After Hours Screen 92 of 15 reviews

After Hours

1985

After Hours Poster
  • Scorsese stretches and warps time in this urban wonderland, juxtaposing frenetic camera movements against the backdrop of SoHo’s eclectic nightlife. Overlooked upon its initial release, After Hours deserves its place among Taxi Driver and Raging Bull as one of the filmmaker’s finest depictions of New York City.

  • It’s a film of exquisite logic. Chaotic but running like clockwork, After Hoursis an entirely functional work that nevertheless feels like it’s having a constant nervous breakdown. The greatest terror that the film proposes is that this randomly nasty world in which we live might make perfect sense.

  • How can a film about the night’s seduction become a film about the nightmare of the unknown? How can a film about relief become a film about anguish? After Hours is a movie (as Stern saw well) full of tiny, complicated patterns: networks of exchange, spirals of circulating objects, hallucinatory substitutions. It’s The Earrings of Madame de … (1953) gone berserk, off its leash.

  • What a great screenplay. What the fuck happened to Joseph Minion? He also wrote VAMPIRE’S KISS, which is worth watching just for the scenes between Nicolas Cage and Maria Conchita Alonzo (AM I GETTING THROUGH TO YOU, ALMA?), and then I don’t know what happened to him. And I’m not going to troll the Internet to find out. The way information is doled out in this film is fucking masterful, an absolute clinic in implication and inference.

  • Poor Rosanna Arquette... she kills herself. Some date. Dear Lord, with Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy(remember De Niro’s Rupert Pupkin taking his date out on a stalking session to Jerry Lewis’ house?), Scorsese has directed some of the greatest worst dates in all of cinema. He also directed one of the greatest – in Goodfellas – but he excels at the bad ones. So much that he makes _me_ want to buy one of those bagel and cream cheese paperweights.

  • Like all of Scorsese’s New York-set films, After Hours lovingly documents the city’s manic idiosyncrasies and architecture: the wet pavement of empty streets reflects cathedral-like warehouses; a Mister Softee truck is used as a vehicle for vigilante justice, all the while playing that distinctive jingle; the MTA agent at the Spring Street station is completely unhelpful. By all means, see it on the big screen for full, uncomfortable effect.

  • After Hours is eternally underrated. It’s also one of Scorsese's very best films. It breaks free of convention and critical expectation and conveys the kind of passion usually evident only when a major Hollywood “auteur” director goes back to his “indie” roots. Europeans got it even if many of Scorsese’s home audience did not: After Hours won him the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival, and still seems his best attempt at working with the film medium as a freehand form of art.

  • Reeling from a series of flops in the late '70s and early '80s, Scorsese admits he felt out of touch with the new blockbuster-driven studio system, so he retreated to his independent roots with After Hours, a caffeinated black comedy with an emphasis on speed. With a small crew and a tight shooting schedule, Scorsese transformed limited means into a staccato burst of creative energy.

  • The King of Comedy was a film that was profoundly horrible. After Hours is only that superficially… Anguish and fright, which are at the heart of the story, are especially treated with a virtuoso direction. It is this virtuoso demonstration, this grand style in itself, in this small subject, which is what After Hours is putting forward.

  • Scorsese's screwball comedy is perhaps his most frightening picture to date as Dunne slowly but inexorably sinks into a whirlpool of mad and murderous emotions; but a tight and witty script and perfectly tuned performances, perilously balanced between normality and insanity, keep the laughs flowing, while the direction is as polished and energetic as ever. Only the nagging undercurrents of misogyny leave a sour taste in what is otherwise inventive film-making of the first order.

  • Martin Scorsese transforms a debilitating convention of 80s comedy—absurd underreaction to increasingly bizarre and threatening situations—into a rich, wincingly funny metaphysical farce... Scorsese's orchestration of thematic development, narrative structure, and visual style is stunning in its detail and fullness; this 1985 feature reestablished him as one of the very few contemporary masters of filmmaking.

  • I couldn't coerce myself into giggling at the details, the texture, and the dialogue of After Hours as the spectacle unfolded at the Sutton screening... Nonetheless, After Hours deserves a measure of support for its originality, its audacity, and its formal elegance.

  • After Hours rarely gets included on lists of the great Scorsese films—it’s too slight, too goofy, too clearly the work of a director trying to burn off some nervous energy... But that restlessness perfectly complements the feeling of creeping, comic paranoia that Paul experiences over the course of this long night’s journey into day. It’s as if the camera itself is attacking him, forever lunging and whirling and feinting in a way that keeps everything off-balance.

  • The movie stocks itself full of needlessly showy tracks, cranes, and zooms that only serve to plump up a movie whose offhanded modesty is its most promising quality. Scorsese's talent is obviously beyond dispute, but his tendency toward hollow showboating has rarely been more in evidence—a problem, too, in his follow-up movie The Color of Money, though at least that one capitalizes on the dichotomy between cockiness and subtle suavity as a thematic force.

  • The script is a relentless excursion into pure sadism, and by the time Catherine O’Hara shows up to become the third blond chick to go psychotic and attempt to destroy Paul’s sense of masculine sexual confidence, many an audience member will likely have already cashed in on their empathy and cut their losses. Still, there’s a welcome, insistently radical subtext behind the scenario.

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