Homicide (The Criterion Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
For my money, the oft-overlooked Homicide is a true Mamet gem--startling in its genius.
Put simply, Homicide is a revealing look at a man's journey into himself. Many will be distracted by the subject matter and tune out, but try to hang on.
Joe Mantegna's Bobby Gold is a tough cop who denies his Jewish lineage, until a low priority murder investigation into an aged Holocast survivor forces him to re-evaluate his entire existence. The resulting destruction of the man is cruel and never-ending,...and brilliant.
William H. Macy, an until-now bit player, gets a well-deserved promotion to #2 man among the strong supporting cast as Gold's partner and sounding board.
The intricacies of the plot, the subtleties of the subtext, as well as the perfunctory Mamet attention to detail may mean a second, or third look is necessary for the viewer to get straight with what's going on------- but take the time, if you can, it just keeps getting better and better.
A 1991 film, "Homicide" opened the careers of two very important stars: William H. Macy, and Ving Rhames. A very under-rated and seldom-seen Joe Mantegna stars as Detective Bobby Gold, who works for an unstated northeastern police department that looks every bit like Baltimore PD.
The department is after the killer of two cops. The FBI attempts to arrest the suspected killer (in a wonderfully understated, quiet but efficient initial scene) but manages to let him vanish. The heat is on the mayor's office and politics rage. Det. Gold is called a "kike" by one of the mayor's black handlers. In the process of tracking down the cops' killer, Gold manages to get himself involved in the homicide of an older Jewish woman killed in her store. Was she the target of everyday thugs, or the mark of someone continuing the Jewish pogrom?
"We'll bust this big criminal; we'll swagger around." And William H. Macy gives an award winning smile.
From there, all is not as it seems. When Det. Gold begins to investigate all that he believes, he discovers, at the end, that all is, in fact, nothing but irony.
And because I am in law enforcement I know, emphatically, that that which you thought was one thing may, in fact, be clearly another. Something that you never anticipated -- but your mind must be open to receive -- has come to fruition.
This movie is ALL about irony. I'll not be the spoiler. But it is also about dialogue (any Mamet movie is not unlike any Howard Hawks movie -- THAT distinctive a discernation about dialogue!).Read more ›
There is an audio commentary by writer/director David Mamet and actor William H. Macy. Mamet points out that many of the actors playing cops worked with him during his early days in Chicago theater. Macy says that this was his first major role in a film and talks about how his style of acting changed when he met Mamet. The filmmaker talks about the origins of the project and how it started as a book but after hanging out with his cousin - a New York City cop - it gradually turned into a screenplay. These guys banter back and forth like the old friends that they are on this highly enjoyable track.
"Invent Nothing, Deny Nothing" features five Mamet regulars talking about their experiences with the filmmaker and their work on Homicide. Joe Mantegna says that many Mamet protagonists pursue excellence and that this was his take on Bobby Gold. He also describes Mamet's dialogue as hyper-real.Read more ›
Joe Mantegna plays Robert Gold, a hostage negotiator/detective working in the homicide squad. En route to investigate a big case, Gold happens on the scene of a homicide. An elderly Jewish woman has been murdered. Gold doesn't have much time for this case, despite being Jewish himself but, much to his dismay, he's taken off the big case and assigned to investigate the homicide of the elderly woman.
This synopsis does give the impression of a pretty straight-forward detective story, but what Mamet puts his focus on is instead the internal conflict of the character. Gold is Jewish and should have some strong feelings about the elderly woman's murder, but he's a policeman first and a Jew last. It's this inability to put his priorities in perspective that forms the core of this story. Make no mistake about it though...This internal conflict is not explored in subtle terms. Mamet is rather heavy-handed with it.
There are some great performances here though, especially by Mantegna. This performance makes me question how Mantegna never became a big marquee-name. His performance is masterful in the way he captures the inner turmoil of the Gold character. Not just any actor could pull off the role. William H. Macy is good too as Gold's partner Tim Sullivan.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The most underrated Mamet movie ever made.
Only a great screenplay by a great writer can put you in a story inside a movie.
Really thoughtful drama, with lots of character. A murder investigation that turns into self-examination of belief and motives.Published on July 11, 2014 by Berigan Taylor
One of Mamet's very best. Mantegna and Macy are at their best in this gritty, complicated crime flick. Will have you on the edge of your seat.Published on June 8, 2014 by Sanford Lord
Really there is no reason why this story should have been told, because really there is no story here. Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by That's Life
Excellent David Mamet film! Better than House of Cards but not as good as Glengarry Glenn Ross! Joe Montegna is good as always!Published on October 8, 2013 by ShoGunslinger
Mind, reasoning mind serves detectives. Detectives serve their bosses often in seeming low level cases. Read morePublished on June 2, 2013 by minorwork
While I can't review the DVD I bought because there are no English subtitles and I asked for them because I am deaf, I can guarantee that Homicide is an excellent film and David... Read morePublished on April 21, 2013 by robin hardy