Andy Garcia stars as idealistic young assistant district attorney Sean Casey. When Casey's father, New York City police officer Liam Casey (Ian Holm), is shot and critically wounded during a drug raid, the politically savvy Manhattan District Attorney Morganstern (played by Ron Leibman) assigns the major, highly publicized case to the inexperienced Casey, figuring it would be good publicity for the DA's Office if the wounded officer's son were to prosecute the thug who tried to kill his father. Casey wins a conviction and in the process becomes Morganstern's protege and a media darling. When Morganstern falls ill amidst a re-election campaign, Casey is given the party's nomination and is subsequently elected as Manhattan's new district attorney. In his new position, Casey begins to discover irregularities surrounding the fateful police raid and the case that made his career. Slowly but surely, a chain of police corruption is revealed that could threaten everything.
|Andy Garcia||Sean Casey|
|Ian Holm||Liam Casey|
|James Gandolfini||Joey Allegretto|
|Lena Olin||Peggy Lindstrom|
|Richard Dreyfuss||Sam Vigoda|
In his review for the Los Angeles Times, critic Kevin Thomas wrote, "It's surprising that Paramount did not release 'Night Falls' when it was ready last autumn, since it is the kind of expertly crafted prestige item often held for year-end release for the Oscar race. However, as an intelligent and mature major American film, "Night Falls on Manhattan," while hardly what one would call a summer movie, opens virtually without competition." Meanwhile in his review of the film for USA Today, Mike Clark stated, "Lumet (who also wrote the script) seems to feed on lousy cop-precinct furniture, political showboating and confrontations between street-savvy adversaries played by synergic actors." Andy Klein of the Dallas Observer wrote, "As satisfying as much of the film is, there are a few missteps, large and small, that may require indulgence on the part of viewers."