||Working from a script written in part by Nicholas Pileggi, a New York investigative reporter, director Harold Becker shows how one hand washes the other, even in the administration of a relatively ethical mayor like Pappas, who is considered a presidential possibility... City Hall covers so much material that at times it feels uncomfortably episodic; although audiences are said to resist films that are "too long," this one might have benefitted from more running time. Some scenes are so good we want them to play longer, especially scenes involving the Brooklyn boss meeting with real estate developers, and the mayor planning strategy. There are a few scenes of great power, including one where the Brooklyn boss comes home for lunch in the middle of the day, his wife expresses her concern through the medium of the dish she has cooked, and then the Mafia boss makes an unexpected visit. There is also a strong, although curiously tentative, late scene between the mayor and his deputy. One scene handled with subtlety involves the mayor's decision to speak at the funeral of the slain child, in a Harlem church. His advisers tell him he won't be welcome there. But he goes anyway, and cranks himself up for an oration of unashamed rhetoric. It gets a good response from the congregation, but the mayor knows, and his deputy knows, that it was phony, and the way they carefully avoid discussing it, in the limousine taking them away, is a delicate use of silence and evasion. Pacino and Cusack are effective together throughout the movie - the older man wise and tough, the younger one eager to learn, but with principles that don't bend.