Blast of Silence - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blast of Silence Reviews

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½ April 30, 2016
For a no-budget film shot on location in New York City on the sly with a nonactor in the lead role, there is a grand, existential audacity to Allen Baron's Blast of Silence.
½ March 26, 2016
So razor sharp it cuts, so cool it gives you chills. The film follows hitman, Frank Bono, on his last job, plunging the yearning loner into the concrete jungle over several days. The film is kept brisk and endlessly entertaining due to its noir style, interesting central character, and maybe the best continuous voice over narration I have ever heard.

I get a really strong Taxi Driver feel from this one, and it wouldn't surprise me if this happened to influence Scorsese in his making it.
If you like noir crime and smooth smooth jazz, this is a definite must see.
½ January 12, 2015
An excellent little film noir.
January 5, 2015
A wonderfully shot look at NYC in the '60s, following a hitman around town as he gets ready to make his move and ruminates on life and society, filling the movie with a great voice-over that's equal parts informative, sad and eye-rollingly boastful in different portions.

Well worth a rental, recommended.
July 15, 2014
Great voice-over work, and a thrilling story
June 6, 2014
I kept thinking "What would this picture be like without the (third person) voiceover narration?" It might actually ascend to Melvillian levels (i.e., Jean-Pierre Melville, director of French noir gangster films such as Le Samourai and Le Doulos)! Indeed, Blast of Silence is full of incredible location shooting in a New York City that no longer exists and the kinds of mesmerizing shots of a hitman at work or lost in thought that also elevate the French master's work. I suppose the voiceover does provide an emotional resonance that would be lost, unavailable to someone watching from the outside (the narrator is omniscient) - especially when it comes to the hitman's painful upbringing at an orphanage and his lack of success with women. So, there are more pluses than minuses and, you know, this film could very well have been an influence on the late great French noirs and for that it deserves high marks.
June 1, 2014
Excellent B-movie film-noir with fine acting and sets, as well as menace sequences with the background of Christmas. Good portraying of loneliness that take its roots from troubled childhood.
August 3, 2013
Há toneladas de estilo e verve para descobrir neste "Blast of Silence", autêntico New York noir, que acompanha um assassino contratado, do início ao fim, como se fosse uma sombra. Há também uma narração sarcástica tipo corda que se vai apertando à volta do pescoço e um incrível acompanhamento de jazz que tem tudo a ver com os ritmos de um criminoso na cidade. Uma vez mais, Nova Iorque é a paisagem certa para nos contar uma história sobre a consciência e a solidão.
½ July 18, 2013
Allen Baron wrote, directed and starred as Frank Bono in this low-budget film noir about a few days in the life of hired killer as he researches, plans and assassinates his target. This was shot on location in New York during Christmas. The festive, tranquil and social nature of Christmas contrasts with Frank's lonely life. The voice over narration in this could sound campy to contemporary audiences, and at first I hated it, but over time it worked for me. Lionel Standard does an effective job as the second person narration. It reminded me of the cliche images of a devil on the shoulder; his voice continues to remind him of what he is, a killer. This is despite his attempt to form relationships with people from his childhood that he runs into. In fact, he endeavors to leave the life for a woman after this last job. Unfortunately, as is the case with many film noirs, things don't go as smoothly. There is a great opening shot of a train coming out of a tunnel that is paired with Lionel's narration about Frank's birth (complete with a baby crying and then smacked) into the rough world of this film. There are a few other amazing sequences that really set this movie apart as a film noir, and as Allen Baron as an auteur director. At the time some thought he would be the next Orson Welles, but unfortunately this movie was not given good billing or even advertised much at all. Since Criterion released a restored version with a featurette, the movie has seen a surge of popularity.
½ April 6, 2013
Excellent film to see, might frustrate people, but really love the quality of the film and what it displays.
½ August 14, 2012
Incredibly well made, even with certain technical things that made it seem dated. I enjoyed the fast pacing and the narration and I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the acting. Overall, a brilliant little indie gem.
December 17, 2011
The opening scene is so tremendous and sets a great tone for the rest of the movie. Sadly the rest of the movie plays at such a low key and doesn't even come close to matching its intensity. Now you can say this is a movie of a hit man who internalizes his demons and hatred and the voiceover is his true feelings but his story isn't all that interesting to follow. The acting is hit or miss throughout. The cinematography is pretty damn good and the images do alot of the talking. A solid movie but wasn't completely satisfying as it could've been.
November 5, 2011
The opening scene is so tremendous and sets a great tone for the rest of the movie. Sadly the rest of the movie plays at such a low key and doesn't even come close to matching its intensity. Now you can say this is a movie of a hit man who internalizes his demons and hatred and the voiceover is his true feelings but his story isn't all that interesting to follow. The acting is hit or miss throughout. The cinematography is pretty damn good and the images do alot of the talking. A solid movie but wasn't completely satisfying as it could've been.
October 9, 2011
A stylish slice of film-noir that sports a rich, dark atmosphere in the mean streets of New York, and has some of the best build-up of tension you will get out of the decade.
July 30, 2011
Frankly there are sharper hit man movies out there, but kudos to the film for its 'Noirish' yet realist portrayal of New York City.
April 18, 2011
An explosive film with a great narrator
½ December 9, 2010
I've said it before, any movie made in the noir era is always at least a fresh rating for me, I don't what it is about them I just can't get enough fedoras, murders, and mystery in a 1940s, or 50s setting. I had never heard of this movie but it turned out to be an obscure treat. Blast Of Silence is a unique and exciting noir story that is over and done with in a little under an hour, but doesn't let up with its style, its action, or its intensity at all during the brief time its on screen. It crams as much noir-y-ness as humanly possible into 77 minutes, and the result is one of the grittiest and most stylish noirs I have ever seen.

