100 movies: Miller’s Crossing

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100 movies of 2012
Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

Miller's CrossingMiller’s Crossing (18/07/12)

Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties.

Onto my third Coen Brothers film of the year. The others being The Big Lebowski and Raising Arizona. You know what? I definitely prefer their earlier films. Not saying that their more recent ones aren’t as good. But there’s just something different about these flicks that I find myself really loving.

Miller’s Crossing is being added to the list of my favourite Coen Brothers films. I’ll be honest. I was lost in the beginning. And I’ll be even more honest. This is the second time I’ve tried to see this film. First time barely counts. I was asleep for most of it! (I did the same thing with The French Connection earlier this year.)

Second time is the charm for me. Still a bit lost in the beginning. But I stayed awake and alert enough to get past the confusion. Those Coen Brothers do like to just drop you into the action. So to speak. There’s no real introduction. You have to piece together a few things along the way. The dialogue was so very 1920s. Sometimes I had no clue what was being said. I understood more of what those wacky kids in Attack the Block were saying. All this “high hat” business. What the what?

It didn’t matter. The characters drew me into the film. I have missed seeing Gabriel Byrne in a decent film! He’s great here as Tommy. Weaving his way through the gangs to his ultimate goal. Very clever. I did not see that coming at all. Marcia Gay Harden just oozes sex appeal throughout the whole film. But through it all, Verna never loses her credibility. Incredibly strong female character.

A lot of the look and feel of this film reminded me of the brother’s remake of True Grit. Some of the visuals definitely felt familiar, from that film. Miller’s Crossing has a wonderful feeling to it. From the dialogue to the sets and the music. Sure some of the fight scenes might have been a little over the top, but wasn’t everything back then?

A great Coen Brothers film. And yes, I did catch Sam Raimi’s cameo!
Rating: 4/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

58 Films so far this year

  1. The Tourist 1/5 (02/01/12)
  2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 5/5 (03/01/12)
  3. World’s Greatest Dad 2/5 (14/01/12)
  4. Haywire 3/5 (19/01/12)
  5. Dead Snow 3/5 (20/01/12)
  6. The Artist 5/5 (21/01/12)
  7. Priest 2/5 (05/02/12)
  8. The Muppets 5/5 (15/02/12)
  9. Faster 4/5 (19/02/12)
  10. Chronicle 4/5 (22/02/12)
  11. Safe House 4/5 (24/02/12)
  12. Reservoir Dogs 4/5 (25/02/12)
  13. This Means War 4/5 (02/03/12)
  14. The Royal Tenenbaums 3/5 (03/03/12)
  15. Reign of Fire 3/5 (04/03/12)
  16. Dear John 2/5 (04/03/12)
  17. Road to Perdition 5/5 (05/03/12)
  18. The Three Musketeers 3/5 (06/03/12)
  19. The Eagle 2/5 (10/03/12)
  20. Everybody’s Fine 2/5 (14/03/12)
  21. Frankenstein 4/5 (15/03/12)
  22. Love and Other Drugs 2/5 (15/03/12)
  23. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 2/5 (17/03/12)
  24. The Big Lebowski 5/5 (18/03/12)
  25. The Hunger Games 3/5 (23/03/12)
  26. Headhunters 4/5 (07/04/12)
  27. Super 1/5 (07/04/12)
  28. The Cabin in the Woods 5/5 (13/04/12)
  29. Watchmen 4/5 (14/04/12)
  30. The Hurt Locker 3/5 (21/04/12)
  31. Avengers Assemble 5/5 (26/04/12)
  32. 22 Bullets 2/5 (28/04/12)
  33. Bad Teacher 1/5 (29/04/12)
  34. Red Riding Hood 1/5 (04/05/12)
  35. A Perfect Getaway 4/5 (05/05/12)
  36. Ca$h 1/5 (13/05/12)
  37. Kung Fu Panda 2 3/5 (14/05/12)
  38. Everything Must Go 2/5 (24/05/12)
  39. New York, I Love You 2/5 (25/05/12)
  40. Beginners 4/5 (26/05/12)
  41. Prometheus 4/5 (03/06/12)
  42. The Tree of Life 2/5 (04/06/12)
  43. The Lovely Bones 3/5 (05/06/12)
  44. Snow White and the Huntsman 3/5 (06/06/12)
  45. The Devil’s Backbone 4/5 (07/06/12)
  46. Britain in a Day 5/5 (11/06/12)
  47. The French Connection 4/5 (15/06/12)
  48. Insomnia 3/5 (16/06/12)
  49. Rebel Without a Cause 4/5 (22/06/12)
  50. A Lonely Place to Die 3/5 (26/06/12)
  51. Killer Joe 3/5 (29/06/12)
  52. The Amazing Spider-Man 4/5 (03/07/12)
  53. Raising Arizona 4/5 (04/07/12)
  54. Horrible Bosses 4/5 (06/07/12)
  55. Broadcast News 3/5 (07/07/12)
  56. We Need to Talk About Kevin 4/5 (07/07/12)
  57. Miller’s Crossing 4/5 (18/07/12)
  58. The Dark Knight Rises 5/5 (20/07/12)


  1. I am glad you caught Raimi’s cameo!

    I prefer their earlier films too, nothing of theirs with the exception of No Country For Old Men has really grabbed me since O Brother, Where Art Thou? And as great as it was I didn’t think that NCFOM really felt like a ‘Coen Brothers’ film, it stuck very close to the source material.

    ‘What is this, the high hat?’

    I loved the ‘20s dialogue, accurate or not, it sucks you into their world, I don’t even care if I have no idea what they mean!

    • I wanted to do the whole 20s speak right after i finished watching, but there was no one to talk 20s to! Loved it.

      I need to rewatch O Brother. I just couldn’t get into it first time round. I’ll give it another go me thinks.

  2. Good review Jaina. This film is good, with a couple of really cool spots but overall, there wasn’t much that tied the story altogether for me. Definitely not one of the Coens best, but still a pretty fine effort in it’s own right.

    • I think my second viewing of it helped me enjoy it a whole lot more. Well, considering I was half asleep the first time, that’s no surprise!

  3. That Raimi cameo is bad ass! I wasn’t in love w/ this movie despite how good Byrne looks in a Fedora, but I’m glad I saw it. I guess I’m just not a huge fan of the Coens’ style.

      • It is all about that hat.

        I read that while making Millers Crossing Gabriel Byrne went to Joel Coen and asked ‘what is the significance of the hat? I need to know’ Joel turned to Ethan and said ‘Gabe wants to know the significance of the hat’ Ethan paused and said ‘yeah, it is significant’ and walked off.

  4. Glad to see you like this one! I think it’s an awesome movie. That scene in the woods is freaking classic. The Coens are fantastic. 😀

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