• “Long before film noir became chic, Stanley Kubrick took its trenchant attitude to the limit in The Killing (1956)—and it became a cult classic and his breakthrough film,” explains Michael Sragow in a review of Criterion’s new special edition of the film for the Baltimore Sun, before adding, “Between The Killing and 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, Kubrick put together as potent a twelve-year stretch as any director in history and forged a whole new paradigm for American moviemakers.”

    Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty enumerates The Killing’s groundbreaking pleasures: “Jumping back and forth in time the way Reservoir Dogs would decades later, this hard-boiled gem about a deliriously intricate racetrack robbery stars the wonderfully gruff Sterling Hayden and is plotted with the kind of Swiss-watch precision and attention to detail that would eventually get Kubrick labeled Hollywood’s most notorious perfectionist.” DVD File’s Mike Restaino writes, “Between the formalism of Kubrick’s style and the chiseled gravel of Jim Thompson’s dialogue, the movie crackles to life early and keeps a fever pace through its finale.” And Very Short List calls The Killing, its pick of the day, “a near-perfect heist flick, which anticipated the sucker-punch dialogue, chronological cross-cutting, and self-reflexivity of latter-day noirs.”

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