Christian Flemm’s review published on Letterboxd:
EDIT: Kubrick kinda prefigures the stargate sequence of 2001 in here too (don't read too much into that); shot I'm referring to struck me as familiar and couldn't place it.
This is a very high 3 (especially for a film that really doesn't work) from a Kubrick that is finally becoming himself (this was his second feature film, with The Killing following one year later).
But, yeah, story totally doesn't work, and all of these characters' jobs/backgrounds truly mean nothing in the overall story arch (what does it matter that he's a boxer? why do we care about her sister?). I'd argue this exact thing for the setpieces, but Kubrick shoots them so well that I really didn't care (boxing scene knocked me flat even though there's some general weirdness in there; ballet scene was nice as well, and I loved the homage to The Red Shoes; final setpiece had me wondering why in the world Kubrick set it there, but like I said, couldn't have cared less with the way it was executed; not trying to spoil, but it had me almost the same way that Lady From Shanghai had me).
It's only 60 minutes, and when Kubrick gets what he wants from the camera, it *really* works (rooftop shots; shots of empty streets remind me of M; shot of Frank Silvera putting on his boxing tape; many more). However, this is still really messy and pales in comparison to The Killing. Totally recommended though.