When the Italian Mafia threatens to kill a crooked bookie, Irish mob boss Leo O’Bannon refuses to allow it, chiefly because he’s dating the bookie’s sister, gun moll Verna Bernbaum. Leo’s right-hand man, Tom Reagan, is also seeing Verna, on the sly. He is obliged to switch sides when found out.
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A memorable cameo from the Coen Brothers' fellow auteur and friend Sam Raimi feels entirely appropriate, seeing as how the Coens channel a comparable manic energy in "Miller's Crossing," as though you're witnessing an animated movie come to life. Gabriel Byrne proves a capable lead, though there were moments I wished he had brought some charisma to the part to go with all of that smoldering intensity.
The Coen Brothers come of age, and prove that adulthood doesn't mean abandoning their daffier instincts. I also like how they gave their director friend Sam Raimi a cameo: he's only on screen for 20 seconds and doesn't have a line, but he gets to both shoot a gangster AND get shot himself. That's a cameo to be proud of. 5 out of 5 stars.
A grave, beautiful masterpiece. Bolstered by a wonderfully verbose screenplay, terrific characters and a smashing recreation of the era, "Miller's Crossing" represents the best of Joel & Ethan's ability before they descended into excessive, cloying quirkiness and self-parody. "What heart?" Chilling.
The Coen Bros. first masterpiece is a twisting tale of murder and double crosses in prohibition-era America. The attention to detail here is absolutely stunning from the script to the dialogue to the cinematography and all performances are top notch. However it's such a dense film, it's hard to get into, but extremely rewarding for the attentive viewer.
The gangster genre revisited by the Coen brothers. Bursts of violence around a quiet cool-zen guy. Scenes that are already part of movie history like Albert-Terminator-Finney's murder attempt or the Byrne/Turturro's face to face at Miller's Crossing. Great supporting cast and superb musical score by Carter Burwell. One of the best dream sequences ever shot. Almost a masterpiece.