“Miller’s Crossing” is quite a visual and technical achievement by the Coen brothers, but it is almost an utter failure in terms of the story. Here is a mob movie that kind of leaves us at arms length from the story. I just never found the story or the characters to really serve much purpose other than moving from one violent showdown to another.
Visually this is a terrific film. Future director Barry Sonnenfeld is the cinematographer and pieces each scene together beautifully. The Coen’s are also at the top of their directing game. The sound design of the film is pretty impressive as well.
I just didn’t find the script, also by the Coen brothers, to really resonate. It is hard not to compare this film to “Goodfellas” because each was going for a different tone, but that movie truly immersed itself in the world of the mob. Here everything is curiously muted.