The Untouchables Reviews

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April 30, 2015
I have not seen this film as a whole. It may be unfair for me to even give a review, but there is something about The Untouchables that is so satisfying, and ridiculously fun. It's a big cartoon. Lots of giant set pieces and big men in high pants trying to eat up all of the scenery. Kevin Costner pulls it off really well. Sean Connery is the film's star. He's just fantastic as that bad-ass irishman, the right one to combat with the ruthless gangsters. Then, there's Robert DeNiro as Al Capone. Oh my goodness, he is absolutely frightening. This rivals Jake LaMotta as his best role EVER in a film. What's so tragic about it, however, is that he barely gets enough screen-time. The film opens with DeNiro, in a genius, menacing monologue, and then we have such a long stretch before he returns. It just seemed inconsistent, and why this movie isn't perfect. We needed more Capone. Then again, Capone is such a huge figure in American history, he needs his own biopic.. but these days, it's too little, too late. I think the film also suffers a little with it's tongue-in-cheek humor. That big jumpy soundtrack, and theatrical sets mixed in with the great dramatic story by Mamet and the bloody shootouts.. perhaps I missed the point? Slick, funny and piercingly dramatic, could this have been the precursor to Inglorious Basterds? You know what? I've gotta see this movie again.
April 8, 2015
The start of the Costner run of well done box office hits......Connery steals the movie.
March 30, 2015
A great crime flick that's packed with spontaneous acting, great set pieces, gripping action, and a proper outlook on historical gang-related crimes in Chicago.
September 16, 2014
biggest mistake is watching this after seeing boardwalk empire. 4 stars trying to ignore the show, 2 stars after watching the show.
½ March 21, 2015
Watched this on 21/3/15
Like L.A. Confidential, the best gangster films of the 20th century are about police officers and not about the mafia. Untouchables has a stellar cast including Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Sean Connery and Andy Garcia, all turned up commendable performances. Brian DePalma's thriller flick is not onlky stylish, but it adds action to the otherwise dialogue driven gangster flicks. The shooting scene in the railway station is a true pleasure to watch and the director of Mission Impossible has done a fabulous task here and this is one amongst the best films of Kevin Costner.
½ June 29, 2014
I am a Brian DePalma fan - and this is one of his better films. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of Kevin Costner, but this movie is right in his wheelhouse as he doesn't need a lot of range to play the role of Eliot Ness. Sean Connery and Robert De Niro make this movie great, and Andy Garcia is solid in his role. Paced well with a lot of ebbs and flows in the story, this movie has just enough action with superb dialogue to make it on this list.

