The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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A psychologically complex portrait of obsession, Laura is also a deliciously well-crafted murder mystery.
All Critics (60)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (60)
| Rotten (0)
| DVD (10)
Laura is still every bit as gripping in 2012.
Few movies make you feel dirtier, and so perversely grateful for the pleasure.
A highly polished and debonair whodunit.
Less a crime film than a study in levels of obsession, Laura is one of those classic works that leave their subject matter behind and live on the strength of their seductive style.
A hypnotic and deathlessly interpretable experience.
Gene Tierney makes an appealing figure as the art executive and Vincent Price is convincing as a weak-willed ne'er-do-well.
It's one of the smartest of all noirs, and thus among the most enticingly savage and dangerous.
Laura (1944) is elegance incarnate in a genre known for its hard edge, the sleekest, silkiest noir of all.
A feverish trance wrapped in a deadpan investigation
Preminger deals in facades, with how perception cheats us, right down to the ideal image of Laura as a portrait. (Cinémathèque Annotations on Film)
Masterpiece: with time, Preminger's second film has become richer in texture and deeper, more ambiguous in meaning than most noirs of the 1940s.
Preminger made darker, more characteristically noir films than this, but his only movie that's as good, or perhaps better, is Anatomy of a Murder.
A good whodunit noir that, despite a plot weakened by contrivances (the worst being the detective falling in love with a dead woman's portrait), is memorable mostly because of David Raksin's score and the film's great dialogue (with Clifton Webb, fantastic, getting the most cynical, priceless lines).
The presumed death of a woman spurs a detective's investigation of her life and his slowly burning affection for the victim.
A classic noir story shot in the brilliant shadows of forties noir cinematography with all the snappy dialogue that we come to expect of the genre, Laura is fun to watch. The actors' rapid fire delivery presents quick wits, and I always like how fast these films move. The story is as circuitous as The Third Man, but Laura is clearly not as strong because the relationship between McPherson and Laura is not as well developed as The Third Man and a greater mystique is built around Orson Welles's character; regardless, to be mentioned in the same breath as The Third Man is an achievement.
Overall, if you like noir films, then this one delivers.
One of the most classic and iconic of film noirs, "Laura" is oftentimes seen as much as a voyeuristic and tranquil love story as a thriller. This comes from Detective Mark McPherson's (Andrews) infatuation with a portrait of the deceased that hangs in her own apartment. Though there isn't any declaration of love or perverted intentions, there is a subtle and brave performance from Andrews. The woman who is murdered is named Laura, and the social world that revolves around her is explored in depth as much as her life. She rises through the advertising world and finds herself on the arm of the effeminate and lavish Waldo Lydecker (Webb). Detective McPherson shifts though her world and her beaus in order to find her killer, but in a weird twist it becomes a case of cat and mouse as they wait out the next victim. This film is made up of iconic performances from Gene Tierney, Clifton Webb, Dana Andrews, and a very young and wet behind the ears Vincent Price. It's a very chilling and well-paced thriller that not only builds suspense with a well-chosen villain, a thoroughly invigorating plot, supporting characters that are both interesting and significant to the story. These characters are mostly seen through the scope of the detective, the everyman and slight gumshoe. They're elitist and cultured, especially when it comes to the very talented and distinguished Lydecker, and the group's opinions of the case and the sweet Laura are oftentimes candid and yet regal. Laura herself is an enigmatic and keen creature that is portrayed well by Gene Tierney and though beloved by the men around her, she is not shown as a slinky sex kitten nor a glowing goddess, but a humble and yet spunky reporter turned socialite. Every character, every performance proves that this film is about the actors, and they make this film beyond enjoyable.
Really, there's one word in the film-making vocabulary that explains this movie: pacing. Among the founding texts of the noir genre with crackling dialogue and a winding plot, the story's complemented by the steady Dana Andrews and the enchanting Gene Tierney in the title role. You'll be guessing until the end, and it's a roller-coaster the whole way. A can't-miss classic!
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