Miller's Crossing - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Miller's Crossing Reviews

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January 1, 2018
My favourite movie from the Coens.
½ December 26, 2017


[Joel & Ethan Coen]
Shane Sackman
Super Reviewer
December 13, 2017
A classic high action gangster film. I've really enjoyed the Coen Brothers' films for a very long time. I do think, however, this movie somehow missed the mark of rising to the level of the Godfather, Goodfellas and the other triumphs of the genre. Do not get me wrong, this is still a great film. I cannot, however, shake the feeling that it could have maybe made it to the giants, if only a couple things had been different.

The acting is top notch. Albert Finney really shines as Leo, a gruff untouchable gang boss. Jon Tolinto also does an excellent job of playing Leo's rival, Caspar. I think in a lesser actor's hands this part could have been a real miss. Caspar is an over the top manic sociopath that Tolinto captures well. Gabriel Bryne also does an excellent job as the lead. The action sequences are also stylistically brilliant and captivating. One element that the Coen Brothers have always had a real knack for is a tight and well executed visual style. Moments of brutal violence are used with authority, and the action plays out with a deft hand.

My real criticism of the film, and I feel this is maybe an odd thing to say, but it tries too hard. The dialogue is too punchy, quick and witty. There are so many good exchanges and memorable lines, but they become almost overwhelming. The characters really lose some punch as the show drags on. They stop being characters and become caricatures. The sets are also beautiful and immaculate, but, again, almost too much so. You almost feel like the characters are self-aware that they are staring in a big movie set.

I sense this was maybe by design to make the film a bit of a parody on this iconic genre. I am not sure that part of the film works. The film has so many excellent purist moments. The showdown at the end between Tom and Bernie, the long walk into the woods. I appreciated some of the flair of the movie and the screen play had some excellent moments, but it sometimes was just "too much".

Its a hard thing to say such brilliant film makers who, again, made a good film simply tried too hard, but I think that is the core issue holding this film back. I sort of liken this movie to an overly complicated fancy dinner. Even if it was delicious and expertly crafted, at some point the gimmicks and mastery go too far and I just want a cheeseburger. I think Miller's Crossing engaging in that overindulgence, on occasion. Still, an excellent film overall.
October 4, 2017
Upon re-watch, this film has a very strong "replay factor". You'll give it a view, and then you'll feel the need to re-watch because you probably didn't understand it, and the same thing will happen after your second view of this film.
It's quite unbelievable how the density of aesthetics, combined with the superb filming and acting, create such a simple "looking" film so incredibly satisfying to view and pleasing to the eye, even though the colours used are neutral, dull, old, and you may call this depressing. On the contrary, it's the mood and setting that just the colours emit to create just the right atmosphere for a film like this.
Super Reviewer
June 19, 2017
Just watched this again and cannot fault what is one of the greatest gangster films ever made. The Coen Brothers are genius filmmakers and every character is crafted with love. The music sweeps you in and the story is continously moving until the bitter end, I never expect a tacky happy ending from them and this film is just the same. Byrne is brilliantly cast as the scheming college of a powerful gangster who is about to go to war with a rival. The film is the beginning of the very quirky but quality filmmaking we have come to expect from the Coen Brothers. I watch every frame and just know the devotion that went into filming this movie, every new filmmaker should marvel at what is one of the greatest films ever made. There isn't a character a like and each actor brings quality to the role they inhabit, this is one of the key components to the Brothers films, the strong characters. I wish I could watch more movies like this film and cannot believe it was ignored on first release, you would be a fool to have not seen this film. 17-04-2017.
½ June 5, 2017
The cast and the dialogue are perfect! The story is not as airtight as usual but an almost perfect gangster film nonetheless! Great job by the Coen brothers!
½ April 21, 2017
Watchable gangster movie but wouldn't put it down as a classic. Plot is a bit convoluted which led to interest waning about halfway through!
March 13, 2017
By no means the best work that the Coen brothers have been involved in but still a treat and has plenty going for it despite the plot moving along with some conveniences. The cast is solid, stylistically and visually it looks great, the score is solid and evokes the period in which the film is set, the action is well played out with some brutal violence and though the plot has flaws it is still ultimately entertaining and never dull.
½ February 21, 2017
Il film prende tutto il suo tempo per costruire una vicenda a tema gangster molto intricata e difficile da seguire. Nonostante questo, la solita sceneggiatura dei Coen aiuta a seguire il filo logico della storia, ricca di numerosi espedienti registici veramente innovativi e moderni ancora adesso. Il solito umorismo velato presente anche in questo caso e rende il tutto molto pi fruibile e meno pesante da seguire. Di sicuro non il migliore dei Coen, ma il loro stile inimitabile rende la visione un'esperienza unica nel suo genere, come in tutte le altre loro pellicole.
½ January 27, 2017
One of the best gangster movies of all time.
½ January 1, 2017
A mafioso movie made by the Coen brothers according to own recipe, nearby to Coppola and Scorsese. Remarkable roles and absorbing, soft score by Carter Burwell.
½ December 17, 2016
The script was deep with tough guy prohibition era slang making it hard to follow at times. Also enough characters to be confusing while being entertaining once it was more clearly obvious who each person was.
November 18, 2016
Seems as though the Coen Brothers can't make a bad movie.
November 13, 2016
This is one of my all time favorite movies. The Coen brothers wrote the excellent script and Joel Coen did a wonderful job directing.
½ November 1, 2016
Style and substance go hand-in-hand in the Coen's slick and idiosyncratic take on film noir. Underappreciated gem and one of the standouts in their already stellar filmography.
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2016
A lesson in how to write a tight script.
October 17, 2016
I have a feeling that "Miller's Crossing" is one of those films that would get better and better with multiple viewings. I like this movie very much. I would have never imagined that the Coen brothers would make a gangster film, and although I'm not quite sure what this movie is about, I thought it was a really compelling piece of work with distinctively quirky characters. Sharp dialogue, beautiful cinematography, and really good performances. I have a feeling that it is going to be one of my favorite Coen brothers films as I watch multiple times. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
October 10, 2016
"Nobody knows anyone, not that well."
October 6, 2016
Though possibly more notable for its distinctive style than an airtight story, this Coen brothers take on the classic gangster flick features sharp dialogue, impressive cinematography, and a typically quirky cast of characters.
September 13, 2016
A gangster movie with many twists. Competent and clever, but not at the level of later works such as Fargo.
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