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Miller's Crossing (1990)



Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 55
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 5

Though possibly more notable for its distinctive style than an airtight story, this Coen brothers take on the classic gangster flick features sharp dialogue, impressive cinematography, and a typically quirky cast of characters.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 2

Though possibly more notable for its distinctive style than an airtight story, this Coen brothers take on the classic gangster flick features sharp dialogue, impressive cinematography, and a typically quirky cast of characters.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 48,510

My Rating

Movie Info

Joel and Ethan Coen's third collaboration, the gangster film Miller's Crossing, stars Gabriel Byrne as Tom Reagan, the right-hand man of big-city Irish mob boss Leo (Albert Finney). The film opens with Italian mobster Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) and his second in command Eddie Dane (J.E. Freeman) informing Leo and Tom that they are going to kill bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) because he has been revealing Caspar's fixed fights to other gamblers. Leo informs Caspar that Bernie pays for


Mystery & Suspense, Drama


Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

May 20, 2003

20th Century Fox

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All Critics (56) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (5) | DVD (29)

Substance is here in spades, along with the twisted, brilliantly controlled style on which filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen made a name.

November 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It never fully convinces in terms of either period or plot.

November 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (5)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Coens' take on Depression-era gangster flicks, looks gorgeous and showcases John Turturro's best acting ever.

August 14, 2007 | Comments (3)
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's arguably the US mainstream's first art movie since Days of Heaven; and quite wonderful.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Without much point at all.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crossing is the kind of movie that benefits from a second sitting, to get a complete grip on the plot.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[The Coen brothers'] most complicated and dense movie.

December 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

...joke-heavy and bullet-riddled and studded with some of the most crackling dialogue heard since 'The Front Page.'

August 19, 2011 Full Review Source:

It has always been one of the special pleasures of movies that they dream worlds and map them at the same time. Miller's Crossing dreams a beaut...

May 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Up there with the Coen brothers' finest work.

March 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

It takes place in an artificial world constructed largely from the mythology of other movies, and, though it's both seamless and stylish, some find it a little too self-conscious for its own good.

November 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Loosley based on Hammett's novel and Chicago's Capone-O'Bannion gang war, the film is more impressive visually than thematically, though new angle of placing Irish, Italian, and Jewish gangsters in the same tale is intriguing.

December 27, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comment (1)

Perhaps the best the Coens have to offer -- stylish, funny, harrowing and brilliantly shot.

October 13, 2005

The Coens play this icy gangster tale mostly straight, but they can't help throwing in a few of their dark, comic explosions; it's one of their best, most cohesive films and it holds up to repeated viewings.

September 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Um dos melhores trabalhos dos Coen (e isto é um baita elogio), o filme conta um roteiro muito bem amarrado, atuações intensas e um visual fabuloso.

May 29, 2005
Cinema em Cena

The story isn't the film's major draw's the look.

February 5, 2005 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Engrossing crime story with top notch acting.

January 2, 2005

A stylized reworking of the generic gangster film.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Pays homage to the crime novels of Dashiell Hammett.

May 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

If Miller's Crossing isn't my favourite movie, I don't know what is.

May 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

...whether we're supposed to take it as a dark comedy or a straightforward melodrama is up to the viewer. A little of both, maybe. The Coens have always been a little twisted.

May 3, 2003
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Miller's Crossing

This is a brilliant and highly original gangster picture. It's a superb Coen Brothers film too. It's one of their absolute best, and I highly recommend it. The plot, like a majority of films from the Coens is very complex and twisty, but it makes for some very rewarding multiple viewings. In fact, there's so much detail and subtlety layered in this film that new stuff continues to creep out each time you watch it. It's the sort of film that you don't have to watch more than once to appreciate it, but you should, because you will appreciate it even more. Gabriel Byrne, JohnTurturro, John Polito, and Albert Finney all give superb performances. Carter Burwell's score, and Barry Sonnenfeld's camera work are brilliant. To sum it all up: this is a brilliant film, and a noirish gangster masterpiece.

