Matthew Lickona 7 a.m., April 24
Brian De Palma follows the standard rise-and-fall gangster storyline from the 1932 opus of the same name. Re-settlement of it, however, in the Cuban cocaine underworld in southern Florida has sanctioned the director to give the thing a Godfather slant — the immigrant gangster as American Dreamer — as well as a commensurate Godfather length. But working with fewer clichés than the encyclopedic Coppola epic, De Palma must, in order to reach epic proportions, stretch out the ones here as if on a torture-rack. It is the viewer, of course, who suffers most. As in so many other contributions to the New American Cinema (especially those of the New Italian-American Cinema: De Palma, Scorsese, Coppola), progress is measured chiefly in terms of the amount of profanity and/or gore that can now be injected, by eyedropper or, as here, by turkey-baster, into the old formulas. With Al Pacino. 1983.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated R
- "National Crime Museum names their five favorite gangster films" • January 10, 2013