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Miami Blues
Miami Blues
Actors: Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cecilia Pérez-Cervera, Georgie Cranford
Director: George Armitage
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2002     1hr 37min

Brace yourself'this intoxicating cocktail with rum and cyanide (Time) is at once brutal, funny, unpredictable and a bit unhinged (Newsweek)! Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh star in this offbeat black c...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Fred Ward, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cecilia Pérez-Cervera, Georgie Cranford
Director: George Armitage
Creators: Fred Ward, Edward Saxon, George Armitage, Gary Goetzman, Jonathan Demme, Kenneth Utt, Charles Willeford
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Love & Romance, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/03/2002
Original Release Date: 04/20/1990
Theatrical Release Date: 04/20/1990
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 37min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

A Quirky, Satisfying Unknown Gem
R. Werth | New York, NY United States | 11/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie managed to stay under almost everyone's radar screen, and this is truly a shame. This is a quirky, unorthodox, and unpredictable film with potent acting and a very intriguing story. It's a compelling and intelligent film that is very funny and yet quite sad. The movie came and went before Alec Baldwin emerged as a (sometimes) legitimate star. And he's really at his best, acting opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh, who delivers one of her trademark credible and powerful performances. Alec Baldwin portrays an ex-con who has just been released from a prison in Florida, and it doesn't take long before he's returning to his criminal ways. Early in the film Alec intentionally breaks the thumb of a Harry Krishna follower at the airport, who proceeds to die as a result of the trama. At this point, a detective (aptly and humorously portrayed by Fred Ward) begins investigating and pursuing Baldwin. Ward doesn't have enough evidence to arrest Baldwin, but he is pretty certain he's got the right man. An interesting and funny cat-and-mouse game follows. Baldwin makes his living by stealing from other criminals, mostly by robbing muggers just after they have robbed someone. Midway through the film Baldwin obtains a detective's badge and proceeds to impersonate a police officer, which allows him to more easily apply his trade and opens the way for several hysterical scenes. Jennifer Jason Leigh plays a prostitute who, after a tryst with Baldwin, ends up falling in love and living with him. The dynamic between these two characters occupies a central role in this film, and it is both convincing and interesting. As the film progresses, it becomes obvious that Baldwin is battling himself and facing large changes and challenges within himself. While continuing to impersonate a police officer while robbing people, it becomes obvious that he begins to internalize the persona and seems to think of himself as a protector of others. While this film is frequently violent, comic and funny, it is tinged with a very serious edge that meanders into areas of human longing, sadness and loss. This film unfolds slowly, but is compelling and funny every step of the way. Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance is poignant and provides emotional ballast, but Baldwin's performance borders on being gut-wrenchingly good. The heaviness and self-consciousness that often accompany his later performances are nowhere to be found. This film is daring, orginal and intelligent...and a lot of fun along with way. Hopefully the new DVD edition will allow it to surface on radar screen's everywhere."
Great underrated film from a great underrated book.
inframan | the lower depths | 01/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of those buried treasures of filmdom (like Prime Cut) that gets swept aside because it's a "genre" movie. But everything about is first-rate, beginning with the performances of the 3 main leads: Baldwin, Leigh, Ward. None has ever been better, each carves a unique unforgettable performance. The direction by Armitage (whose Grosse Pointe Blank is another great treasure) is outstanding. This movie MOVES, it zips & flips & turns on a dime, it's got the momentum that only really great movies have. The writing is terrific, I read the book before seeing the film & I recommend the book to anyone, it's great, Willeford was another great unsung.This movie has loads of little details that reveal themselves in viewing after viewing & then stay with you...forever! How about the fact that Baldwin's character appropriates the billfold & consequently the identity of a fellow airline passenger & goes around for much of the movie as Herman Gottlieb, Herman Gottlieb??!! Remember him? The famed opera impresario? No? Aw forget it..."
A Greater VICE....
Hillary | Brooklyn, New York | 09/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Alec Baldwin shines as "Junior" in this offbeat, quirky, action/crime/comedy adventure. That sounds like an odd combination, and it is just that unique combination that really makes this film work.

The fun begins when "Junior", a career criminal, is on the loose in Miami, hence the title. After stepping off a plane, and breaking the finger of a Hare Krishna at the airport who later dies of shock, Sgt. Hoke Mosley (Fred Ward) is on the case.

Meanwhile, Junior is going about his business of robbing, assaulting, and assuming the identity of "Herman Gotlieb". That is funny all by itself, but that's the wallet lifted, so that's who Junior is. He is living in a cheap hotel where the bellboy is a pimp. So, when Junior wants a lady for "entertainment" he gets a roomservice prostitute, enter Jennifer Jason Leigh as "Susie", a not too bright, but sweet girl who is "working" the hotel. Once she is sent to Juniors room, they remain together as a couple. Blissfully ignorant, Susie naively trusts Junior, and plays the role of dutiful wife, oblivious to his frighteningly deviate behavior. Everyone is happy, until..........

Trouble starts for Junior as Sgt. Hoke Mosley, a denture toting vice veteran who lives up to his hokey name, closes in. Particularly amusing is a shared dinner at Junior and Susies place, where Mosley lets Junior know, he's a suspect for the airport Hare Krishna death incident. Fred Ward is very amusing in this role, and repugnant as well. Looking at him makes you think you can smell him right through the screen. He drinks up all the beer, eats all the food, and exits after asking Junior if he'd mind taking a look at a line-up, and standing in it too. Junior knows it's time to make a serious move, or it's back to jail.

Although George Armitage is the director of this film, the entire cinematography, mood. music, quirky camera angles, and cast spells Jonathan Demme all the way. He is the credited producer of this film, but I imagine he certainly had alot to do with the directing and casting as well. You can see all Demme favorites here in small cameo roles, as in his previous "Married To The Mob", and "Something Wild" (see my reviews). Charles Napier, a welcome Demme mainstay, is in a peripheral role here as a collegue of Wards' Mosley, but he's just one of many familiar faces that show up unexpectedly throughout the film.

"Miami Blues" is a unique blend of comedy, and action crime thriller that will get your attention with it's visual flash, and hold your interest with its well paced plot and odd characters. It's a forgotten sleeper that should not be missed."
Miami. Vice gets dem blues.
Pit O'Maley | Alameda, Ca United States | 05/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the most over-looked, under-rated 90's noir killer-on-the-loose films of the times, that had Oscar all over it. The most Elmore Leonard-like film to date (Out of Time,too)which says this stands taller than most movies with guns and cars.Alec Baldwin displays the marks of genius here, over the top, beyond the fringes of insanity and then he pulls back from sociopath to sweet, chummy boyfriend to his thespian equal, Jennifer Jason Leigh, who plays the dim-witted,sweet girlfriend forever to endearing believability. A twist on the Bonnie and Clyde matchup,as this Bonnie, Leigh never catches on to the pathological insanity of her boyfriend. Baldwin, the serial killer, is dogged by a careless detective,Fred Ward, who also brings a bag of acting chops.Baldwin takes on other alter egos as required, even impersonates a cop, to mock the men in blue further as they draw the net in. When Baldwin slips out of his hideout to kill and return unaware of anything out of the ordinary, projecting innocence, you know you are in for a ride. The whole range of crazy, offbeat characters that fill an Elmore Leonard pulp get their proper due in this suspenseful, climactic look at insane homicide or normal domesticity in a single moment. When justice gets served you are drained and yet filled with genuine feeling for the used,innocent girlfriend, Leigh. Baldwin, Leigh and Ward live up to the highest standards of the profession in this Miami concoction. Unforgettable performances."