Miller's Crossing

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Released 1990

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Movie Summary

Director:
Joel Coen
Released:
1990
Rating:
R

Miller's Crossing is a 1990 gangster film directed by Joel Cohen. Set in the prohibition era, the film chronicles the rivalry between the Irish and Italian gangs. Leo O'Bannon (Albert Finney), the leader of the Irish gang, is in control of the city with his long time lieutenant Tom Regan (Gabriel Byrne). When Italian gang leader Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito) lets Leo know that he plans to kill bookie Bernie Bernbaum (John Turturro), Leo goes against Tom's advice and decides to protect him. Bernie is Leo's girlfriend, Verna Bernbaum's (Marcia Gay Harden), brother. Verna is also having an affair with Tom. When news of Leo's protection of Bernie reaches Caspar, the two gangs go to war. Soon after, an attempt on Leo's life leads Tom to confess his affair with Verna, Leo brutally beats Tom, who subsequently leaves the Irish gang. Left with no alternative, Tom teams up with Caspar who demands he kills Bernie to prove his loyalty. Now Tom is forced to choose between taking the life of his lover's brother or saving his own.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Variety

    Substance is here in spades, along with the twisted, brilliantly controlled style on which filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen made a name.

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What it doesn't have is a narrative magnet to pull us through - a story line that makes us really care what happens, aside from the elegant but mechanical manipulations of the plot.

  • 30

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Weightless. It is also, unfortunately, without much point at all... A movie of random effects and little accumulative impact.

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    More Info About This Movie

    Categories

    Comedy, Drama

    Themes

    Mobsters, Crime, Dark Comedy