The Untouchables
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Like the TV series that shared the same title, The Untouchables (1987) was an account of the battle between gangster Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness, this time in the form of a feature film boasting big stars, a big budget, and a script from respected playwright David Mamet. Kevin Costner stars as Ness, a federal agent who has come to Chicago during the Prohibition Era, when corruption in the local police department is rampant. His mission is to put crime lord Capone (Robert De Niro) out of business, but Capone is so powerful and popular that Ness is not taken seriously by the law or the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A deeply satisfying and entertaining Prohibition gang-buster directed with a Tommy gun's rat-tat-tat."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's an action film without much personality or drive and without enough imaginative detail to make the action gripping or meaningful."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"The best cop/mob movie remains decidedly untouchable."
‑ Jeffrey Lyles, Lyles' Movie Files
"For many the main attraction of this modern classic is Sean Connery's Oscar-winning turn as the veteran Irish cop who shows Costner the ropes."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"Unlike some past De Palma films, though, The Untouchables makes some of its strongest impressions in sequences that build suspense and characterization without readily resorting to mayhem."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"The Untouchables could be the breakthrough movie for Kevin Costner, a folksy, Gary Cooperish actor who holds center stage as Eliot Ness."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"It goes to that place that all films aspiring to greatness must attain: the country of myth, where all the figures must be larger and more vivid than life."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"De Palma does superb job with the action sequences, which are choreographed, paced and acted out so well that they don't leave a palm dry in the house."
‑ Ben Yagoda, Philadelphia Daily News
"De Palma's style rides substance out of town to leave a glorious compendium of genre cool, remixing the original '50s TV series just as Indiana Jones took a whip to '30s serial adventures."
‑ Simon Kinnear, Total Film
"...a consistently watchable yet sporadically captivating piece of work that is, unfortunately, starting to show its age..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Where, under his stainless-steel incorruptibility, was Ness' gnawing flaw? To Mamet and De Palma, goodness and dullness seem inseparable."
‑ Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times
"The results are watchable enough, with a particularly adept use of Sean Connery, Chicago locations, and period details."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Brian De Palma's version blends style, violence and a host of fine character portrayals into a rousing, point-blank period film."
‑ Roger Hurlburt, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"From a director of De Palma's resources -- both aesthetic and, these days, financial -- it's fair to expect something more than just not being bored."
‑ Ralph Novak, People Magazine
"A perfectly adequate Hollywood movie, even classy and entertaining at times, but, despite De Palma's brilliant set piece which reworks the Odessa steps sequence from Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, this is disappointing stuff."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Untouchables on Rotten Tomatoes

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