dantesring’s review published on Letterboxd:
First time seeing this film, Kubrick's second feature. It shows a ton of the promise that would come later. You can feel him really reaching to try as many things as possible with his staging and lighting. Much of it is obvious, yet brilliant, especially his use of shadows in the alley sequence. Impressively he uses a lot of overhead shots, walking up stairwells and the rooftop sequence which show the characters being trapped in their world.
As a photographer for Look magazine, he understood the importance of setting up a shot in a unique manner, and many of the shots here look as if they began with a photo in mind.
The use of New York as a backdrop to this only enhances the film, especially in the long shots where the Brooklyn Bridge appears in the hazy distance, and in the deserted alleys of boarded up windows in the industrial areas.
The film is a standard noir, but he punctuates it with moments of excitement, the climatic battle in the mannequin warehouse is quite thrilling.