An acting masterclass from Penn, Oldman, Wright and Harris. A superb exposition of New York, appropriately atmospheric cinematography and an authentic re-enactment of sub-cultural diaspora. Joanou's best film in a year that was overshadowed by the auteuristic triumph of Scorsese's 'Goodfellas'. 3.5
Released around the same time as Scorsese's GOODFELLAS, this 1990 gem from Phil Joanou and regular collaborator d.p. Jordan Cronenweth was unjustly overlooked. Yes, Gary Oldman is well-known for playing "insane", but his character Jackie Flannery is pure: a product of instincts and loyalty to family and friends. Him and Sean Penn's Terry Noonan belong to a tribe. And when this tribe breaks, all hell breaks loose.
I wasn't too fond of the first 30 minutes and I was expecting this to be an absolute chore to sit through. It only gets better from there, and the result is a quite brilliant crime drama. Penn is great in the lead role but oh my, Gary Oldman is mesmerizing.