Force of Evil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Force of Evil Reviews

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½ February 14, 2014
Good little movie, and John Garfield plays the shit out of his role.
November 4, 2013
With an interesting and complex storyline, a razor sharp script and first class performances from a well chosen cast, this is a great noir. John Garfield is in top form here as Joe Morse.
March 2, 2013
Great mix of mobsters and sibling rivalry in overlooked gem--Abel and Cain!!
½ March 1, 2013
Un film noir pur et dur, introduit par Martin Scorsese sur la version Blu-ray qui explique l'influence de "Force of Evil" sur ses propres films. Je ne suis pourtant pas aussi enthousiaste que lui. Les dialogues sont très "sharp", le jeu des acteurs est vraiment convaincant mais l'ensemble manque un peu de sauce.
Polonsky a une vision très sombre de la société de l'époque et ça se ressent dans le propos et dans l'ambiance du film, mais les personnages n'ont pas réussi à m'accrocher. Ils étaient tous vides, cons ou détestables. Trop court avec ses 78 minutes, le film aurait bénéficié de plus amples développements au niveau du scénario.
November 24, 2012
a perfect one. in my top 10 noir fims
½ September 21, 2012
theatrical, entertaining and obviously influential, though at times a bit too on the nose. it may be because we're not used to the storytelling style of old hollywood anymore, but i understood almost nothing in terms of plot - it was something big and convoluted involving gambling on fixed games? it was easy to understand the characters and their relationship to one another, and that was enough i think to get you through the story, but all the details of what made that story unique were gobbled up by the fast talk and lack of action. also, i felt the film was too short - the plot was so big and had so many intricacies and before we could even settle down and try to make sense of what's going on, the film had already pushed through to the end. as a result, the plot wasn't developed enough, and it made the character conflicts seem inconsequential and glossed over, resulting in a film that only worked on the surface level.
September 15, 2012
Although it's as dark and thrilling as noir always are, Force of Evil certainly stands out from crowd, due to its very poetic images and language. Then there is also the notable, highly realistic cinematography attached to it. And in its tense and brutal tale of corruption, greed, and betrayal there is a message, which shows that even the most successful and seemingly legitimate personas sometimes can't resist the tremendous forces of money and power. Some brothers want to do good, others want to do evil. John Garfield in his most amazing performance ever, and Beatrice Pearson as the beautiful and naive bookkeeper, who accidentally ended up in the middle of the huge mess.
April 4, 2012
"A man could spend the rest of his life trying to remember what he shouldn't have said"
Beautifully shot with great locations, and even greater set pieces. Not a film that could be easily accepted by Hollywood, and film critics have struggled to respond to adequately- Polonsky's singular vision of a cinema of intelligence, with fast, slick, poetic dialogue and a morality that eschews black and white for many shades of grey in a story that exposes the lies and corruption at the heart of American society. Is it any wonder both Polonsky and John Garfield (whose best performance this is) were blacklisted. After defeating the Nazis the US govt. destroyed the artistic freedoms and voices of those who fought for and believed in freedom.
January 29, 2012
Greatest Femmes Fatales in Classic Film Noir
½ November 1, 2011
Top drawer performance from John Garfield in this talky noir which essentially follows the plight of two brothers who are tangled up with the numbers game. The voice-over doesn't do it many favours, but then that was simply par for the course for many of these films. At over 60 years old, there isn't actually that much that makes this film feel really dated and it still maintains moments of chilling freshness throughout. Its at its best when it ventures outside and adds some terrific location work.
½ October 12, 2011
Terrific, hard-hitting 40s gangster picture.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2011
"Force of Evil," starring John Garfield, is a serious and heavy noir depicting corruption in New York in the early days after WWII. It could have been a great film, but it drowns in muddled and overly complex storytelling. I could barely keep track of the characters.

The story threads I could keep track of were phenomenal. Also great was the titanic performance from supporting actor Thomas Gomez, who plays the brother of Garfield. I had never heard of Gomez until this, but I see that he was nominated for an Oscar the year before "Force of Evil" came out (for "Ride the Pink Horse," a film I've never heard of). So clearly he was a heavy hitter in his day. It's a shame that his reputation faded over time.

