Triumph Releasing Corporation | Release Date: October 9, 1991 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Universal acclaim based on 20 Critic Reviews
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At times Mantegna's character seems little more than his dilemma, but Mamet's stylized dialogue crackles urgently and colorfully, each word landing with a weight you find only in good writing. The dislocation accelerates compellingly into ironic absurdity as Mamet lets his cop swing in the wind in this mordant parable of wrong things done for right reasons. There have been a lot of cop movies, but never one like Homicide. It has a way all its own of raising your consciousness by whacking you in the head. [18 Oct 1991, p.33]
Homicide isn't easy to take, but its vision is chillingly persuasive. [18 Oct 1991, p.B]
Homicide is a haunting picture that nags at you, days later. It provides no neat answers to the questions it raises about the merits of assimilation vs. maintaining one's ethnic, racial or religious identity, but rather captures something of the times. It might not be the most satisfying movie out there, yet there's a sense about it that, years from now, Homicide will seem even better than it does today.[18 Oct 1991, p.D1]
This tough and unsparing film feels authentic; the cops are ever-railing against the FBI, and have sickly skin tones that probably result from too many bad burgers on the run. Homicide is provocative and, in its first hour, even hilarious. Its prestigious closing slot at the just-completed New York Film Festival was deserved. [10 Oct 1991, p.4D]
Homicide fails, finally. But its early success is so complete that the film is a must-see anyway. It changes the rules for cop movies. And when it is good, it is brilliant. [18 Oct 1991, p.7]
Scene by well-crafted scene. Mamet holds you in a tight grip. But this movie is troubling. His intricate murder mystery plot may be overdetermined -- it doesn't leave enough room to satisfactorily explore the richly suggestive themes of identity, loyalty and betrayal. Gold's transformation seems willed by artistic fiat. The bleakness of his ending is a kind of intellectual cop-out: it reduces all that we've seen to hollow ironies. Homicide plays like a house afire: what it adds up to may be less than it seems. [14 Oct 1991, p.70]