Kia's Review of Miller's Crossing
Stylistic, chilling, and double-crossing gangster exploits abound in this crime drama and homage to classic film noir. It takes place place in the 30's in a city where a mob war is about to break out between Irish gang boss Leo (Albert Finney) and Italian gang boss Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito), because spineless bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro) has been manipulating and divulging Caspar's fixed fights to others involved. Leo's right hand man, Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne), is with the same woman as Leo, and keeps tabs on everybody before he seemingly changes allegiances. The plot is a dense one, and the key to understanding it lies in the expertly and cleverly written dialogue delivered by the ensemble of talented actors. The film bears the marks of the Coen Brothers' signature style with moments of dark humor sprinkled on its otherwise serious and brooding overtone. There is also a focus on morals within the gangster world as well as the use of hats to symbolize both clarity and status. What sets Miller's Crossing apart from other films of this genre is its ability to show and reflect on what drives these characters and its subtlety in doing so is what makes the movie so enthralling.