Grade = 8.5/10
January 31, 2015
The plot is not much exciting as it follow the old days old-fashioned mafia movie.
January 29, 2015
It hits the action beats a little harder than the dramatic side would merit, but The Untouchables is thrilling, well-acted and has a great director behind it. Full review later.
September 14, 2012
1983's Scarface Is One Of My Favorite Films.
½ January 20, 2015
Clà sico contempòraneo de Brian dePalma, estilizada con una excelente direcciòn (tal vez su mejor pelìcula de los 80's) escenas inolvidables especialmente la del coche tomada de un clà sico ruso y una gran banda sonora de Ennio Morricone.
January 5, 2015
There have been many, many Al Capone stories, but this one is the best. A tense drama, utterly serious, with a great score that sets the mood, it stars Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, Robert DeNiro as Al Capone, and Andy Garcia, but Sean Connery steals the show as the old Chicago cop who mentors Ness. A great performance by Connery earned him the best supporting actor oscar that year, and most deservedly so. "What are you prepared to do now?"
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2006
Very good movie and of the best mafia/gangsta movies made. And great actors help that to happen.
½ December 20, 2014
Brian DePalma's mob film succeeds as gangster thriller which features a marvelous cast as it explores the prohibition period in Chicago back in the 30s.
December 4, 2014
Not historically accurate
November 30, 2014
The first few scenes of "The Untouchables" show off director Brian de Palma's skill at creating expectations, subverting them, and manipulating the audience, three modes that he uses to good effect and bad over the course of the film. It is important that we like Treasury Department investigator Elliott Ness, the man who brings down Al Capone, because this is his story. But as the stiff, humorless enforcer of two deeply unpopular laws, Prohibition and the U.S. tax code, sympathy for him is hardly automatic. De Palma creates that sympathy in short order through a series of carefully crafted moments. First, he makes Ness's foe a larger-than-life villain. Robert de Niro's Capone is a grotesque monster, cocky and immature as a school bully, but incalculably more frightening. His first on-screen victim is a 10-year-old girl, and just like that the audience is out of his corner. The camera is always markedly above or below de Niro so that his face and body, swollen by decadence, bulge out in unnatural and off-putting ways. By contrast, Kevin Costner's Ness is quiet, steady, unassuming, and life-size. The camera looks straight at him as he keeps his composure in the face of a news crew's cynical heckling. Their faceless taunting, and his defenselessness, puts the audience on Ness's side even though Costner has far less natural charismatic than de Niro. But de Palma is not through crafting his protagonist: instead of being truly untouchable, a flawless Superman, the first major set piece sees Ness engage in farcical vainglory. He shouts "Let's do some good!" as he drives a truck through a warehouse wall, only to find that his first big bust is a big bust. Seeing Ness humbled is the final piece of de Palma's masterful opening arc. By humanizing him, by refusing to make him simply pure in counterpoise to Capone's simple evil, de Palma makes a killjoy Fed into a hero worth rooting for.

Unfortunately, de Palma's deftness at audience manipulation and his penchant for highly-manufactured staging have their downsides. The plot unfolds in a series of violent vignettes, and while these are exciting and memorable entries in the long tradition of shoot-em-up cinema, de Palma does not always know how much is too much and where to draw the line. The first big showdown takes place on a bridge, and the visuals are great. We see the plan unfold clearly. But the music is all wrong for the moment. It sounds almost comical, and is the kind of music that can only be played after the fact because its tension-killing jauntiness indicates that none of the principles are going to die. The film is scored by universally-acknowledged genius Ennio Morricone, so the fault must lie with de Palma for putting the music in the wrong place. In the next major bloodbath, which involves Sean Connery's quotable Irish cop Malone and a pair of assassins, de Palma switches to first-person view for an extended shot that moves seamlessly through a window and up and down a hallway. This technique is often used in schlock horror, but it works just as well to build tension in a period piece drama. As a bonus, it showcases the movie's excellent set dressing; the 1930-ish furniture and fixtures are museum-display perfect, yet feel authentic and lived-in. The end of this sequence has enough bullets that it really must result in an immediate death, but for the sake of melodrama de Palma stretches out the victim's life in a way that is unforgivably unbelievable. The loss of believability is only compounded in the movie's final act, in which de Palma detaches the film from the realm of physical probability in order to indulge in a slow-motion massacre on a staircase. It is an obvious homage to the famous Odessa Staircase scene in Sergei Eisenstein's "The Battleship Potemkin" (1925), which popularized the telescoping of time as a way to tell several small stories that occur in the same place at the same moment. It looks great, and it's gripping, but when it ends we can feel that we've been played.

