The Big Easy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Big Easy Reviews

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January 27, 2019
The best mystery romance movie ever made!
January 20, 2019
A favorite. Still love it.
August 10, 2018
Good crime story with a sexy, but subtle vibe. Love the New Orleans attitude. I love Nola and this is a fun trip back there.
March 3, 2018
Have always loved this movie
November 29, 2017
Quaid has the smile and the charm to each line delivery, but the seriousness that at times comes out is just as compelling if not more so.
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2017
Erm... I liked the music? And the colour scheme was very interesting. But, I found Dennis Quaid's character endlessly irritating and the male posturing wearying. The central relationship is unconvincing at best, rapey at worst, and the story just doesn't grip in the way it should. The film garners momentum when John Goodman's character shows up, but it's largely too little too late.
June 20, 2016
This was a great movie. Dennis Quaid at his best. Loved every second of it. It's my favorite movie of all time.
April 1, 2016
I just watched "The Big Easy" for the 3rd time. I had seen it in the theater when it came out in 1987. Dated in some ways, but very enjoyable the 3rd time. Great message, too.
½ February 17, 2016
"The Big Easy" is such a good romantic drama that we tend to forget that, at its heart, is aims to be a masterpiece of a cop thriller. Set in New Orleans, perhaps the most mystical of all cinematic settings, it follows the initial rivalry and eventual romance between Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid) and Anne Osborne (Ellen Barkin), two law enforcement officials involved in the investigation of the recent murder of a local mobster.
McSwain is a small-time policeman who sincerely wants to do the right thing on a day to day basis, and he mostly does, though he often flirts with corruption due to the region's unethical, offhand relationship with its criminals. Osborne, a district attorney, is sent to probe complaints revolving around nefarious law practices in New Orleans, McSwain among the first people she comes in contact with. Their attraction to one another is immediate, but Osborne is skeptical, especially after seeing McSwain repeatedly, and absentmindedly, commit actions that most would regard as corrupt.
A couple of white hot love scenes later, though, and the two have formed an unconventional relationship, surviving even the most potent of obstacles because passion, because genuine love, is much too great. But still picking at their romance is the crime they're investigating, which has caused a chain of murders in the area that doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon. Taking his past bouts of abjection into consideration, kept in check by his newfound mate, McSwain is faced with a theory certainly too disheartening to outrightly admit: could the officers he's worked with for most of his adult life be behind it all? Before long, he and Osborne begin to realize targets are located squarely on their backs, and that those hoping to off them are more ruthless than they might have at first considered.
Bodacious and blistering, "The Big Easy" is one of the most carnal thrillers of the 1980s. Just don't expect "Basic Instinct" bawdiness here. At its heart is an engaging romance between two three-dimensional characters, both of whom we really and truly do care for. We relish watching them fall in love so much that, through bouts of bitter contention, no less, the film's more thrilling aspects end up working as added aromas and flavors ready to ensure salivation. On a deeper level, "The Big Easy" wants to be a crime drama with attention drawn to how dishonesty can histrionically affect a susceptible city, but we come to savor its leading couple so much that'd we rather the film just play it straight.
But it still successfully combines genres, reminding us that the tired trope of movie romance can effectively exist even in the midst of torrid criminality. Luckily, we care about what "The Big Easy" has to offer. McBride's direction is stylish but empathetic; it would border on pulpiness if not for the way he keeps it all so grounded, so focused when drifting into neo-noir conventions could have been a reality. Quaid, mastering a Cajun accent, is an interesting hero, his unraveling one of the best things about the film. Notice how his confidence eventually gives way to a subtle existential crisis, how he is forced to rethink what he's come to know about himself. So sensitive is Quaid's performance that ignoring how nuanced it is is certainly a possibility. Barkin is as candidly vulnerable, a leading lady with a lot of heart and a lot of pluck. Both characters are powerful figures, but the film is more compelled to analyze their bouts of self-doubt, and the actors playing them are more than efficient (and charming) at doing so.
