Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
New York Times:
The excitement (of Down by Law) comes from the realization that we are seeing a true film maker at work, using film to create a narrative that couldn't exist on the stage or the printed page of a novel.
After the initial establishment of character and atmosphere, the laughs come thick and fast, most notably from the marvellous [Roberto] Benigni.
The Jim Jarmusch penchant for off-the-wall characters and odd situations is very much in evidence.
It's not that the movie doesn't move fast enough, it's that while it dawdles, it doesn't give you enough to dwell on.