The Killers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Killers Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 9, 2007
the opening sequence at the diner is freaking genius
Super Reviewer
½ July 27, 2007
Siegel's minimalistic style perfectly suits every crime tale he touches. This version rivals Robert Siodmak's previous by being something completely different, having more of a pulp-ish, b-movie sensitivity, au courant with a more nihilistic, violent, and mysogynistic time it was made. Memorable parts played by everyone, especially the badass Lee Marvin, and Angie Dickinson is to die for..
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2007
The original is where it's at, although this has it's moments. Very watchable.
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2009
Not as atmospheric as Robert Siodmak's 1946 version but this neo-noirish rendition of Ernest Hemingway's short story does have it's merits. Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson are standouts in an otherwise lethargic cast. Director Don Siegel took a completely different approach to the material, resulting in a film that's more of a retelling than a remake. In fact, if the titles weren't the same, it's doubtful you'd even recognize the story. I still favor the original film but The Killers of 1964 isn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2007
Charlie Strom: Sylvester, unless you want to renew your partnership with the late Johnny North, I suggest you tell us everything and anything we want to know.

Lee Marvin stars as a seasoned hitman, in a remake of the 1946 film noir of the same title. This story involves the arrival of two hitmen in a location to kill a man. Upon finding him, the man simply lets himself get shot without trying to flee or barter for his life.

Different from the original film, this time, the hitmen themselves decide to find out what this man had been through to make him not care about his own death. The hitmen learn that this man used to be a great race car driver, who ended up turning to crime following an accident.

We learn these aspects of the story through flashbacks, as the two hitmen move around the country trying to find answer, and possibly where a large sum of money ended up.

In these flashbacks, the man in question is played by John Cassavetes. After meeting a dame played by Angie Dickinson, his life goes downhill from its success, as her mysterious nature leads him to crime. Another seedy character is Ronald Reagan in his final acting role, and only villainous role.

This movie is quite good. It stays true to the original film, which is based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway, but it also works as a standalone feature.

Since half the film is told in flashback, it is nice to see how well it is handled, just as in the original film. You get a very good sense on how Cassavetes' character gives into the action at the beginning and feel for him. You also get to see Lee Marvin continuing to be a badass no matter what the situation.

This is a tightly paced film too, for a crime drama. Don Siegel's direction works well combining the darker noir elements of the original, with the sped up action sense of this remake's tone. And there's a cool score from John Williams.

Charlie Strom: He knows me. I had to lean on him once.
Lee: You know 'em all, don't ya?
Charlie Strom: You never know them all.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2007
A decent remake. It's funny to see Ronald Reagan as a villian. Lee Marvin is the quintissential badass and Dickinson is smoking hot. Overall it gives the feeling of a vintage made for TV movie. Catch it if you can...
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2006
This rating is for the 1946 version -- haven't seen the '64 version yet.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2009
Excellent film noir!
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2010
The Killers, sometimes marketed as Ernest Hemingway's The Killers, is a 1964 crime film released by Universal Studios. It is the second Hollywood adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story of the same name, following a version made in 1946 starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. It was directed by Don Siegel and stars Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson.
At the time of its release, Marvin said that it was his favorite film.One morning, hitmen Charlie (Lee Marvin) and Lee (Clu Gulager) enter a school for the blind and terrorize the principal until she reveals the whereabouts of a teacher, Johnny North (John Cassavetes). As the hitmen walk toward North's upstairs classroom, the teacher receives a call warning him of their arrival. However, a saddened Johnny responds, "It's okay. I know them." He calmly waits at his desk as Charlie and Lee send him to his death in a fusilade of bullets.

As they depart from by train, Charlie admits that he is bothered that North refused to flee. He and Lee run through what they know about the man they have just killed. Johnny was once a champion race car driver whose career ended in a violent crash. Four years before his death, he was involved in a one million dollar mail truck robbery. Tempted by the thought of a $1 million payday, Charlie and Lee visit Miami in order to interview Johnny's former mechanic.
Good movie with surprise finale.
½ August 20, 2015
Works as a tough, compelling and bleak thriller out in the daylight, though it still exists in the shadow of the '46 version.
July 30, 2011
Not as good as the original Killers with Burt Lancaster but you do get to see Ronald Reagan slap a girl. And Lee Marvin is perfect. Cassavetes is great too.
June 11, 2011
An entertaining noirish thriller from Don ( Invasion of the Body Snatchers) Siegel, The Killers is purportedly an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's classic short story, but the similarities between the story and the film end after the first ten minutes of the film. If you want a faithful adaptation of Hemingway's existential fable, watch the 1940s version--it is an undoubtedly superior film. But Siegel's version still brings the hard boiled fun with its lead killer (Lee Marvin) trying to find out why his latest target just waited to die even after he was warned of the killers' intentions. He uncovers the tale of a race car driver (John Cassavetes) and his tangled relationship with a femme fatale played by Angie Dickinson. Ultimately, Siegel's version of the story comes off just as nihilistically bleak as its source material; however, it lacks the visual aesthetic of its predecessor and drags a bit as its proceeds towards its conclusion.
½ February 14, 2010
Without pretension, The Killers occupies its genre and welcomes each convention while at the same time tweaking a few of them. Also, Ronald Reagan makes his last acting performance.
February 9, 2009
A minor, but fascinating genre picture from the mid 60s, usually noted for being future President Reagan's final film. Also remembered for a classic in extremis line from Lee Marvin who, as he collapses, aims his gun at Angie Dickinson (I think) and says, "Lady, I just ain't got the time!" and then: bang-bang. Love that!
February 11, 2008
The 1964 remake of the 1946 classic film starring Burt Lancaster simply isn't as good. There were good performances but the film has aged for the worse. There is a strong sense of 60's camp that consumes you while watching it. I believe this may have been the first movie made for television and it definately plays like a tv movie. Which for the amount of talent involved with the picture, doesn't help their abilities.

Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, Ronald Reagan, Claude Akins and Angie Dickinson are all really good. Particularly Reagan, who apparently hated this movie (happened to be his last film). He was convincing as Jack Browning, the villain.
August 15, 2008
Don Siegel's brilliant noir boasts one of the greatest of Lee Marvin's performances, and even a great turn from John Cassavetes.
½ March 16, 2008
There are some very redeemable things about this would-be made-for-TV film that ended up in theaters instead. Lee Marvin's performance is pretty damn great.

Cassavetes was below his usual game, and I'm pretty sure Reagan is a robot.

The mixture of location shooting versus studio shooting even in the same scene took me out of it, but that's forgivable.

There are some very decent things about this film that make it more than just novelty, though it was pretty humorous to watch Ronald Reagan smack a woman.
Super Reviewer
½ February 16, 2008
an interesting remake- which is something you don't see that often. did a good job of updating the story, setting and circumstances of the original to 1964.
January 24, 2008
Some people may give it flack for this or that, but you know what, I love this film. It's a great piece of gangster fare with a nice QT feeling (Don Siegel was good to learn from), Cassavetes is awesome, Clu Gulager is a blast as the child-like asshole, and Lee Marvin and Ronald Reagan staring off? Hell yeah. :D Highly highly suggested for fans of good gritty crime flicks in general.
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