"The Big Easy" is the rare kind of thriller that unpretentiously grabs us and transports us, not because it is hell bent on proving itself to be a marathon of suspense but because it feels true to life in ways the cinema seldom is. We are just as captivated by its characters (maybe even more so) as we are its jolts and shocks, and that rarity is restorative.
August 30, 2015
One of my very favorites This is definitely my wife's favorite. One thing I noticed tonight is that it's only 100 minutes long. So many movies these days are "overstuffed." Directors could learn from Jim McBride how to tell a compelling story economically.
½ April 9, 2015
A little bit paint by numbers thriller but with the real star being the city of New Orleans and she doesn't let the movie down.
March 4, 2015
Detective Lieutenant Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid) of the New Orleans police department investigates the murder of a local mobster. His investigation leads him to suspect that fellow members of the police force may be involved. Anne Osborne (Ellen Barkin), a state district attorney, is sent to investigate alleged police corruption. After seeing firsthand some unorthodox practices by Remy, Anne accuses him of being on the take. He argues that she does not have an understanding of how the system works in New Orleans for police. Despite Osborne's suspicious and apprehensive feelings towards him, they form a relationship. McSwain is caught accepting payoffs in an Internal Affairs sting, and Osborne has the burden of prosecuting him. With the assistance of fellow officers within the police force, the evidence is suppressed. McSwain is cleared of the charges, at which point Anne, becoming aware of such, is faced with the conflict of her personal feelings for Remy and her duty to uphold the law...

Jim McBride´s "The Big Easy" has been on my list for quite some time and I must say that I was disappointed on the film after my view. In contrast to the late and great Roger Ebert who said "The Big Easy is one of the richest American films of the year. It also happens to be a great thriller. I say 'happens,' because I believe the plot of this movie is only an excuse for its real strength: the creation of a group of characters so interesting, so complicated and so original they make a lot of other movie people look like paint-by-number characters." I experienced an amateurish and flat thriller with solid names such as Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, Ned Beatty and John Goodman being completely out of shape and performance. Quaid's Cajun accent is ridiculous and forced, Barkin´s angriness fools no one and Ned Beatty´s corrupt police captain is hardly believable. McBride has tried to handle this neo-noir thriller with a comic hint and it doesn't work at all. Most actors are balancing on the verge of comedy all the time and there´s no sexual spark between Quaid and Barkin. I have no idea how "The Big Easy" has ended up being praised. If you want a gritty, sexy and violent New Orleans crime thriller see Walter Hill´s magnificent "Johnny Handsome" instead in which Ellen Barkin shows her true acting talent.
November 9, 2014
Great atmospheric crime/romance drama that oozes with style. It is successfully enjoyable despite the cringeworthy un-PC moments, that really date the film.
September 14, 2014
Criminally underrated neo-noir masterpiece.
½ January 8, 2014
It Was Ok. I Wasnt Overly Impressed By This Film.
½ January 3, 2014
Some rather annoying accents, and one intense scene where he lost it. Ellen Barkin sported decent sideboob.
½ December 27, 2013
A dated relic of that '80s that was considered sexy and steamy when it first was released. While the film makes great use of its Nawlins setting, its tone is off and is never as charming or as gripping as it wants to be.
½ December 21, 2013
Just a solid well done movie all around. Noting particularly unique in the story but the direction keeps you int resting and guessing. A lot of funny and romantic and very believable moments. I can see why Dennis Quaid used to be such a heartthrob.
½ August 16, 2013
This movie is Jim McBride's film 'The Big Easy' is an essentially light-hearted crime thriller that integrates elements of romantic comedy with an exaggerated portrayal of life in New Orleans and remarkable for the sizzling screen chemistry between local cop Remy McSwain (Dennis Quaid) and his would-be nemesis Anne Osborne (Ellen Barkin). The problem is she just can't resist him! The message of the film is: this is New Orleans - we do things differently here! They certainly do! Some great cajun music too! These two are just great together! Enjoy!
August 3, 2013
I really like this movie. Ellen Barkin was so hot in this film. Wow!
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