer tolerate a society which ignores social problems, such as child abuse. I hope this movie, done in excellence, as far as acting and directing, improves in ratings, and is not judged simply because it was not as exciting as an Avengers flick. This may go down as one of Pacino's unrecognized, great works. Thank you for reading, and stay ever vigilant in today's society. 9/25/2018
So many things about this film remind me of "The Insider". A man under tremendous pressure. Family desperately trying to cope. Denial then sick revelations. The sound, dialogue of characters and shooting style also reminds me of the Michael Mann film.
Excellent Drama (by royfaust)
Al delivers another excellent performance in this riveting true story about a legend who placed protecting his legacy over the lives of children. We all knew of his greatness and commitment to his program and school, but now we see the struggle and the cover up. It's bad enough what happened to all those kids we know about, it's worse that people want to try to defend those in power who clearly knew what was going on and could have done a lot more to stop it. This film is a statement that power and ego can corrupt even the most well intentioned people.
Fairly Accurate Portrayal (by jlcdrama)
I'm not a big football fan, but I remember when this story broke. It still gets to me how bad it was. Don't be fooled by the poor reviews, if you read them you will see they are mostly Paterno Faithfuls who refuse to face the cold hard facts.This movie does a good job of pointing out a lot of the problems with what happened then and is still happening. A lot of Penn State fans forget that they shouldn't be outraged for Paterno's sake, but for the sake of those children who were sexually assaulted by someone they thought wanted to help them.Pacino does not portray a villain in <more>
Paterno. They show Paterno for what he was, a human being. He did great things, he helped a lot of people, but he wasn't a saint either. He was not solely responsible for what happened, but the truth is that he isn't without fault either.So for Penn State fans looking for vindication of Paterno, you won't find that here. If you want a well acted, fairly accurate depiction of what happened, then this will be the film for you.
Interestingly Done - I Sort Of Liked It (by neener3707)
While its not another HBO masterpiece, I found it interesting enough to watch the whole thing and enjoyed it. I liked many things about it but I also didn't like some things, and I'll talk about that. At the beginning, it starts with the indictment so I was worried we wouldn't give enough background going back to 1998, but thankfully the film has many flashbacks and the reporters are also used as an explanation device of the past. The film did not shy away from the tough aspects of this tough subject. I did enjoy the Paterno scenes where he is confronted on the charges and how he <more>
deals with it, though it can be a little slow. I found the framing device to be interesting and Al Pacino's performance was great, I didn't see Al Pacino, I saw his character. The cinematography was also top notch, what can be expected from and HBO movie. But there were things I didn't like, and I will discuss it.I personally didn't like how they opened it, they opened it in a spot where a lot of things already happened, but to be fair the film does go back and explains things. The pacing is also hit and miss, sometimes things are paced fine, and sometimes I felt it jumped around too quickly. I also wish is a bit longer or a show because there were a couple story points I feel could have been explored more and would have been beneficial to the story to delve into. I also didn't connect with any of the other characters except for Paterno, no character really stood out and wowed ne. All in all it was an interesting enough film that I finished and mostly enjoyed.
Cable TV is really hitting it out of the park these days. Paterno is one of the better movies I've seen in awhile including theatrical movies. I probably don't need to recap the entire plot for anyone, since the news covered it widely at the time. This film centers on the horrific Penn State scandal of sexual molestation of young boys by a man who was at one time on the Penn State coaching staff and was a "pillar of the community." What makes this different though than any news coverage you've seen is that it goes inside Joe Paterno 's life to show the downfall of a <more>
community and sports icon from the inside.Of course, one must take into account that filmmakers take some license when it comes portraying Paterno and his family. While I'm sure they did their research, they weren't actually sitting at his dining room table for those intimate encounters with his kids during the aftermath of all of this. I think a question that most people had when they heard about the scandal was, "What was Joe Paterno thinking? Why did this powerful leader not do more? What was going on inside head?" This movie delves into that, giving an interesting and very possible take on what really was going on inside Paterno's head. Other great things about this movie: Riley Keough is fantastic as the reporter who originally breaks the case, and Al Pacino is so amazing as Paterno that you will forget you are even watching Pacino.