★★★½ / 35mm / A great multi-faceted heist film noir, full of sad sacks and backstabbers, led by the great Sterling Hayden. Kubrick’s film is firing on all cylinders, it’s taunt, funny and tragic all rolled into one. Windsor and Cook Jr. are damn delightful, a corrupted marriage imploding. Timothy Carey twisted as the horse shooter. Kubrick keeps it moving until the wheels fall off. Solid entertainment.
In case you are a passionate Kubrick fan with your eyes shut: fine; go for it. In case you are not: it takes more than one hour to come to the point; awful, disgusting background music which is very much annoying, really hard to stand with. Only the last 20 minutes justify his talent. The rest: boring, very slow, totally overrated by critics, overall pain in the ass. 2,5 stars. Torture me, but it is as it is.
A movie that suffers from a rushed first act, with little plot development and overwritten dialogue, but that finds its stride as soon as all the setup is dealt with. The second and third acts feature some tense scenes, unexpected humor and a bit of a cynical look on the classic noir stories of 30's/40's. Ends up being very entertaining film. It's Kubrick before he bloomed.
A largely un-Kubrickian, Kubrick film. The Killing is often called a film-noir picture, but is more a procedural-heist film and is typical in its plot. Sadly more classical in its directing style, lacking that genre's (and the director's later) formalism, while its narrative is also classical, being much too neat, too agreeable, too standardized, and is quite uninventive in its telling. Sub-par Kubrick.
Kubrick's first masterful film is partly indebted to its time, partly ahead of it, but that just shows how masters have to work within trends before shattering them. It's a crackling triumph whose perverse touches make it the first fully Kubrickian microcosm: a delusional battle of order against chaos. As bonus, producer James B. Harris was at the screening to tell stories about when Stanley was young and hungry.