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4.5 out of 5 stars157
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2009
I have always thought of this film as unique amongst gangster flicks, it has all the violence of Goodfellas or Casino but feels more like a Disney adventure in spirit, especially the rather saccharine relationship Ness has with his prissy wife. Still, it paints a gritty and credible picture of life in depression era America, and the performances from the "all star" cast are superb, although the "making of" documentary is keen to point out that Costner and Garcia were unknowns at the time; you wouldn't know that to watch them though.

The DVD release of the film already had a cracking picture, and now it's made the leap to Blu-Ray it looks amazing. Although there was no make-over specifically for BRD, I believe there was a re-master for the DVD (although it is not mentioned on the cover), so I presume this will be the same print. The perception of depth in particular is striking, almost like 3D. There is detectable fine grain and plenty of detail also, so hopefully the anti-DNR mob won't be laying into it like they have done for Zulu. The sound is also superb, there are no HD tracks but the DTS option (1.5 mbs no less!) in particular is clear and punchy, lifting Morricone's excellent score to a higher level than the Dolby only DVD ever did.

There are no BRD exclusive extras I'm afraid; you only get exactly what was on the DVD, that'll do for me but others may be expecting more.
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on 9 March 2013
Having watched this film again many years after I last saw it I was forced to review my first impressions of this film because there are moments in this effort of pure panache. However, I remain convinced by the fact that the period detail is a bit odd with the costumes and even glasses looking markedly more 1980's than the 1930's! In fact, there is almost the veneer of a pop video about this film dispite some strong performances from Sean Connery (who steals the show) and Robert De Niro.

As an action film, this is terrific, if often violent. The shoot out in the train station is transformed in to an act of ballet with a pram tumbling down a flight of stairs and the protatonists shooting at each other from behind the columns. This scene is nothing short of incredible. The cast generally works well as an ensemble even if Kevin Costner seems somewhat dull and uninteresting in the lead. It seems wiered looking back these days that he managed to front so many films throughout the 1990's although he lacked charisma. This is a better performance from him despite my reservations. Oddily, it is the grandiose settings that arrest more than anything else and there are few films where such stunning architecture has dominated a film. Coupled with Ennio Morricone's brilliant film score, "The Untouchables" gives the impression of perhaps being more monumental than it should be and I don't think this film is quite as good as it could have been.

