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Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 105 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In an unnamed Eastern city in 1929, the friendship between the local political boss (Finney) and Tom (Byrne), the man behind the man, is severed when they fall for same woman. Tom joins ranks with Johnny Caspar, Leo's enemy and rival, in a race for political power, resulting in a bloody,In an unnamed Eastern city in 1929, the friendship between the local political boss (Finney) and Tom (Byrne), the man behind the man, is severed when they fall for same woman. Tom joins ranks with Johnny Caspar, Leo's enemy and rival, in a race for political power, resulting in a bloody, citywide gang war. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Barry Sonnenfeld's stunning cinematography and the sharply etched characterizations make this film one for the ages.
  2. A masterpiece, but of a unique kind... A gorgeously filmed, supremely well-acted, intricately written film noir about now.
  3. 100
    As disturbing and densely beautiful as its opening image, a lofty forest that dwarfs the gangsters as they laugh over their kill.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    A very clever, stylish story of friendship, loyalty and betrayal.
  5. 75
    The Coens have technique and they have taste; what they do not yet have is the ability to move beyond their handsome imagery to the human center of their material. [5 Oct 1990, Friday, p.C]
  6. Heart may be what the movie needs most, but a bit of clarity wouldn't hurt either. Even here in gangsterland, where random characters are cherished and non sequiturs are considered wisecracks, there is a difference between complications and impenetrability, and this plot is a bloody thicket.. [5 Oct 1990, Calendar, p.F-10]
  7. A lifeless, tedious picture... A complete dud. [29 Oct 1990, p.26]

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. BillS
    Mar 25, 2009
    10
    This movie is an entertaining beauty with real depth. As close to perfect as film gets. Acting, direction, cinematography, screenplay, and This movie is an entertaining beauty with real depth. As close to perfect as film gets. Acting, direction, cinematography, screenplay, and sound are all superb. Second and third viewings are even better than the first. A masterpiece. Expand
  2. DirkD.
    Dec 10, 2009
    10
    Wow, this is an excellent example of an almost perfect movie. Camera work, story, music, acting, scenery and the dialogues were executed Wow, this is an excellent example of an almost perfect movie. Camera work, story, music, acting, scenery and the dialogues were executed brilliant! A must-see and a modern masterpiece! Expand
  3. Sep 13, 2010
    10
    The film maintains an elegant quality that comes to so natural to the seasoned directors, the actors are also held to that same position. TheThe film maintains an elegant quality that comes to so natural to the seasoned directors, the actors are also held to that same position. The thick plot is lovingly sprinkled with twists and turns that will keep you watching, interesting, and thinking. When the day is over, this is classic gangster movie material, the Coen Brother's are at the top of their craft. Expand
  4. ChrisP.
    Jul 2, 2008
    9
    This film is one of the Coen brothers best. The film captures the 20's with captivating language and stylized set design. It takes us on This film is one of the Coen brothers best. The film captures the 20's with captivating language and stylized set design. It takes us on a journey with Tom(Byrne), a cryptic man who has issues with boozing and gambling. His world is turned upside down and his loyalties to his boss(Finney) and lady are in conflict. Superb performances from the entire cast. The role of Tom seems to be written for Byrne and John Turturro puts on another stellar performance in another Coen brother film. Expand
  5. Jul 4, 2013
    8
    The Coen Brothers elegantly and masterfully direct this film and this is a perfect example of why they are great directors. The film is slowThe Coen Brothers elegantly and masterfully direct this film and this is a perfect example of why they are great directors. The film is slow at times and slightly confusing, but really comes together at the end. The actors were all phenomenal, only knock is again, the plot seemed random at times, though as I said, it comes together. Expand
  6. Feb 3, 2013
    7
    Usually I am not a fan of modern movies acting like old time movies, but of course the Cohen brothers made it work for me. This is not myUsually I am not a fan of modern movies acting like old time movies, but of course the Cohen brothers made it work for me. This is not my favorite film of theirs but it none the less has many of the elements of their movies that I enjoy. The dialogue is great and the characters are interesting enough to give us reason to care about them. The plot line keeps you guessing because we are only given a little bit of information at a time. After all is said and done the narrative is actually rather simple and straight forward. It's the way that the Cohen brothers get you there that make it a good time. Expand
  7. GregoryO.
    Sep 22, 2006
    3
    As a long time fan of film-noir, I wanted to enjoy this film but could not get past Gabriel Byrne's unbearable attempt at an American As a long time fan of film-noir, I wanted to enjoy this film but could not get past Gabriel Byrne's unbearable attempt at an American accent. Jon Voight's accent in Anaconda is more realistic than this. Most of what is said by every character is hard to understand even with the closed captioning on. The three stars go to Albert Finney's performance. Expand

See all 27 User Reviews

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