Underworld, U.S.A. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Underworld, U.S.A. Reviews

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½ April 9, 2018
Even more so than its plot, the film is notable for its very stark, sharp black-and-white look; each shot almost feels like a paper cut. It's closer in spirit to the films of the French New Wave than anything that was going on in Hollywood at the time.
January 18, 2016
good mystery suspenser
½ September 3, 2014
Sam Fuller's films tend to be RAW. That is, they are filled with RAW emotion as characters confront difficult realities. In Underworld U. S. A., Cliff Robertson's criminal father is killed by four shadowy men and as an adult he determines to track them down and wreak his revenge. Performances in Fuller films are stylized (and sometimes amateurish) with blunt pithy dialogue that might get to the point too quick or too overtly. Yet, all of this makes his films compulsively watchable - they are different. Underworld U. S. A. takes a typical noir/gangster plot and runs it through Fuller's brain where it comes out just a little bit weirder. Not intentionally weird, mind you, but RAW.
½ August 18, 2013
Revenge and characters with no redeeming qualities. A stark little yarn about bad people meeting bad ends. Good stuff!
March 19, 2013
Early 60's Noir at its best
December 15, 2012
Action and intensity make up for some second rate aspects--The underworld in glossy B&W!!
½ August 13, 2011
Não existem muitos filmes com um título mais fixe que Underworld U.S.A.? e Samuel Fuller nunca falha a marca mínima de três ou quatro momentos antológicos que apetece ver vezes sem conta. No outro prato da balança está uma história de vingança que nem sempre (C) muito capaz de manter o equilíbrio (entre romance e balas) e o enfoque. Os criminosos são muitos e nem por isso muito carismáticos. Perdoa-me, Sammy, mas este (C) o teu mais fraquinho que vi at (C) agora.
March 19, 2011
A tough little gangster noir and quintessential Sam Fuller film.
December 13, 2010
Very, very good. Fuller's strong visuals aside, it's a very good revenge story, more complicated than the usual [i]Yojimbo[/i]-stock, since Cliff Robertson is playing both sides on one level, and then both sides within the criminal organization. He's actually very good in this, and most of the cast is solid. Very strong thriller.
½ December 12, 2010
Another cracker. Fuller's take on the gangster underworld. Great characterisation and dialogue, as per normal, plus a cracking ending. Recommend!
½ October 9, 2010
The early going is quite strong, with plenty of gritty low-life crime action. However, once the protagonist Tolly, a two-bit safe cracker, starts infiltrating the highest echelons of a powerful national crime syndicate, the film strays well beyond the realm of suspend-your-disbelief. Robertson's hammy gangster accent--which comes and goes throughout the movie but grows stronger as the movie weakens in the final acts--doesn't help things (his death scene is so over the top it plays as satire). Also, all the scenes with the federal prosecutor and the crime syndicate bosses are clunky with exposition--i.e. people explaining their jobs and their various scams in ways they'd never have to if they weren't explaining who they were to a movie audience. Still, it's Fuller and so it's worth watching. The plotting, frame composition, and pacing are strong in the first act, and the pacing and composition remain strong throughout even when the plot goes off the rails.
September 28, 2010
A solid revenge film written and directed by the great auteur director Sam Fuller. Cliff Robertson does a swell job playing Tolly Devlin, an ex-convict looking to avenge his father's killers. Richard Rust steals the scenes he's in especially when he is about to kill someone and puts his sunglasses on just before he does so. My first Sam Fuller film and I look forward to watching more of his films. 8/10
September 18, 2010
I know that it is made about 20 years past its prime for the genre, but still, being crafted by Fuller means one thing: it's got balls to spare! It's a great noir, with great direction, and snappy dialogue.
½ August 17, 2010
good ol' revenge plot
April 2, 2010
My judgement might be clouded on this one, I'm predisposed towards disliking Sam Fuller. I tried to consider it on its own merits. Still, I had some issues with it. The performances and characters were very bland to me. I just didn't think any of these people were interesting and I didn't get invested in them at all. Also, and this is harder to put into words, but I got the feeling that Fuller was trying too hard. The roughness, crassness and cynicism seem forced, or too on-the-nose. As a late period (1961) noir, perhaps Fuller was just trying to push the boundaries. But there are some excellent moments and touches: the "shadow murder", the fate of Merkin's daughter, Dolores Dorn sucking on a piece of ice in the most suggestive manner possible. I didn't really enjoy it that much but I can see the appeal for some.
½ January 10, 2010
Another tight crime film by Sam Fuller. This one differed in that in stead of using the format to pass a message about social injustice, it's instead about the obsessive drive to stop the ones who cause it. Robertson seems doomed from the start, and the whole thing plays out in a clever way to keep you interested.
October 19, 2009
A taut and well-photographed crime film with a great lead performance by Cliff Robertson.
February 9, 2009
a pretty gritty gangster/noir. a boy witnesses his father's murder and vows revenge on the gangsters who killed him. it seems a bit graphic considering when it was made. well worth seeing.
September 9, 2008
Wonderful revenge movie that doesn't fall for the cliche' character. Strong movie from beginning to end and Cliff Robertson is a fantastic lead.
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