This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Andy Swart’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said 1,000 times about this masterpiece, so I'll be brief.
There are so many bombastic "moments" in this film - carefully plotted and tautly staged heist sequences, the death of waingro, the coffee shop, GREAT ASS, and the like...
But it's really the little touches that stealthily pile up to fill this film with unparalleled realism: DeNiro coolly stealing an ambulance to start the film, a frustrated and cuckholed Pacino kicking his tube television out the car door at some homeless people, the quick huddle the gang has where they weigh their options for staying "in or out", Jon Voight's rat pelt mullet, Pacino's character spontaneously hugging a dead girl's mother, and of course Kilmer's wordless glance at his wife Charlene. Kilmer portrays about 6 different emotions using only subtle facial expressions. That scene is hardcore.
It's amazing how sleek and futuristic this film still seems after all these years. Despite the box TVs, beefy computer monitors and primitive cell phones. Here we have beautiful hilltop cityscapes merging into barren urban labyrinths...all the while DeNiro and Pacino (IN THEIR PRIME) dance around some of the greatest character actors of the 20th century.
There will never be another film this detailed and measured. Each second of a nearly 3 hour runtime honed to a fine sheen. Mann's film will always be the template, but today's directors do not have the patience to create a towering magnum opus such as this.
I guess I wasn't that brief. Mann deserves more.