Angel Heart

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Released 1987

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9.3
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Movie Summary

Director:
Alan Parker
Released:
1987
Rating:
R
Angel Heart is the supernaturally tinged detective story from writer-director famed director Alan Parker (Evita, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning). Mickey Rourke plays Harry Angel, a private dick in 1955 Brooklyn who is haunted by dreams of a descending elevator, his own blood-soaked visage, and... chickens. He is enlisted by the mysterious Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to locate an allegedly-dead-but-not-dead Jazz musician by the name of Johnny Favorite; what ensues is a trip through gritty locales and offbeat characters, with Angel winding up in New Orleans, a steamy land of mystery punctuated by intense jazz numbers, voodoo rituals, and bizarre sexuality. Parker creates a wonderfully involving atmosphere and infuses a sense of dislocation into a period that has been trivialized in other films, with Rourke a capable, engaging leading man (at times looking like a Bruce Willis doppelganger) - his oft-unusual verbal inflections (his pronunciation of Evangeline, for instance) make Angel that much more a stranger in hostile, mysterious land.

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Metacritic Score

  • 88

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It has the unsettled logic of a nightmare, in which nothing fits and everything seems inevitable and there are a lot of arrows in the air and they are all flying straight at you.

  • 88

    Chicago Tribune

    The centerpiece for Angel Heart is Mickey Rourke's carefully modulated performance as Harry Angel. Ever a resourceful actor, Rourke is a marvel of complexity here, a blend of innoc...

  • 75

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Rick Groen

    There's a Faustian bargain in Angel Heart, and not only on the screen. Undeniably, Parker is hobnobbing with the false gods of Style. But isn't it just the damnest thing: he's havi...

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Themes

Crime, Thrillers