cblaze’s review published on Letterboxd:
Being an assassin, like being a samurai, takes dedication. It's a life filled with solitude, patience and preparation. Jef Costello is a man who has mastered this life. He's got his bird. He's got his hat. He's got his tools. He's the man you call when you want someone dead.
He makes no mistakes and the cops are only on to him because he's too good. I think that's my lone issue with the film - the cops are almost comedically dedicated to Jef as the lead suspect, though they are devoid of any solid leads on him. A man like Jef, no matter how much you surveil him, is too smart to be caught in a trap because of a mistake. The cops should know this - but the film leaves an air of mystique around Jef - it's almost as though Jef popped into existence just to live this story. That mystery is suspicious enough that you can't fault the cops for trying.
Never-the-less the film is a thrilling gangster flick. The story brings up the tension and unfolds in a methodical pace, providing pieces of information as needed, without tipping its hand. The film is like Jef in that regard - it's smart, it's stylish, it's patient and it's masterful storytelling.