By Gillian Flynn
Updated April 14, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Abandoning his inflated swagger, in Excellent Cadavers, Palminteri plays Giovanni Falcone, a dogged investigator with a pragmatic approach to a quixotic goal: bringing down the Mob in Sicily. Based on a true story, the film, which first aired on HBO, punctuates its lurid violence with glimpses of the bureaucratic tedium of piecing together a landmark case against almost 500 mafiosos. It’s full of frightening, frustrating insight. B