Underworld Reviews

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TV Guide's Movie Guide
February 27, 2013

The film's influence on subsequent gangster films is indisputable.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
August 10, 2011

Gripping, superbly told tale of crooks and their girlfriends.

James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
August 28, 2010

von Sternberg's visual style and the art direction by German émigré Hans Dreier elevate Underworld into something more than a run-of-the-mill crime picture

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Sean Axmaker
Parallax View
July 27, 2009

Sternberg's direction is both classical and modern, with an expressive approach to storytelling and his distinctive visual style already apparent...

Variety Staff
Top Critic
March 26, 2009

There's a wallop right through and yet the film retains romance, clicks not a little on comedy and even whitewashes itself with a 'moral.'

Paul Brenner
October 10, 2007

The real world was not yet ready for a full-blown gangster drama in 1927.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
September 18, 2007

Josef von Sternberg's Underworld is a fascinating early cornerstone of both the director's worldview and the gangster genre.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Mordaunt Hall
New York Times
Top Critic
March 25, 2006

Largely through the competent work of Messrs. Bancroft and Brook, Mr. von Sternberg gives a better idea of his powers as a director.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5

Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

The film radiates total confidence in its own means and methods, and the themes are wholly Sternberg's.

May 24, 2003

A great silent gangster film which had considerable influence on the classic crime dramas of the early 1930s.

Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
April 14, 2002

Considered to be the first modern gangster film, where the criminals are the antihero heroes.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
September 24, 2001

The first full-fledged gangster movie and still an effective mood piece.

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