Mafioso 1962

Critics score:
96 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: It takes a while to adjust to its rhythm, but this is essential viewing for cinephiles. Read more

Melissa Anderson, Time Out: The [main] actor's every-paesan persona makes the film's coda such an effectively bittersweet punch line: Behind every local-boy-made-good success story, there apparently lies a history of violence and tears. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: It's a farce with a bitter edge -- a farce with no release. Read more

Pat Graham, Chicago Reader: Filmed in Milan, Sicily, and New York, Alberto Lattuada's 1962 black comedy is one of his most critically suc Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: [Actor] Alberto Sordi lifts buffoonery to the level of high art. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: Unclassifiable, ultimately gripping 1962 film about a Sicilian native who discovers he can't resist the corrupting power of what The Godfather would later dub 'this Sicilian thing.' Read more

G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle: If you crossed Meet the Parents with The Godfather and filmed it 45 years ago in Italian, you might come close to Mafioso, a black-and-white gem from 1962 whose appearance in local theaters is inexplicable but most welcome. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The film ripens in an unanticipated way, nimbly shifting from near farce to something quite a bit darker. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: This is brilliant, subtle acting. And Lattuada's filmmaking matches it, with his blend of neo-realism and easy theatricality. He doesn't waste a shot. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: A magnificent film almost no one knows about, this hidden classic offers a wider variety of pleasures than most contemporary works can even aspire to. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Mafioso may be 45 years old, but it's as bracingly relevant as anything else in theaters today. Even in the heat of a dry Sicilian summer, the film looks fresh as a lemon tree. And when you bite down hard, it's just as bitter. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: [Alberto Sordi has] a marvelous performance in a marvelous movie, one that sneaks up on you while you're watching it. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Strange, entertaining and disquieting. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: It captures, in a stark yet haunting way, the indelible fact that no man is born a mobster. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The transitional gears never grind. They just keep clicking until you know you're along for the entire ride. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: We can only wonder how Mafioso struck American audiences in its brief 1962 appearance. In 2007, it reveals the universal hallmarks of a classic. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: [Director] Lattuada still moves the story forward with cold and devious skill. He knows how to get you to laugh, and he knows how to make that laugh stick in your throat. Read more

V.A. Musetto, New York Post: Mafioso isn't likely to receive the critical exultation accorded Army of Shadows, but still it should not be missed. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Watching this buoyantly melancholy dark comedy, originally released in 1962, is like discovering a lost world. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out: Director Lattuada was reportedly acclaimed for his oddball tonal shifts, which Mafioso offers in spades. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: Alberto Lattuada's tricky-to-parse Mafioso dates from 1962 but, with its abrupt tonal shifts and disturbing existential premise, this nearly forgotten dark comedy could be the most modern (or at least modernist) movie in town. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Mafioso may have been made in another era, but it stands as a classy, even radical rebuke to the film school posers who keep recycling the same tired gangster tropes. Read more