Mulholland Falls Reviews

  • Nov 06, 2019

    Mulholland Falls is an underrated neo noir. If you like Chinatown you'll like this It shares not only a SoCal setting and mid 20th Century setting but also a great cast, great screenplay, excellent production values and superb cinematography.

    Mulholland Falls is an underrated neo noir. If you like Chinatown you'll like this It shares not only a SoCal setting and mid 20th Century setting but also a great cast, great screenplay, excellent production values and superb cinematography.

  • Dec 17, 2018

    Potential was squandered on poor direction.

    Potential was squandered on poor direction.

  • Oct 09, 2018

    A good movie with some fine acting but I'm surprised Notle didn't die of lung cancer the amount of smokes he went through.

    A good movie with some fine acting but I'm surprised Notle didn't die of lung cancer the amount of smokes he went through.

  • May 16, 2018

    You people who gave this movie a 30% rating need to go back to film school . One of the most entertaining movies of the last 30 years. Nick Nolte is spectacular

    You people who gave this movie a 30% rating need to go back to film school . One of the most entertaining movies of the last 30 years. Nick Nolte is spectacular

  • Mar 26, 2018

    The cast is watchable but the script lets them down.

    The cast is watchable but the script lets them down.

  • Mark W Super Reviewer
    Jul 07, 2017

    Released in 1996, Lee Tamahori's Mulholland Falls has largely been overshadowed by the Oscar winning L.A. Confidential - which followed a year later. Although I often find fault with the Academy, on this occasion, I'm not going to split hairs them and argue that Tamahori's film is as good, because it's not. But that's no shame in Tamahori's efforts as, for me, L.A. Confidential is one of the best films over the last 20 years. Mulholland Falls is a very admirable attempt that doesn't deserve to have become a forgotten addition to L.A. themed noir. Plot: Post WWII, Los Angeles sees the LAPD set up a special crime unit known as "The Hat Squad". It comprises of four no-nonsense Lieutenants: Max Hoover (Nolte), Ellery Coolidge (Palminteri), Eddie Hall (Madsen) and Arthur Relyea (Penn). They are tasked with controlling organised crime within the city - even if it means breaking the law themselves - but when they find the crushed body of a young woman, it opens up some personal demons for Hoover. Her death also implicates the involvement of the U.S. Army and attracts the attention of the F.B.I. Over decades, L.A. Noir has become a sub-genre all to itself. For many, Chinatown is the epitome but my preference is the aforementioned L.A. Confidential. I think Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgaland done a fantastic job in developing a coherent script from a very difficult James Ellroy novel but all that aside, L.A. Noir isn't always an easy endeavour. There are some that promise so much but fail to deliver - Gangster Squad being a recent example of how it can go wrong. In order for stories of this type to be effective, there are many things that need to come together; the cast, the script, the cinematography and the music are all important to setting the mood and, for the most part, Mulholland Falls manages to capture all of these. First of all, Tamahori assembles a very impressive line-up of performers which lends the film an epic feel and the script by Pete Dexter captures the requisite mystery and intrigue to hold your attention. Haskell Wexler's cinematography precisely captures the time and Dave Grusin provides an evocative and dramatic score. The production design by Richard Sylbert is also flawless as you should have no problem feeling like you're back 1950's L.A. Everything fits here, but it's only as the film comes to the denouement that it starts to falter and if any fingers must be pointed, they'd have to be pointed to Pete Dexter's script. Things make less sense as the film draws to a conclusion. The tempo is accelerated to the point that you feel like Tamahori may have been under studio pressure to finish within a certain running time. This is such a shame, as the film is genuinely entertaining and very particularly paced up until that point. It's the exclusion of Chris Penn and Michael Madsen in the final third that lead to some questions over the film being butchered in the editing suite. And this comes just around the time of the film's reveal. The reveal itself is acceptable but it would have been more effective had it not been fumbled. That said, the only reason this stands out is because the earlier part of the film is so measured and involving. Benefitting greatly from its attention to mood and atmosphere, there's much to admire here. It's a reminder of how strong a presence Nolte can be and he's supported by an impressive ensemble. Mulholland Falls is a damn good slice of noir that enthusiasts will take plenty of enjoyment from. Mark Walker

