Miller’s Crossing (1990)

millers_crossing

An Irish gangster splits with his boss after an argument over his mistress and finds both sides of a mob war trying to tempt him over to their side.

Unusually lacking in their trademark quirky humour, Miller’s Crossing is possibly the most “straight” film the Coens have made so far. Ostensibly an homage to the gangster films of the 1930’s with a Film Noir spin, there are no “heroes” here, just a bunch of self-serving weasels trying to put one over on each other. This gives it the grimy undercurrent of a spaghetti western but with Tommy guns instead of six shooters, with a whisky-sodden hard case stalking through the middle of it all played by Gabriel Byrne in one of his best performances. Albert Finney is also as marvellous as ever as his boss and long term comrade at arms and one of the highlights involves him pulling a Tony Montana on some unfortunate assassins.

There are so many crosses, double-crosses and triple-crosses it’ll make your head spin but it’s a brilliant and stylish gangster story that stands out as one of the Coens’ best.

8/10

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