A Certain Sacrifice (1985)

Shot in 1979 but only released in 1985 following the smash success of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” director Stephen Jon Lewicki’s suspense-drama is a genuine chore to sit through. Mind you it’s fascinating to see a young, pre-fame Madonna in the lead role, and New York City of the late 1970s has a distinct look and vibe that brands the movie with a sleazy atmosphere that’s somewhere between exciting and menacing. However the dialogue is groan inducing, the sound effects are often comically inept, and the story is just terribly strange and never convinces the audience it’s worth telling. The climax has to be seen to be believed, but even at a one-hour running time the movie feels interminable so it’s not worth the trek. This is for Madonna die-hards only.

Rating: ★ (out of 5)

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