Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    A small comic masterpiece that dares to deal with that of which many Sicilians dare not speak: the Mafia.
  2. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    Lattuada has adapted a gritty neorealist style to suit his dark comedy and is in full command in the final half hour, when he ups the ante in surprising ways.
  3. 100
    A magnificent film almost no one knows about, this hidden classic offers a wider variety of pleasures than most contemporary works can even aspire to.
  4. Mafioso does more than cast its fascinating shadow over "The Godfather." It captures, in a stark yet haunting way, the indelible fact that no man is born a mobster.
  5. It's a marvelous performance in a marvelous movie, one that sneaks up on you while you're watching it.
  6. 91
    The film combines farcical and sinister tones, as well as textures of high polish and captured-in-the-raw neorealism, and it simply brims with energy and surprises.
  7. 90
    Sordi is an elegant comic actor in the vein of America's William Powell; the world may confound him, but it can never rumple him.
  8. 90
    The movie is at once a giddy mixture of farce, satire and opera buffa and a closely observed drama of social dislocation and cultural confusion.
  9. 90
    Mafioso may have been made in another era, but it stands as a classy, even radical rebuke to the film school posers who keep recycling the same tired gangster tropes.
  10. 90
    Filmed in a hot and bleached black-and-white, it manages to swerve from culture-clashing farce to alarming suspense without losing control.
  11. 89
    This is the sort of masterpiece that will obliterate memories of lesser, later efforts in the "meeting the parents" comedy lineage. Brilliant.
  12. Mafioso is shaped like a comedy, and it is one, but its intentionally jarring clashes of tone and rhythm are truly out there.
  13. 88
    Mafioso is the missing link in the mob movie arc.
  14. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Mafioso isn't a straight black satire of Sicilian culture so much as a suspenseful near-tragedy leavened by the zesty, irreverent wit that helped define the golden age of Italian comedies.
  15. That's the beauty of Mafioso: that what begins as a comedy of disconnection becomes a tragicomedy of connection -- of roots that go deep and branches that span continents.
  16. 80
    Alberto Lattuada's tricky-to-parse Mafioso dates from 1962 but, with its abrupt tonal shifts and disturbing existential premise, this nearly forgotten dark comedy could be the most modern (or at least modernist) movie in town.
  17. [Sordi] lifts buffoonery to the level of high art.
  18. Reviewed by: Pat Graham
    A more visually conscious stylist than most Italian commercial directors of the period, Lattuada remains largely unknown in the U.S., though in Europe he's been touted as the great eclectic talent of the postwar Italian cinema.
  19. 75
    Satire is at the core of Mafioso, whether in establishing the by-now-stereotypical images of Sicilian peasants or the gripping arms of the Mafia.
  20. 75
    Mafioso starts out as a comedy of manners before turning into a mob thriller that brings Nino to Bergen County, N.J. When he gets there, look for a man reading The Post on a street corner.
  21. The matchless Alberto Sordi - a contemporary of Peters Sellers and a progenitor of Steve Martin - stars as the buffoon Everyman, Antonio Badalamenti, a perfectly poised figure destined for the pratfall.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Sep 22, 2012
    This film was shot in Italy and Sicily in 1962, and considering the wonderful reviews that it has received, I'm baffled as to why, even considering how long ago it was made. The acting , storyline, cinematography, all linked somewhat amateurishly together, resulted in a hodgepodge of scenes that did little to hold one's interest, much less be given critical acclaim. Even the ending, which presumably was intended to present an element of surprise, came across as a heavy-handed admonishment against accepting gratuities from powerful villains. The film evolved much like a sketchy storyline you could expect from a children's reader, which made the adult content seem so out of place. Simply a very unremarkable film in my estimation. Full Review »
  2. AndrewK.
    May 27, 2007
    I will admit that I am a child of the nineties, and so my attention span is not great. But I love old films and I always try to be more patient with their slower pace. There were points in this film where I wondered if I'd be able to make it through, but something would always come along to shake my boredom. Some very funny bits with the family, especially Nino's sister with the mustache. I was surprised then at how dramatic it became toward the end. As has been said in the reviews above, the director is somehow able to transition from comedy to suspense. Alberto Sordi is great. I'd never heard of him before. He definitely reminded me of Peter Sellers (not just because he bares a somewhat similar physical appearance). This was a great film, but I doubt many young people like myself will be able to sit through it. One of the coolest parts of this film is when Nino ends up in America and he's being driven through the city. The towering skyscrapers look beautiful and are coupled with perfect music. Go see this one if you enjoy broadening your horizons. Full Review »
  3. JohnA.
    Jan 29, 2007
    Hilarious and powerful, this movie got under my skin. The more I think about it, the more I'm impressed. Alberto Sordi is unforgettable. I look forward to seeing it again -- hope for a quick DVD release. Full Review »