Boring, drawn out nonsense, infantile dramatic moments (when they exist) and just plain dumb.
By Mr. Lucas Brice
I thought I was going to be watching an entertaining film that was off my radar. Instead, I was tortured with a slow, pointless film that had no business ever being made. The people who gave this film good reviews must be fans of tedium.
Don't bother. This must be an example of the Emporers New Clothes.....I don't see what the others like about this movie. I wasted $3.99. Normally I love anything Gene Hackman does.....not this time. Slow and NOT thought provoking.
A Real “Killer” B Movie (one of 237!)
By D. Scott Apel
This review is an excerpt from my book “Killer B’s: The 237 Best Movies On Video You’ve (Probably) Never Seen,” which is available as an ebook on iBooks. If you enjoy this review, there are 236 more like it in the book (plus a whole lot more). Check it out!
THE CONVERSATION: In watching this film, patience is a virtue, but so is observation: Little is explained, but all the clues are given. “What a stupid conversation,” Harry’s assistant, Stan (Cazale) observes. “What the hell they talkin’ about, fer Chrissakes?” On Stan’s question hinges the central conceit of this suspenseful entry: What the hell *are* they talking about? The more deeply Harry sinks into the quagmire of other people’s plots, the more meanings the ambiguous dialog takes on. Every time the tape is repeated over a different scene, new meaning is wrung from it, right up to the ironic ending, which puts an unexpected twist on the entire nebulous conversation.
Hackman’s Caul is a virtuoso performance, full of quiet, complex nuances. Consumed by guilt over a past tragedy, Harry is at war with himself: On one hand, his profession—not to mention his professional ethics—demands that he remain a detached observer. This suits him just fine. No one likes to keep a lower profile than Harry Caul. But the possibility that he could, once again, be the unwitting accomplice of suffering—even murder, perhaps—instigates a crisis of conscience which will not allow him to remain silent.
The consequences of getting involved, however, are grave. First, his privacy is at risk. Then his sanity is at risk. And by the time he begins to suspect that his own aural art is being used against him—that his wires are being tapped, and someone is “bugging the bugger”—his entire world is close to collapse. There is no privacy, no safety, no security. He’s lost everything dear to him—even his pride in being the best in the business. His skills seem to pale in comparison to those of real pros who might (or might not) be after him. All that’s left for Harry to do is finish the job “The Director” started.
Rent this one for the performances, for the subtle, Kafkaesque script, and for the fascinating peek into the world of surveillance (even though it’s all pre-digital).
Spoiler alert! Read this review only if you’ve seen the film.
Great acting, and a beautifully made film, but the plot is flawed to its very core. There is no way Harry’s final sound recording could be mistaken for the first recording he hears, where the voice inflections were different and therefore suggest a different outcome. It’s fun to suspend disbelief when watching Superman turn back time, but in this reality-based film, it’s hard to ignore the fact that those were actually two different recordings.
By Terence P
With the cast and credentials associated with this movie I expected so much more. Seemed like four hours in a dentist chair. Very disappointing but apparently I'm not as artsy fartsy of the balance of your reviews. The difference is I'm honest.
Coppola's best? Are you nuts?
Take a look at some for his other stuff. I love Gene Hackman but this movie can only be watched in fast forward. It is so slow.
By Head Maroon
This film, the French Connection, and Unforgiven are Gene Hackman's finest films. He is excellent as Harry Caul, the brilliant, loner surveillance expert who has difficulty letting go of his past. He is a master with electronics but does not have a clue about relationships with co-workers or the girl he pays to be with. This is also one of Francis Ford Coppola's best efforts.
Great acting, and, ummm, interesting story
By 77's fan
I want to be highbrow and talk about how intelligent a thriller this was. Maybe it was back in the early 70's, but this genre has outpaced this movie. Slow, intelligent and minimal dialogue. Cool look at technology from this period, and the characters are strong. Had a similar feel to Glengarry Glen Ross. Dark and slow.
This was made in 1974, before detective movies were that advanced in plot. This movie had a rather slow and confusing start, but finished as one of the best and scariest movies I have seen, ever, almost as much as Jaws. Great acting by Hackman. Would have won best picture if not for Godfather Part 2, also a great Coppola film but a lot different.