Rolling Stone - 10/31/1991
"...A mesmerizing thriller....Joe Mantegna delivers a brilliant, multifaceted performance..."
Film Comment - 11/01/1991
"...The dialogue is a pleasure....The bone-tired-don't-bother-me Mamet acting fits perfectly here..."
Los Angeles Times - 10/16/1991
"...HOMICIDE absolutely holds your interest....It's a thrilling ride while it lasts, and it marks Mamet's emergence as a writer-director to be reckoned with..."
USA Today - 03/15/2002
"...[A] period piece, which gets by on sheer outrageousness..."
Film Comment - 09/01/2009
"The dialogue is stark, bracing, and, in rough-and-tumble scenes at the stationhouse and with partner William H. Macy, funny to boot."
In HOMICIDE, writer-director David Mamet begins with the cinematic stereotype of the tough cop--Bobby Gold (Joe Mantegna), a detective hot on the heels of a fugitive named Randolph (Ving Rhames). But Gold gets sidetracked when a Jewish family requests that he be assigned to the investigation of their matriarch's murder. It isn't long before the stereotype breaks down and Gold is revealed as a self-hating Jew who has spent his life seeking the approval of tough guys, having gone so far as to become one himself. Meanwhile, the case leads him to discover a clandestine war between an anti-Semitic group and a Zionist league--which calls on Gold to ignore his duty as a cop and remember his duty as a Jew. As in other Mamet films (especially THE SPANISH PRISONER), Gold is a hero who scratches the surface one day, only to discover that the world is far more complicated than he ever imagined and that he must make moral choices he never planned on making. Perennial Mamet actors Rebecca Pidgeon, William H. Macy, and Ricky Jay lend support in minor but pivotal roles.
In David Mamet's cinema, nothing is as it seems-so you better know what you're looking for. Unfortunately, the protagonist of Mamet's nightmarish urban odyssey Homicide, inner-city police detective Bobby Gold (Joe Mantegna), is as bewildered about who he is as who (or what) he's after. Gold's investigation, following the murder of an elderly Jewish candy-shop owner, leads him down a path of obscure encounters and clues, as well as profound reckoning with his own self and identity. Filled with Mamet's trademark verbal play and featuring standout supporting performances from William H. Macy, Ving Rhames, and Rebecca Pidgeon, Homicide is a taut, rich work from a true American original.
Joe Mantegna plays Baltimore homicide detective Bobby Gold in what appears, at first blush, to be a gritty, straightforward cop opera. Soon, however, Gold is assigned to a murder case that he doesn't want, a case involving a Jewish woman's murder. As he gets deeper into the case, Gold finds himself pushed by circumstance into a profound identity crisis--and winds up torn between his honor as a policeman and his heritage as a Jew.