As for the plot: well, I said it was complex, and, yeah, I'm not lying. Well, actually, the basic plot is simple: a guy caught up in a feud between warring gangster factions plays both sides against the other to help his the side he really wants to win come out on top. He just happens to go about it in a very convoluted and messy way, and that's what makes it complex. They even mention in the film how the character is prone to go about things in this manner.

It makes for some interesting viewing, and it's also a nice study of loyalty, ethics, and figuring out what people want, and why they do the things they do. A lot of the film is subtle, but there are some moments that go a bit over the top and off the rails (John Polito tends to scream most of his lines), and the recurring trope of howling fat men is here (aside from Polito). And the other howling fat guy is one of the few moments in this film that bugs me. It sticks out, goes on for too long, and doesn't really have much purpose other than, I guess, to add some levity, which isn't really needed. There's a couple other moments like that, but they don't get to me like this one does.

All in all, I really love this movie. It's a stylish gangster pic that both pays homage to the genre, and kinda flips it on its side a bit. But, given how it's from Joel and Ethan Coen, that should be expected.
August 27, 2013
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

A classic Coen brothers film. Director, Joel Coen and his brother Producer, Ethan Coen crafted a stylish, brutal and disturbingly beautiful gangster epic that has shady characters, dark humor, crackling dialogue, brilliant performances and electric twist and turns. It;s a total triumph. A blisteringly entertaining and powerful movie. An electrifying piece of work and leaves its mark. Gabriel Byrne gives a terrific and riveting performance. Albert Finney is brilliant. Marcia Gay Harden is terrific. John Turturro gives probably his best performance ever in this film
November 17, 2012

Super Reviewer

"Nobody knows anybody. Not that well."

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

"Miller's Crossing" is a prohibition-era gangster film from the Coen brothers. In it, a mob war erupts when an Irish crime boss foolishly takes a stand to protect his lover's brother. It soon becomes apparent that just about everybody has an angle to play and it's up to the one man who sees all of the angles to try to keep the peace. The cast is excellent. In my mind the standout performance comes from Coen brothers mainstay Jon Polito, who plays an Italian crime boss who's sick of getting 'the high hat'. There's also quality work here from Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro & J.E. Freeman.

The direction is well-handled, as you might expect from the Coen brothers, and the film also features a memorable score from Carter Burwell. The script, co-authored by the Coen brothers, is filled to the brim with snappy dialogue and has no trouble navigating the many twists in the tale without losing the viewer along the way. Given the film's polish, along with the fine script and top-drawer acting, I'm very surprised that it went entirely unnoticed during awards season. Luckily, the reputation that the Coen brothers have built since then has ensured that this worthwhile film will have a devoted audience for years to come.
September 1, 2012
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

    1. Eddie Dane: [to Tom] I am gonna send you to a deep dark place, and I am gonna have fun doin' it!
    – Submitted by Kia M (16 months ago)
    1. Tom Reagan: What's goin' on between you and Bernie?
    2. Mink: Nothin', Tom. We're just friends--you know, amigos.
    3. Tom Reagan: You're a fickle boy, Mink. If the Dane found out you had another 'amigo'--well, I don't peg him for the understanding type.
    – Submitted by Kia M (16 months ago)
    1. Leo: [to Caspar] You haven't bought any license to kill bookies and today I ain't sellin' any. Now take your flunkie and dangle.
    – Submitted by Kia M (16 months ago)
    1. Eddie Dane: Where did you get the fat lip?
    2. Tom Reagan: Old war wound. Acts up around morons.
    – Submitted by Saurabh M (19 months ago)
    1. Eddie Dane: I open my mouth and the whole world turns smart.
    – Submitted by Saurabh M (19 months ago)
    1. Verna: I bet you think you've raised hell...
    2. Tom Reagan: Sister...when I've raised hell you'll know it.
    – Submitted by Lars O (21 months ago)
View all quotes (12)

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