That's what I call a fucking movie.
It's not "profoundly" directed, but it's directed right and adequate. There are shots in this film that are beautiful just because of how great they fit in, and stand out at the same time. I've never even heard of Uli Grosbard before, but I'd love to see more by him.
The script also really gave something too. Making crime out to be like a drug. And just playing everything well.
Let's of course not forget fucking Dustin Hoffman, who WAS Max Dembo, and really shows how talented he is as an actor.
Do yourself and favor and see this, and love it.