Miller's Crossing


Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 113311


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December 23, 2012 at 08:37 PM



Frances McDormand as Mayor's Secretary
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751.23 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 55 min
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23.976 fps
1hr 55 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun 8 / 10

"And today I ain't selling take your flunky and dangle."

Gabriel Byrne is aces as Tom Reagan, a top adviser to Prohibition-era Irish gangster Leo (Albert Finney). Tom is absolutely cold-blooded, yet does have his own personal code. Tom and Leo end up having a falling-out over a woman named Verna (Marcia Gay Harden, in her first substantial film role). And so Tom ends up associating with Italian mob boss Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito), incurring the suspicion of Caspars' number one henchman Eddie Dane (J.E. Freeman). As the elaborate story unfolds, Tom plays every angle he can think of to come out on top.

Still, he takes a TON of physical punishment as this plays out. Although it may be a little difficult investing time in a character who's so antiheroic, he is a compelling character, and it would be hard not to feel SOME sympathy for him every time he gets a fresh beating.

Overall, "Miller's Crossing" is well worth a look, especially for any fan of filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. It's quite an absorbing story, and the impressive cast has such a field day with the Coens' memorable dialogue that it makes a one hour and 55 minute run time almost fly by. The Coens do a respectable job at recreating the period (what city or town in which this takes place is never really specified) while indulging in various amusing bursts of in-your-face violence certain to delight some people and repulse others. It's all enhanced by a haunting and lovely score by frequent Coen brothers collaborator Carter Burwell, still a somewhat under valued composer.

Finney is quite likeable, while a young and fiery Harden leaves quite the impression in the only major female role. Polito is a scene stealing live wire, in contrast to the more icy cold Freeman as the brutish Dane. John Turturro is highly effective playing Vernas' brother Bernie, a truly wretched weasel if ever there was one. Familiar faces in smaller roles include Mike Starr, Steve Buscemi, Olek Krupa, Michael Jeter, and Michael Badalucco.

A good, well-told, potent story of friendship, loyalty, and survival instinct, with characters doing whatever they have to do to get by.

Look for Sam Raimi, a longtime friend of Joel and Ethan, and Joels' wife Frances McDormand, in quick cameos.

Eight out of 10.

Reviewed by Filipe Neto 8 / 10

A very good film.

I've seen several Cohen brothers films and I know they have a habit of making complex films, more or less between the commercial movie and the intellectual movie. The Cohen have the ability to go from one end to the other of this spectrum. The script runs during the Prohibition and in the context of an impending gangster war. Tom, the main character, is trying to avoid it, but ends up getting entangled in a web of crossed loyalties.

Gabriel Byrne gave life to the lead role and was excellent. I loved his performance in a character who looks like an anti-hero. He has everything to be bad (he has no character or scruple and doesn't mind betraying friends) but he is pragmatic and seems to regard the bloodshed as something that should be avoided or minimized. That makes Tom a character we like. He is not a good guy, but he seems to be the most human person in the whole movie. Velma, on the other hand, looks like a cold, calculating, treacherous girl. The way Marcia Gay Harden acted also helped. The actress is good and performed well. John Turturro also shone in the role of Bernie, an opportunist little crook who gets in trouble by fooling a big fish. Albert Finney brought to life Leo, the powerful Irish boss with a good heart and full of kindness. He is a good actor, but his character seems too good to be a mobster. Much closer to the ruthless and cynical picture which we use to make of mob bosses is Jon Polito. He's the most dominant actor in the film, along with Byrne. I loved his work here. His cruelty, the easy way he kills or orders to kill gave me goose bumps. The rest of the cast also did a good job, but I think these actors deserve prominence, not so much for having the main characters but for the quality of their work.

Another good thing are the technical details. Cinematography is very good and contributes decisively to the chilling environment that we like to feel in a true gangster movie. Some scenes are clearly homage to other films of the past, as well as the relevance given to fedora hats. In fact, if there is anything that we immediately link with the gangster world it's this particular type of hat (although it's also one of the most classic male hat models, still fashionable nowadays... I even have one). We can also see other iconic elements of the mob world, like Thompson sub-machine guns. It has excellent firefight scenes also, and the dry and ironic humor that is the Cohen Brothers trademark. The only thing I didn't like was the soundtrack because I felt it cut through the pleasant tension I felt throughout the movie.

"Miller's Crossing" is a good movie. It's not too complex or unintelligible, tells a good story, has a nice irony, a good cast doing a great job, good production values and positive technical details. It's worth watching.

Reviewed by Amy Adler 9 / 10

Grimly majestic film; one of the Coens' best

Tom (Gabriel Byrne) is the right hand man of mobster Leo (Albert Finney). They've always "ruled" their city, despite elected officials. But, now, complications arise. Leo's galpal, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden) is seen as a hardened dame, using Leo for a better life. Her brother, Bernie (John Tuturro) is a bookie who is in trouble with Leo and with another rising mob boss, Johnny (Jon Polito). Because Bern is his lover's bro, Leo is reluctant to act against him. Meanwhile, Verna and Tom are having a secret affair, hardly loyal to Leo. Then, too, Tom is exploring working on the side for Johnny, because he has big debts to pay. Wouldn't you know it, Tom is soon asked to "off" Bernie at Miller's Crossing, a secluded wooded area where few bodies will be found. After all, Tom must prove his allegiance to Johnny. Fortunately, Tom finds a way out of his dilemma, but it doesn't solve the long term situation. Plus, Leo discovers Tom's double life, beats him up, and disowns him. With a growing battle between mobsters, who will remain standing? This intriguing, grimly majestic movie is a stellar piece of film making. The dialogue is superb, making the viewer hang on every word. Then, too, the direction includes scenes of great expertise, such as the one where a boy discovers a dead body, only to be startled when the man's toupee flies off. The actors, too, are great, with Tuturro, especially, exhibiting mighty prowess. As a period piece, one admires the thirties costumes and decor. All in all, MC was one of the first great Coen flicks and fans can argue it is the best of them all.

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