Alexander Perelson’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Perfect encapsulation of the postmodern film. Postmodernism is defined in Jean Francois Lyotard's influential work "The Postmodern condition "as the rejection of grand narratives" which is a key aspect of this film Everything is this film is fragmented here. As in many of Mann's films the line between criminal and cop is blurred by showing the similarities between the two fundamentally both use people for their own ends each have a a code they follow. Neither De Niro's Neil Macauley nor Pacino's Vincent Hanna is entirely redeemable or entirely despicable. The film deconstructs the concept of the traditional cop robber narrative showing the similarities between the two fighting against the "meta narrative" presented in most of these films of this genre it rather forces the viewer to engage in critical re-evaluation (to transvaluation in NIetzschean terminology) of the current values present within society and challenges them by showing their continent nature the fact and denying the traditional meta narrative of law good criminal bad. This makes it easily the best Hollywood film in decades for it ultimately goes further than it has to it doesn't present a black and white story bout how righteous the law is nor does it valorize those who operate outside the law it deconstructs our presumptions about these conceptions shows the reality that these categories are not necessarily objective or stuck but exist within a certain framework of society, and dependent of said societal formation.
Lyotard, Jean-François. The Postmodern Condition : a Report on Knowledge Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984.