The first thing that you will notis about BOS is that the narration is in second person. This is an odd way to narrate the story but it turned out to be one of the best ways to narrate a movie, it makes the movie more personal and you feel more connected to the story this way. The story is a very solitary and quiet one, there isn't much dialogue between the characters and there isn't that many characters at all. The movie mostly focuses on its driving character: assassin Frank Bono. He was an orphan, lived the life of a killer all his life, a cold and heartless individual. On his trip to christmastime New York for what would be just another hit. But this time, something different happens to Bono. It is sort of a revelation and soon he finds the wrong in his profession. This is one of the best looks into the mind of the assassin and the psychology behind a life of loneliness and murder. The story moves as quickly as possible with the small substance in it. That is what I love about these movies, they can take a very intimate storyline that doesn't leave the world or country in jeopardy, just the lives of the characters themselves. The end is rightfully bleak and unfair it seems but that is just one of the many things to like about noir, it is never fair, but life just goes on.

The acting is one of the only things I wasn't excited about, there isn't much dialogue or interaction between the characters but when they do the dialogue doesn't have much heart behind it. The narration is the real performance to watch, it follows the revelation of a man which makes the short experience much more fufilling. The style behind this film is impressive for such a low budget. There isn't any Michael Bay-sized explosions but what where the film succeeds is making the most out of what little resources the film was made with. The soundtrack is as cool as the rest of the film, with upbeat jazz that just takes the style factor up to 11.

This is definitely one of the better B-noirs I have seen. The second person narration may turn some people off and the short time it takes on screen. Don't think of it as a movie that's too short, be impressed with the amount of story that it is able to put into the brief run time. Noir fans will most certainly enjoy it, others you may or may not but if you ever need a break from whatever hollywood is pumping out these days, than Blast Of Silence may be right up your alley.
November 26, 2010
Features one of the greatest, grittiest voice-over narrators in noir. While the story (a disillusioned hitman vows that this will be his last hit) has been run to the ground since 1961, the strong performances and gorgeous verite style keep this film fresh. It's also fascinating to recognize the streets of New York, even through the haze of fifty years.
½ November 10, 2010
One of my favorite films, Blast of Silence can be seen both as an originally executed crime film in the vein of the classic film-noir--it is in fact considered the last of the genre--as well as a rare cinematic study in one man's loneliness and alienation. Taught and somber, grizzly and poignant, it is, like all great works of art dealing with the criminal world, more than would appear at first glance.
August 17, 2010
Chilly, brooding, bleak, gripping film noir with an unconventional second person voiceover narrative. Beautifully lit images, great central performance from Allen Baron and tight direction make this a certified winner.
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