    Released in 1996, Lee Tamahori's Mulholland Falls has largely been overshadowed by the Oscar winning L.A. Confidential - which followed a year later. Although I often find fault with the Academy, on this occasion, I'm not going to split hairs them and argue that Tamahori's film is as good, because it's not. But that's no shame in Tamahori's efforts as, for me, L.A. Confidential is one of the best films over the last 20 years. Mulholland Falls is a very admirable attempt that doesn't deserve to have become a forgotten addition to L.A. themed noir. Plot: Post WWII, Los Angeles sees the LAPD set up a special crime unit known as "The Hat Squad". It comprises of four no-nonsense Lieutenants: Max Hoover (Nolte), Ellery Coolidge (Palminteri), Eddie Hall (Madsen) and Arthur Relyea (Penn). They are tasked with controlling organised crime within the city - even if it means breaking the law themselves - but when they find the crushed body of a young woman, it opens up some personal demons for Hoover. Her death also implicates the involvement of the U.S. Army and attracts the attention of the F.B.I. Over decades, L.A. Noir has become a sub-genre all to itself. For many, Chinatown is the epitome but my preference is the aforementioned L.A. Confidential. I think Curtis Hanson and Brian Helgaland done a fantastic job in developing a coherent script from a very difficult James Ellroy novel but all that aside, L.A. Noir isn't always an easy endeavour. There are some that promise so much but fail to deliver - Gangster Squad being a recent example of how it can go wrong. In order for stories of this type to be effective, there are many things that need to come together; the cast, the script, the cinematography and the music are all important to setting the mood and, for the most part, Mulholland Falls manages to capture all of these. First of all, Tamahori assembles a very impressive line-up of performers which lends the film an epic feel and the script by Pete Dexter captures the requisite mystery and intrigue to hold your attention. Haskell Wexler's cinematography precisely captures the time and Dave Grusin provides an evocative and dramatic score. The production design by Richard Sylbert is also flawless as you should have no problem feeling like you're back 1950's L.A. Everything fits here, but it's only as the film comes to the denouement that it starts to falter and if any fingers must be pointed, they'd have to be pointed to Pete Dexter's script. Things make less sense as the film draws to a conclusion. The tempo is accelerated to the point that you feel like Tamahori may have been under studio pressure to finish within a certain running time. This is such a shame, as the film is genuinely entertaining and very particularly paced up until that point. It's the exclusion of Chris Penn and Michael Madsen in the final third that lead to some questions over the film being butchered in the editing suite. And this comes just around the time of the film's reveal. The reveal itself is acceptable but it would have been more effective had it not been fumbled. That said, the only reason this stands out is because the earlier part of the film is so measured and involving. Benefitting greatly from its attention to mood and atmosphere, there's much to admire here. It's a reminder of how strong a presence Nolte can be and he's supported by an impressive ensemble. Mulholland Falls is a damn good slice of noir that enthusiasts will take plenty of enjoyment from. Mark Walker

  • May 26, 2017

    I Love It,,, Love'd The Timing,,, Great Story Line For a Bomb Shelter Baby... I'm Also a Huge Nolte,,, Melanie Griffith,,, and Chazz Palminteri Fan... No It's Not "Casablanca",,, But It's Plenty Entertaining...

    I Love It,,, Love'd The Timing,,, Great Story Line For a Bomb Shelter Baby... I'm Also a Huge Nolte,,, Melanie Griffith,,, and Chazz Palminteri Fan... No It's Not "Casablanca",,, But It's Plenty Entertaining...

  • Feb 11, 2017

    A wasted opportunity,

    A wasted opportunity,

  • Mar 16, 2016

    It's an interesting story, but it does fall short in a lot of ways. I really like the cast though so it's worth 3

    It's an interesting story, but it does fall short in a lot of ways. I really like the cast though so it's worth 3

  • Sep 16, 2015

    The acting is okay I guess, not as good as I thought it would be with a star studded cast like this movie had. I have to admit that I have never been a big fan on Nick Nolte, I have nothing against him I guess just never was a fan. The direction is nothing great either, I have heard the name of the director, Lee Tamahori, but not because he did some great film. The big problem with this movie is the writing. Both the dialogue and the story are somewhat of a bore. Plus I thing the story is also a bit ridiculous. The highlight of the movie is the performance by Melanie Griffith, the worst part was the use of Jennifer Connelly. I say use but it was more of a waste, she is beautiful and basically she is used as a pretty face, but she is also so talented at more or less her acting talents are a waste.

    The acting is okay I guess, not as good as I thought it would be with a star studded cast like this movie had. I have to admit that I have never been a big fan on Nick Nolte, I have nothing against him I guess just never was a fan. The direction is nothing great either, I have heard the name of the director, Lee Tamahori, but not because he did some great film. The big problem with this movie is the writing. Both the dialogue and the story are somewhat of a bore. Plus I thing the story is also a bit ridiculous. The highlight of the movie is the performance by Melanie Griffith, the worst part was the use of Jennifer Connelly. I say use but it was more of a waste, she is beautiful and basically she is used as a pretty face, but she is also so talented at more or less her acting talents are a waste.