All in all, this is an entertaining if bloody film but is maybe undone by the excesses of the time. Granted it is often a feat for these eyes, but the attention to style as opposed to exactly nailing the period detail sometimes makes this film look like a video for a Kid Creole and the Cocoanuts song as opposed t the blistering gangster film it could have been. Much better than my initial recollection, however.
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This as a movie is in no doubt the best film I have seen around the story and era of Al capone it has a great cast, I would even go to the point of saying this is one of Kevin costners best films. He playes the part of federal agent Eliot Ness, whose assignment to clean up Prohibition-era Chicago leads to violence and manly questions about upholding the law. Initially powerless to stop the flow of booze into the city (the police force is corrupt and everyone in town seems to be on the mob's payroll), Ness finds guidance from an older streetwise cop (Sean Connery, who won an Academy Award for this role) who convinces him he'll need to break some rules if he wants to bring down head mobster Al Capone (Robert De Niro). Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith play Ness's other recruits, who together must stand tall against a city full of assassins. Director Brian De Palma (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE) packs the film with violence and creative camera movements while David Mamet's intelligent script capably dodges cliche at every turn. There's a real sense of what's at stake for these characters on a personal level, which contrasts nicely with the futility inherent in enforcing Prohibition in the first place. The film is based on the autobiographical book by Ness (cowritten with Oscar Fraley) and the 1959-63 TV series; Ennio Morricone (THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY) composed the uninhibitedly bombastic score highly recommended.
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on 6 December 2006
The Untouchables. Many say that this film is a little out of it... They are so lying! Brian De Palmas classic has all the perks and realitys of pre-godfather era or prohibition era chicago. It begs for a completly surprising twist which is performed many a time by Sean connery and his gang of Cops who swear to take down Al capone. The scenes in this are immense. take the train steps scene. Guns blazing off at eachother, teamwork by 2 of the untochables off to kill a big fat bloke, whats more, we never expected that guy in the white suit to be pushed off an enormous building, Which gave a few laughs! De Niros acting shines again! His imitation of the greedy capone is awesome, no doubt. Its a wicked film. whatchable, fun and a great laugh. watch it. love it. own it.
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on 17 February 2015
When this film appeared, the focus of all the publicity was on its new leading man, Kevin Costner. He even got top-billing over Sean Connery and Robert De Niro. He was an instant superstar for the late 80s, and that so insuperably dull an actor could achieve this tells you a whole lot about that distressing era. The film is a bag of tricks in search of narrative cohesion, a series of slam-bang Brian De Palma set-pieces which never quite gell into something wholly satisfying. Some of De Palma's big scenes are undeniably clever and entertaining, but there's an air of desperation under the often glittering surface of the film, as if De Palma knew that his star was a dullard and that David Mamet's script wasn't really good enough (that gentleman rarely tries too hard when working for the cinema - or maybe he doesn't really have the talent...), and so all stops had to be pulled out to cover up the void at the centre. Fortunately, he does have Connery and De Niro, who are both terrific, real stars giving grand, operatic performances which defy you to look away. They've also got the best of the lines and the big acting moments, which each can encompass with a seeming ease which makes Costner look very small potatoes. "The Untouchables" is a very good-looking film, but it's a thing of threads and patches, some of which are very artfully put together.
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on 10 November 2010
The Untouchables is an excellent film set in Prohibition Chicago about the attempts by a specially set up group to convict Al Capone. It is a beautifully shot film with a very good storyline and script. The acting is very good and for a film about the mob it is not overtly violent. Although some of the accents may not be brilliant, its most famous scene is straight out of battleship Potemkin from the 1920s and it is not historically accurate it is overall a magnificent film.
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on 18 July 2005
Excellent gangster movie set during prohibition era America about real life government agent Elliot Ness, who together with his unit of 'untouchable' officers brought Chicago mobster Al Capone to justice. In his breakthrough role, Kevin Costner plays Ness, Robert De Niro gives an unforgettable performance as Al Capone and there is also great support from Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia and Sean Connery (who won an Oscar here for his portrayal of veteran cop Malone). This film not only boasts a top notch plot and some excellent acting but also features fantastic music from Ennio Morricone (whose score for Sergio Leone's 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' reached no. 1 in the world pop charts) as well as some unforgettable cinematic moments like the Station steps gunfight. Overall this is a masterpiece from director Brian De Palma, who also made another top quality gangster epic Scarface.
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on 30 August 2015
This is not a film but an irresistible homage to Cinema history and to De Palma himself. If you take it as a whole film, the story is wuite naif, although characters are well depicted due to some outstanding performances (Costner's, too). What makes it really enjoably is De Palma's ability in staging great scenes, like the famous gunfights at the station's stair, a tribute to Potemkin that works even better than the original. Excellent blu ray
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on 9 October 2010
As the film is well known, I won't spend time on its' review but will concentrate on the Blu-ray transfer. In a word, the transfer is superb- with excellent colours,sharpness and a natural feel that comes close to reference quality. The sound,with that haunting theme,is even more vibrant and chilling. A wonderful classic, made even better by this Blu-ray transfer. Highly recommended.
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on 23 January 2011
I never bought this film on DVD, only having seen it on TV, but bought it on Bluray and have now watched it twice.

First of all the film:- Despite being a gangster film it feels somehow more human than many of them do. I don't know if it's because we know the story of Elliot Ness, and recognise he is going to triumph, or because of the great acting, but it feels more like a Western with its strong moral themes than a gangster film to me. The cast list is great with trademark performances from De Niro, Connery and in particular for me Kevin Costner. I'm not always a fan, but he really got it right here.

Picture Quality is very good. It has strong colours and lots of atmospheric shots. The city has a slightly foggy kind of feel to it and there is a small amount of grain present. Contrasts and shadows are very strong, with the detail still not getting swamped in the night-time shots. For me the whole thing works - it looks like I expect a film to! It is presented in 2.35:1 so it will be letter-boxed on a widescreen TV unless you stretch it.

Audio:- Sound is again very good, with a score by Morricone, which perhaps adds to the Western type feel for me. Sound effects are very clear, and generally very good. A pet hate of mine is muffled dialogue, but by and large it is very good with only a few difficult to get lines. The top offering is a 6:1 DTS track.

There aren't a great deal of extras on the disc, but these aren't important to me, and I didn't do much more than scan through them.

All-in-all the whole package came together very well for me, with no real weaknesses at all, making it a sound 5 stars.
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