Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Film Review: Miller's Crossing (1990)

Miller's Crossing (Review)
United States/1990
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

Tom Reagan is the confidant of Leo, a political mob boss. Johnny Caspar, Leo's up-and-coming rival, announces his plans to kill a two-timing bookie, Bernie. To Johnny and Tom's surprise, Leo goes against this plan and sides with Bernie causing a war between the two bosses...

Tom is further involved when his affair with Verna, Leo's girlfriend, is revealed; and Bernie is Verna's brother. So, Verna is playing Leo into keeping Bernie alive, while Tom is supposedly in love with Verna, but he may be trying to get to Bernie. Essentially, Tom is trying to stop the war from erupting and gets caught in the middle.

Miller's Crossing is a crime story - it's really a story of friendship, deception, and ethics. It works mostly off of its dialogue, along with a few shootouts. Most of the dialogue is quick yet engaging; its often very intense, as well. The story really kept the me interested thanks to the constant theme of deception and ethics; you really wonder what each character's ulterior motive is. The ending of the film is also fantastic. There were a couple scenes of comedy that really didn't work and broke the immersion of the film, though.

The acting is superb from the entire cast. Gabriel Byrne plays Tom Reagan and he's slick and witty most of the time. John Turturro plays Bernie and he begs for mercy fantastically, his character can quickly change emotions as he is very deceptive. And, I also really enjoyed Jon Polito as Caspar. The film is shot beautifully, especially at Miller's Crossing. The music is also fantastic, a memorable soundtrack and theme. Joel Coen's direction is fantastic and consistent.

Overall, Miller's Crossing is a great crime drama. The story is intense and ends unexpectedly; the dialogue is fantastic and immersive, every exchange is brilliant; and, the acting is all-around superb from the amazing cast. However, there are a couple of scenes that don't work with the film. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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