The Killers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Killers Reviews

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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 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.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2013
Lancaster's first big screen role is fabulous film noir punctuated by that very memorable bullet ridden opening scene. Far superior to the rubbish that Ronnie Reagan did in the 1960s.
½ September 6, 2013
Super solid noir. Adapted from Hemmingway AND the debut performance of Burt Lancaster? Yes please.
July 23, 2013
Tarkovsky's is better.
May 22, 2013
Funny to see Ava Gardner thrust into a story from Men Without Women, but it kind of works.
May 20, 2013
Well done and with a great ending. Lancaster's debut, it also ushered in the noir genre; also with Gardner as the most fatale of femmes. Essential.
½ February 6, 2013
Starring Burt Lancaster in his debut as well as Ava Garner, the film begins with two gunmen killing "The Swede" (Lancaster) in a small town. Interested in the mystery, an insurance investigator named Reardon (Edmund O'Brien) tries to piece together the past of the dead man. He works to gather more information and talks to "The Swede's" former friend as well as a hotel worker, and a past cell mate. Through a series of flashbacks Reardon slowly strings together the past including "The Swede's" boxing career, his time in prison, and especially an alluring woman, Kitty Collins (Gardner).In the climatic scene Reardon finally meets the beautiful Kitty. Only after a series of events and her quick getaway does he grasp the whole truth. Kitty was a deadly double crosser. However, in a cruel twist her partner in crime is killed and her fate is sealed. This is an exciting film noir with solid acting and a great style of storytelling.
January 30, 2013
Flawless execution of mood, suspense and narrative. Perhaps the most archetypal noir I've ever seen.
½ January 10, 2013
A great film noir that reminded me a lot of resevoir dogs. A manipulative femme fatale, a suave detective, interesting characters and a plot with a few good twists. Solid all around.
½ January 5, 2013
The Killers is a typical 1940's film noir and I enjoyed it! The story is somewhat intriguing as it shows the life of a recently deceased boxer and his involvement in a robbery case some 10 years ago. If you enjoy this genre than you must see it, but I find that there is nothing more to this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ December 18, 2012
When a gas pump attendant is executed by a pair of professional killers an insurance investigator starts digging to find out why. One of the quintessential benchmarks of Film Noir, The Killers is based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway and was the launch platform for the careers of both Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. It's not often you'll see a film that kills off its hero in the first 10 minutes, but the brilliant opening scenes make sure you're hooked through til the bitter end as Noir stalwart Edmond O'Brien unravels the events leading up to the cold blooded assassination that is curiously almost welcomed by Lancaster. As the story is told in flashback, the brisk pace means that perhaps depth of character is sacrificed for economy but the heist, double crosses and allure of the stunning Gardner make sure your interest never wanes. Perhaps lacking the crackling chemistry of Bogart and Bacall or the razor blade dialogue of Chandler, it's still a gripping story involving a Femme that's not as quite as Fatale as you'd expect from Hemingway. Or maybe that's just my inner chump rationalizing for the sake of Ava's considerable charms...A classic detective story and must for Noir aficionados.
December 7, 2012
Classic Noir. Great names ('Jake the Rake', Dum Dum'), great cast, great cinematography and great story. What more could you ask for?
½ December 2, 2012
A top noir. I love the fractured, interrupted narrative style. Otherwise, it's cool and dark, with a tough guy insurance adjuster trying to get to the bottom of a mysterious killing. I'd give it five, but this was my first viewing.
November 19, 2012
She doesn't have much screen time but when you are done watching it you can only think of Aca Gardner. The first important part for the sexy siren.
November 1, 2012
I have always had a weakness for Film Noir, due to the fact it really fits my view of humanity and also the fact that in real life there is no such thing as a happy ending. The Killers not only represents the acme of Film Noir as a genre but it is also one of the most beautifully photographed black and white films I have ever seen. Robert Siodmak surpassed himself.
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