The Killers

Critics Consensus

Though it can't best Robert Siodmak's classic 1946 version, Don Siegel's take on the Ernest Hemingway story stakes out its own violent territory, and offers a terrifically tough turn from Lee Marvin.



Reviews Counted: 24

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,090


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Movie Info

Based on an Ernest Hemingway short story, this cult classic stars Lee Marvin and Clu Gulagher as a pair of hit men assigned to kill John Cassavetes, a teacher at a school for the blind. After committing the crime, they try to piece together the man's past.


Lee Marvin
as Charlie
Angie Dickinson
as Sheila Farr
Ronald Reagan
as Browning
John Cassavetes
as Johnny North
Claude Akins
as Earl Sylvester
Virginia Christine
as Miss Watson
Don Haggerty
as Mail Truck Driver
Kathleen O'Malley
as Receptionist
Ted Jacques
as Gym Assistant
Irvin Mosley
as Mail Truck Guard
Jimmy Joyce
as Salesman
Davis Roberts
as Maitre D'
Hal Brock
as Race Marshal
Burt Mustin
as Elderly Man
Peter Hobbs
as Instructor
Tyler McVey
as Steward
Seymour Cassel
as Postal Clerk
Scott Hale
as Hotel Clerk
View All

Critic Reviews for The Killers

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5)

Siegel's terse, seething, and stylish direction glows with the blank radiance of sheet metal in sunlight; the movie's bright primary colors and glossy luxuries are imbued with menace, and its luminous delights convey a terrifyingly cold world view.

Aug 28, 2017 | Full Review…

Perhaps the sole justification for turning a fine old movie into a just passable new one can be summed up as Angie Dickinson.

May 23, 2011 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Ronald Reagan fails to crash convincingly through his goodguy image in his portrayal of a ruthless crook.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The second film version (1964) of Ernest Hemingway's short story, directed by Don Siegel with far more energy than Robert Siodmak could muster for his overrated 1946 effort.

Mar 12, 2008 | Full Review…

A familiar tale of robbery and betrayal unfolds, not enhanced by the glossy colour but given a terrific boost by the fact that the two killers stick around and are superbly characterised by Marvin and Gulager.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Marvin is the un-McQueen. Not handsome, unconcerned with the audience and therefore compelling, he is distant and takes things personally. He's too smart to be monumental like other movie stars, but when he falls it's like a world got killed.

Nov 29, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Killers


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..

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


The original is where it's at, although this has it's moments. Very watchable.

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


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.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

the opening sequence at the diner is freaking genius

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

The Killers Quotes

News & Features