(1991)

Critic Reviews

80

Metascore

Based on 27 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
He’s a real smoothie, Warren Beatty, and when he plays one in a movie he is almost always effective. But his title role in Bugsy is more than effective, it’s perfect for him - showing a man who not only creates a seductive vision, but falls in love with it himself.
100
A great gangster picture, with all the visceral excitement of a classic mob saga. But that's just its jumping-off point. It's also a salute to old Hollywood glamour, to the genre and the movies in general, and an elegant eulogy for the passing of those glory days. It's darned near perfect: violent, sexy and knowingly smart.
90
Levinson has always been a director who completely understands the concept of the American Dream, and his sensibility is perfect for this story of a man who cared so little about money that he was willing to stake everything he was or ever hoped to be on a crackpot scheme to turn a corner of Nevada desert into the pleasure dome of the American West.
90
With a sparklingly witty script (James Toback), classy direction and terrific performances all round, Beatty's return to the fray is his best movie since McCabe and Mrs Miller.
80
If you can overlook the smarm and the historical airbrushing there's much to enjoy here.
80
The man himself would have tried to hoodwink you into thinking he was a decent guy. Bugsy the movie follows suit.
80
Allen Daviau's camera work and Albert Wolsky's costumes help to forge the film's high style, as does Ennio Morricone's score. But much of its elan comes from Mr. Levinson's obvious affection for the time and place that are his film's backdrop, and from the flair with which he stages even minor episodes.
75
Bugsy is an elegant, knowing, but ultimately heartless homage to the bygone glamour of Hollywood and Vegas.
75
What’s finally missing from Bugsy is the dirty, low-down kick of the crime genre — the quality that marked last year’s The Grifters, and that was there in The Godfather, too. Levinson would like to be bad, but his approach is reverent, ironic, tasteful. He’s made a gangster movie that, for all its lithe pleasures, enunciates too well.
70
A melancholy and intimate gangster saga about a romantic dreamer with fatal flaws, Bugsy emerges as a smooth, safe portrait of a volatile, dangerous character. An absorbing narrative flow and a parade of colorful underworld characters vie for screen time with an unsatisfactory central romance.

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