Entertainment Weekly - 05/22/2009
"The tough-guy dialogue and working-class Boston locations are so realistic it almost feels like you're watching a documentary." -- Grade: A
A.V. Club - 05/20/2009
"[T]he dialogue is almost David Mamet-like in its specificity and rhythm, and it remains bracing even now." -- Grade: A-
Entertainment Weekly - 12/25/2009
"There's not one phony note in the film....A lost treasure..."
A highwater mark in 1970s crime drama, THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE doesn't dabble in stylized glamour--the film depicts Boston's dirty cops and desperate crooks as rumpled, weary, and working just to get by. Robert Mitchum stars as Eddie "Fingers" Coyle, a local gunrunner who's just run out of luck: faced with possible jail time, he must decide whether to take the rap or sell out his criminal customers in exchange for freedom. Legendary for his tough-guy performances, Mitchum endows the antihero with such simmering self-loathing and realistic mannerisms that many critics consider it one of the actor's finest hours.
In one of the best performances of his legendary career, Robert Mitchum plays small-time gunrunner Eddie ?Fingers? Coyle in Peter Yates's adaptation of George V. Higgins's acclaimed novel The Friends of Eddie Coyle. World-weary and living hand to mouth, Coyle works on the sidelines of the seedy Boston underworld just to make ends meet. But when he finds himself facing a second stretch of hard time, he's forced to weigh loyalty to his criminal colleagues against snitching to stay free. Directed with a sharp eye for its gritty locales and an open heart for its less-than-heroic characters, this is one of the true treasures of 1970s Hollywood filmmaking?a suspenseful crime drama in stark, unforgiving daylight.