Unfortunately, alongside everything that's great in "Force of Evil" is a ton of overly complex storytelling that must have left 98% of the audience in 1948 scratching their heads. No wonder this film garnered no Oscar nominations.
½ September 30, 2011
"Force of Evil" is one of the most innovative film noirs that I've ever seen, and you can tell that it could have been one of the movies to inspire "The Godfather". Joe Morse (Garfield) is a lawyer, but isn't sure if he wants to continue with his job or join forces with a crime boss (Roberts). He ends up picking the latter, and his brother (Gomez) follows along. Before long, Joe is one of the leaders of the gang, but it doesn't come without danger ... Call it what you will, but for me, "Force of Evil" pretty much seems like "The Godfather" right away. Most film noirs back in the day used the famous "kill the woman's husband for the insurance" kind of thing, but this is a great little gem that focuses on corruption, greed, and crime. Most of the time it's not an entertaining film, but in the end it's a very rewarding experience. John Garfield had already worked the previous year with Abraham Polonsky in "Body and Soul", and the movie was one of the Academy Award nominees. Since the latter is not available on NF, I knew that I had to see this. Garfield was on the role models for actors today (including Richard Dreyfuss), and he is excellent as usual and has his performance be as gritty as possible, and femme fatale Marie Windsor is a knockout in all of the few scenes she's in. The cinematography is very good too, and if it got an AA nominations, it would have to be the one, and the score fits fittingly. "Force of Evil" is a great movie that shouldn't be as forgotten as it seems to be. Recommended.
August 31, 2011
Ce film de Polonsky, cinà (C)aste durement touchà (C) par les affres du maccarthysme, est un classique du film noir. Les qualità (C)s de l'oeuvres se repèrent assez vite. Il y a d'abord, dans ce film du rythme apportà (C) en grande partie par le côtà (C) très court de l'oeuvre, qui amène le cinà (C)aste à toujours avancer dans son rà (C)cit. La rà (C)alisation est sobre, mais prà (C)cise.
Au niveau des thèmes, l'oeuvre touche à plusieurs points. En vrac, la corruption du monde des affaires, un frère en aimant un autre alors que ce dernier en a toujours voulu au premier d'avoir rà (C)ussi. Il y a cette tentative de rachat, de soulager sa conscience pour apparaà (R)tre enfin comme quelqu'un de bien aux yeux de la famille. En gros, cet avocat, sachant qu'il participe comme les autres au monde và (C)reux tente vainement de soulager sa conscience en venant en aide à son frère. Tandis que lui, cet avocat rencontrera l'amour et la femme qui tentera absolument de le faire sortir d'un monde dans lequel il s'enfonce de plus en plus. Certains y verront une oeuvre anti-capitaliste, sans à (C)videmment que ça ne se transforme en propagande.
Le problème de l'oeuvre rà (C)side en mon sens qu'à force de vouloir aller trop vite, on reste perpà (C)tuellement en surface des choses que l'on veut montrer et cela se remarque essentiellement dans la psychologie des personnages, où le rà (C)alisateur n'apprend jamais à nous les faire aimer. Sur 1h18, ils restent pour nous constamment des à (C)trangers. A noter que les acteurs sont corrects, mais qu'on n'a pas affaire non plus aux meilleurs de la gà (C)nà (C)ration. Il faut juste rappeler que l'acteur principal, John Garfield, souffrira lui aussi du maccarthysme au point de sombrer dans l'alcool.
En bref, une oeuvre avec beaucoup de qualità (C)s, mais avec un sentiment de trop peu, comme une impression qu'on aurait pu avoir un grand chef-d'oeuvre si le cinà (C)aste avait simplement pris le temps.
½ August 23, 2011
Black sheep like to make everybody else look black.
June 12, 2011
Klockren noir. Som gjord för en varm sommarnatt.
April 30, 2011
Another great Garfield performance...
March 12, 2011
Gangster goes corporate in this stylish and gutsy noir.
½ March 3, 2011
a good film noir/gangster film. john garfield plays a gangster-lawyer (not just a lawyer for the mob, but a gangster himself) whose ambition and moral corruptness hurts the people around him and only too late does he realize it.
November 2, 2010
I prefer my noirs perverse and expressionistic.
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