The Killers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Killers Reviews

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May 15, 2016
March 14, 2016
Based on a short story by Hemingway, a classic film noir with Burt Lancaster making his screen debut and Ava Gardner in her breakout role as the femme fatale.
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2016
We follow an insurance claims investigator who stumbles onto clues that lead the perpetrators of a high profile armed robbery. Only there's a sad tale of desire and lust thrown into the mix, deception and deceit with a kiss, and that's the gasoline that drives this dragster to it's finish line, a view of the world that's ultimately black and white and icy cold.
November 4, 2015
The movie opens with two hired guns killing an ex-boxer. The boxer (Swede) had only lived in town for a year or so, and no one knew his past. A life insurance investigator starts digging in order to figure out why the payment was to a seemingly random person. Swede's history is told through a series of flashbacks which show his downfall after suffering a career-ending injury. He soon joins with some small-time criminals who look to make it big with a payroll robbery. Of course, the love of his life (the gorgeous Ava Gardner - she's stunningly beautiful in the scene she's pleading with her dying husband) is duplicitous, aiding in his eventual death.
October 18, 2015
The Killers is a rock-solid noir that strictly adheres to genre conventions, complete with morally grey central hero, seductive and destructive femme-fatale, and villainous gangsters out to do harm. Siodmak's direction looks good and works effectively, the performances are great, and the screenplay contains enough twists to keep the whole thing interesting. While the end result isn't anything spectacular, it's a perfect example of why genre cliches end up being utilized over and over again; every once in a while everything clicks in such a way that you don't care that you've seen the story a million times.
October 4, 2015
good movie good plot set in 1946 cannon was one of the hit men the old cars had suicide doors.
September 3, 2015
One of the great, labyrinthine noirs, with a peak Ava Gardner
August 24, 2015
film debut of burt lancaster in this example of film noir at its most expressive, from the first cycle.
July 20, 2015
a very good film noir movie from 1946 excellent cast,story,noir lighting make this movie a must see film.
June 4, 2015
Classic film noir in which washed-up boxer Burt Lancaster (his first film) falls head over heels ( lust at first sight) for Ava Gardner- the femme fatale you do NOT want to fall for under any circumstances. Great fun and damn exciting ! 100% critics approval rating !
April 15, 2015
A solid film noir that never loses its stride. It's told in a non-linear fashion which makes the movie seem episodic and dream-like. It's a crime drama where the audience is rewarded with a flashback sequence each time the detective uncovers a clue. These sequences are a good replacement for the films lack of action. It isn't perfect, but it's tightly edited and in a movie like this the tight editing allows the movie to flow gracefully through a plot that could have easily been disorientating. The mystery keeps the narrative fresh up until the end, the dialogue and performances are realistic, and not overly sentimental with animated personalities like many black & white film noir movies. The actors are great, but the actress is the real star. Ava Gardner's performance is seductive, mysterious and sympathetic.
March 24, 2015
Reach for that and I'll kick your brains out.

Swede Anderson is a former boxer that now lives in a small town with a gorgeous love. One day some gangsters come to town and gun him down. An insurance company is prepared to payout his life insurance policy when one of the claims officers wants to dig a little deeper. Against his boss's better judgment, he lets the officer research the case. The officer discovers a fascinating back-story of the Swede that involves love, lies, and deceit.

"I'd give you every penny I can get my hands on."
"How many pennies is that?"

Robert Siodmak, director of The Spiral Staircase, Criss Cross, The Crimson Pirate, Escape from East Berlin, The Last Roman, and Portrait of a Sinner, delivers The Killers. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and intricate. The characters are also well portrayed and delivered. The cast delivers excellent performances and includes Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, and Albert Dekker.

"Don't you know what happens to little boys who play with matches?"

I saw this featured on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR it. This was a very well done crime thriller with great shootouts and fascinating developments. This is an underrated gem in the classic film genre that is a must see for fans of pictures from this era.

"I hated my life. I just wasn't strong enough to get away from it."

Grade: A
March 15, 2015
Good movie! The beginning is super intense! And Lancaster owns his role as the Swede! Quite the screen debut! Very hard to take my eyes off of Ava Gardner! Good ending too - the double-cross to end all double-crosses!
½ March 11, 2015
I haven't read the Hemingway short story in a long time but I don't think it involves Edmond O'Brien's insurance investigator zealously putting the facts together after the titular killers have offed Burt Lancaster. But this is exactly the structure that Siodmak's exemplary film noir takes - that's right, all flashbacks as O'Brien identifies and interviews one relevant person after another, slowly piecing together a major crime (hat factory payroll) and a dirty double cross involving a too good to be true femme fatale (young Ava Gardner). Low-key high contrast lighting (shadows everywhere) is the order of the day and a fair few additional trademarks of the noir genre also make an appearance (boxing ring, heist, protagonist hiding out under an alias in a small town, professional killers, hospital deathbed clues in last words, and so on). Lancaster comes across a bit more na´ve than he might later in his career but this serves the story fine. One of the classics.
February 11, 2015
Well done film noir piece tells the story of an ex fighter called the Swede, who is gunned down in his room, even though he knows the killers are coming and does nothing to stop it, saying, he once did something wrong. An insurance investigator, following up on the death is curious to know what forced his death and what involvement in a payroll heist has to do with the Swede. Very well directed by Siodmak telling the story in various out of order flashbacks where the viewer has to assemble the puzzle, but still very easy to follow. Lancaster is good in his first movie role, Gardner is stunning to look at (a nod to cinematographer Bredell). Conrad & McGraw lend excellent support as the killers, as does Barnett, as the Swede's weary ex cellmate. Some coincidences seem too fantastic, but are excusable to make necessary the story.
½ November 23, 2014
This textbook example of using flashbacks gives an intriguing scrutiny of the past.
½ October 18, 2014
Chiaroscuro par excellence, with Burt Lancaster.
½ July 26, 2014
(First and only viewing - 5/6/2010)
½ March 9, 2014
Gorgeous film noir which begins with a tense opening scene leading toward the titular killing. There follows the piecing together of the reason for the the killing by a determined insurance investigator, who must work against the wishes of his boss in trying to solve the crime. Much of the film is told in flashbacks as crimes and betrayals are revealed and the death toll mounts in attempts to keep the truth hidden. Lots of great performances including the powerful debut of Burt Lancaster.
½ February 11, 2014
Just a classic detective crime film of the 40's. Reminds me of many a Richard Diamond, Johnie Dollar, Same Spade, Philip Marlow or Boston Blackie radio shows of the 40's.
Everything in the film is great and it's all based off of an Ernest Hemingway short story.
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