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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 August 2013
Mulholland Falls is directed by Lee Tamahori and written by Pete Dexter. It stars Nick Nolte, Chazz Palminteri, Melanie Griffith, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Jennifer Connelly, Treat Williams, John Malkovich, Bruce Dern and Andrew McCarthy. Music is by Dave Grusin and cinematography by Haskell Wexler.

1950s Los Angeles and four unorthodox detectives led by Maxwell Hoover (Nolte) are called in to investigate the death of a young woman found crushed at a construction site. The woman is revealed to be an aspiring actress who had recently had a relationship with the married Hoover. Can is open, and worms everywhere, and following those worms leads Hoover down murky avenues...

It's the almost nearly great neo-noir movie, everything looks right in principal, it has a strongly assembled cast, the 50s visuals and cinematography are splendid, and the murder mystery element of the plot - with some added sex, sizzle and nuclear shenanigans - looks promising on the page. Yet it never delivers on that promise of being something dark, to be a labyrinthine noir thriller beating a black heart.

It starts off so well, based on the infamous "Hat Squad" we reasonably expect the story to expand upon the opening macho machinations of the four tough hombres in the hats, but instead away from Nolte's grizzled Hoover, the other three guys are merely dressed up props. Which means there's some good actors wasted, sadly.

As the plot moves slowly forward the investigation and Hoover character axis becomes less interesting. Griffith came in for some critical grief for a lacklustre performance, but she's done no favours by the writers who fail to give her marriage to Hoover any substance. So when things go pear shaped and the characters of Mr and Mrs Hoover should explode on the screen, we really don't care having had no interest previously to hang our emotional being on.

It all builds to what can best be described as a poor pay off, the resolution to the hinted at muddy mystery is hardly shocking, and the "big" face-off sequence between good and bad guys (or bad and bad if you prefer) is about as exciting as watching paint dry. It's not an awful movie, but it is a very disappointing one. A film where a bit more thought given by the producers could have yielded so much more. 5/10
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on 4 February 2015
no spoilers

arrived promptly - no damages - well packed - as described - no hassles - would recommend

I finally got round to watching this. And I'm glad I did. I can see why it gets the raves it does.

I don't care if its based on fact/true story/ whatever - I just enjoyed the movie.

Very well shot all production values spot on.

For me there was sometimes almost a comic book feel to it. 4 just men righting wrongs. With lantern jaws and steely blue eyes. Truth justice and the American way..... and then reality smacks you right in the kisser. - it doesn't quite sink to spillane levels of dialogue but it wouldn't take much to make this a very different movie.

as it is its realism for the grown ups. very convincing violence - because of the physical presence of the lead men. and actually believable emotions and reactions. All very well acted. the pace was always moving - you sort of knew - or thought you knew but the reveals are not unbelievable AND are more subtle and not always for good or bad.

This is a movie I enjoyed - and even though I know story now I will enjoy watching this again.

ACID TEST: would I buy again - recommend - YES
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on 29 October 2014
US distributor Kino are releasing a swathe of back catalogue Fox/MGM titles on blu ray - This is good news for those still interested in buying hard copy. The bad news for most UK customers is that Kino discs are region A locked.

As I find with most Kino releases the picture quality is adequate. There has been some discussion on the internet as to whether the label has done some digital work on the transfer. Leaving the technicalities to the experts some scenes definitely give the impression that artificial sharpening has been applied. Otherwise the transfer is fine. Levels of detail are decent surpassing the previous best quality dvd that was available ( the MGM region 1 widescreen print). The contrast is a little too bright on some daylight scenes but indoors and night shots are strong. The soundtrack is presented as DTS 5.1 lossless and is very good. The only extra included is a trailer.

A seriously under rated movie with a great cast - I recommend the disc if you have a compatible player.
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VINE VOICEon 16 April 2017
The 1950's, a time of the Good life except if you live in the city. We meet The LAPD detective division, who throw criminals off the Mullholland Falls, to get their point cross. These throws don't usually kill them, but come close. What we also find is smoke, smoking every five minutes from almost everyone involved.

Into this crime ridden city, the cops find a body of a young woman, played by Jennifer Connolly, a beautiful woman who was known to several men. One of those men was Lt. Hoover, played by Nick Norte, with whom he had a 6 month affair. Now, he must find the murderer. This brings him to the government and finally to the Atomic Commission.

This is a bold film filled with blood, gore and sex. The streets of LA were as mean as the LAPD.
The acting is fine, strong men, the wronged women, and does justice reign?

Recommended. prisrob 04-16-17
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on 7 January 2006
The cover of my copy of Mulholland Falls describes the film as "a gritty and powerful crime drama". That should have lit up the warning lights in the first instance. But as you scan the cast list you might think, as I did, that with the the likes of John Malkovich, Chaz Palminteri ,Chris Penn, Michael Madsen and Melanie Griffiths also starring, the film may be worth a look after all.
What you actually get is a conceit where style is more important than substance and a corny, unconvincing plot line is not saved by ham acting from it's lead, Nick Nolte as Max Hoover, nor from the likes of John Malkovich. Talented actors like Chaz Palminteri, Michael Madsen and Chris Penn have less than bit parts to play as members of Nolte's gang of hat wearing LA cops. They are reduced to saying clumsy lines such as, "You Okay, Max?" "Where're we going, Max?" "Here's your hat, Max" to earn their pay. Melanie Griffiths plays the wronged wife in a story about a young girl who is found dead in the hills of Los Angeles. The hat wearing gang busters are sent to investigate. From then on there's very little in the way of grit or drama that might keep you awake. Nolte is terrible ,in my view, as cop Max Hoover. He simply can't act. The script does very little to help the actors or the story. Though the sets and costumes etc look good the film fails to interest even on a basic level.
There are many bad films out there. This is one of them.
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on 22 January 2015
Two stars only for a FIVE STAR movie! Why? The two stars are for this abysmal DVD presentation. The correct ratio for this superb movie is 16:9 but on this cheap, in every sense, DVD the width of the image is cropped to 4:3 (12:9). This is the annoying way TV companies used to show movies, before the advent of 16:9 TVs and for it to be presented on a DVD in this way is disgraceful. SEEK OUT AND ENJOY THE FULL IMAGE ON THE 16:9 Blu ray import (Region A) version. It is more expensive but worth every penny.
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on 9 August 2015
A good and stylish gangster/cop kind-of.noir film, that reminds a lot of Chinatown and relies a lot on hats, photography and actors (Nick Nolte is Huge ad usual). Not very original or engaging but ok. Probably on blu ray it would look even better. The Director debut was the well received Once we were Warriors, a tough and raw realistic drama set among Maoris. This film is a step back: maybe he was not ready for Hollywood or Hollywood was not ready for him
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on 19 March 2017
gripping movie with it all - murder, sex, tension and a great plot. Nolte and crew are excellent in this post ww2 thriller/crime caper.
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on 11 April 2017
Wonderful film, can't rate this highly enough. Style with drama. Well paced and keeps you on your toes from start to finish.
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on 10 December 2017
Greta Film Noir Detective story.Nick Nolte is superb.
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