A pre-credits clip of The Petrified Forest sets the time and the social milieu for a slow, morose, brooding gangster film, riddled with Catholic torment and subliterate philosophizing. Abel Ferrara convinces you of his seriousness, as much by dullness as by anything else; and the endless flashbacks tax patience with their backward momentum and their insufficiently interesting revelations. Christopher Walken, showing off his familiar tricks and quirks, is part of the dullness; Chris Penn shows off something new: a raspy trumpety jazz-singing style. With Annabella Sciorra, Isabella Rossellini, Benicio Del Toro, Vincent Gallo, Paul Hipp. (1996) — Duncan Shepherd
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