The conclusion of the film is too easy, even corny, completing de Palma's drift away from stylized reality and into pure fantasy. Stray elements of the movie-the wife, the determined photographer, the corrupt police chief-never reach their full potential. "The Untouchables" can't be considered a flawless film by a long shot, but as a playground for big, bold personalities like de Niro, Connery, and de Palma, it's absolutely a fun one.
½ November 25, 2014
On paper Untouchables comes across as a brilliant piece of material, with promise of being an exempelary piece of work by some serious talent. However this piece, although extremely entertaining and well executed misses the mark, one too many times to make it a classic. During prohabition, in 1930's Chicago, Crime lord Al Capone, sweeps under the radar, illegally exporting alcohol and weapons, while tax dodging. The Bureau send in new boy Elliot Ness, in order to bring Capone to justice, however he quickly learns that even his own department are in on Capone's regime. Elliot is then forced to create his own gung ho team nicknamed The Untouchables, in order to finally bring Capone to justice. Its a strong cast, lead by Costner, who gives a heart warming and likable performance as Ness, De Niro is superb as crime lord Capone, the only fault is we dont quite get enough of him on screen to really enjoy him chomping his way through the dialogue. Sean Connery and Andy Garcia also make worthwhile appearances, however the problem is it just doesnt seem to work properly. Everything seems to clean cut and efficent, tonally there are times when this movie gets it all wrong, playing out more like a spagetti western than an American gangster flick. Brian De Palma does a wonderful job of creating some excellent set pieces, most notably the train station stair case sequence, where a shoot out entangles the lives of innocent people, gangsters, cops and a baby in a buggy, its a notorious scene, executed well but on further inspection of it, everything just fits together to easily. Bodies just happen to be in front of the buggy every time a shot is fired anywhere near, Costner happens to have an invisable shield round him, as he in involved in a sea of bullets. Its times like this that show the double edged angle of this film, it wants to be more but just cant seem to get over the hurdle. The look and feel is excellent, even in Ennio Moricone's score can some times feel dated and hammy at points, the costume and locations are all lush and fantastic, the cinematography for the most part is innovative and well executed. There is however just not enough strong cement to hold it together and in parts the film has no idea what it truely wants to be. That being said, with slick pacing, decent character actors and a wealth of tense set pieces, this film is extremely enjoyable, if not quite the gritty crime drama you would expect.
October 31, 2014
Saw this many years ago, but felt like I had to watch it again to reconnect it. Great cast, great historical period to make a film about and a good story that brings it to the screen. It was a little cheesy some times and I would have expected more from Mamet and DePalma, but overall was worth watching.
September 17, 2007
Better-than-average cop-drama. That's about the best one can say about this movie. For a crime drama, it is not very gritty and is filled with Hollywood cliches.

Reasonably interesting but could have been great. However, there are so many Hollywoodisms and glamourisations it feels quite superficial.

The weak script and formulaic movie-for-the-masses directing by Brian De Palma are compounded by the usual unconvincing performance from Kevin Costner. He alternates between dead boring and overly gung ho here.

Sean Connery is almost equally flat and unconvincing.

In fact, there's hardly a convincing and/or engaging performance to be found here. The only good one comes from Robert De Niro who is charming and suitably mean and scary as Al Capone.

Vastly overrated.
½ September 19, 2014
The Untouchables is a decent 80's movie to sit down and watch. It's set in the Prohibition Era, in Chicago, of 1930: the time of ruthless gangsters and low lives. Kevin Costner is Eliot Ness, an agent in the Treasury Department. Ness's main priority is to ensure the people of Chicago that he will do his outmost, in the line of duty, to bring evil mobster Al Capone to justice, whatever the cost. He approaches an elderly and well-experienced police officer, played by Sean Connery. He's called Malone and Malone decides to use his talents to assist Ness with the best advantage he could possibly gain, to overthrow Capone and restore justice. They recruit two other reliable members called Oscar Wallace and George Stone, they're played by Charles Martin Smith and Andy Garcia. Robert De Niro makes brief appearances as Capone.

The Untouchables is a great movie, with great actors. Connery stole the show with his mismatched performance as Malone. Brian De Palma's directing in the movie was fair, but I think his direction needed a bit of effort. The writing is ok as well, but still it needed a bit of effort. All aside, The Untouchables proves to be one of finest Mobster movies ever made. It has it's way of proceeding without disappointment.
September 18, 2014
Tommy guns take the credit. The movie's greatness belongs in the simplicity of the screenplay. The stairway scene and the killing of Malone remain the best scene. A great watch.
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