After Hours (1985)
Critic Consensus: Bursting with frantic energy and tinged with black humor, After Hours is a masterful -- and often overlooked -- detour in Martin Scorsese's filmography.
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Critic Reviews for After Hours
After Hours is dazzling movie making; you could get a giddy kick just from cinematographer Michael Ballhaus' shot as a set of house keys floats down toward the camera, tossed from a top-floor apartment.
Like many of Scorsese's earlier pictures, After Hours has a fascination with the bizarre. But the new film is lighter in spirit than any Scorsese film, with the possible exception of Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
The result is a delirious and challenging comedy, a postmodern Ulysses in Nighttown.
Anxiety-ridden picture would have been pretty funny if it didn't play like a confirmation of everyone's worst fears about contemporary urban life.
Audience Reviews for After Hours
Martin Scorsese's After Hours, it's a surreal and great black comedy, with a very good screenplay and actings. A film showing, that even in the most forgotten movie, Scorsese always is terrific.
When it's after midnight in New York City, you don't have to look for love, laughter and trouble. They'll all find you! Great weird film! One of Martin Scorsese's most underrated films. It was made in 1985, and I can already see the techniques Scorsese used in Goodfellas and the quick editing. It is directed and edited really well. So if you were a fan of Scorsese's frantic camera work in Goodfellas and Casino, this film is for you. It really does put you on edge as a viewer, you really want Dunne's character to get back home but everything possible that could happen to him happens. This is not just a evocation of soHo in the early 80's, it is a deeply black comedy. All the rules go out the window for Dunne's character, because after all it is after hours. Overall, however, "After Hours" is an enjoyable film. It is an especially good choice to gain a sense of perspective. Not many ongoing experiences can be worse than the rough night that Paul has in Soho. Watch at own risk! Conjure up an urban world where apparently friendly young ladies all turn out to be somewhere between odd and crazy. Then imagine you're up here to see one such girl and your last bill has flown out of the cab window on the way. Then pretend your date has committed suicide, you've somehow got branded as a serial robber, and another girl is after you with her ice cream van. You could well be Paul Hackett stranded in New York's SoHo in the early hours miles away from your uptown word processing job. You've got some change but since the subway fares went up at midnight, not enough to get back. Who do you call? Definitely not the police.
After Hours is an absolute delight. The theme concerns one night in New York City, and although what transpires could happen in any major metropolitan area, the trappings are distinctly New York. It's funny how Scorsese is able to satirize the city while still celebrating its cosmopolitan atmosphere. The genius is the method in which the action slowly unfolds getting progressively more ridiculous as time goes on. We sense something is amiss right from the very start. Notice how Marcy's roommate Kiki answers the phone when he rings her up. Kiki's disembodied voice dripping with annoyance. That's merely the beginning. His odyssey becomes nightmarish in its development. The brilliance is that he takes the saga to places we don't anticipate. Creatively building layer upon layer of insanity to form a perfectly realized vision of hell on earth. It's hilarious, weird and uncomfortable at once. Throughout it all, Dunne grounds the picture in an air of normalcy that radiates safety for the viewer. And just when you fear that this cruel paean to the Big Apple cannot end in any meaningful way, it does. The story comes full circle intelligently referencing events we've seen before. It's an intricately constructed tale that simply gets better with age.
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