From the first frames of The Color of Money, you feel, almost physically, the presence of a man singularly obsessed with the romance of movies. In this movie, Martin Scorsese enters a new period in an already extraordinary career. It would be hard to exaggerate the complex pleasure and wonderment that The Color of Money conveys.
It wouldn’t be like Martin Scorsese to pick up the tabs on a simple sequel, and this glossy, hard-spoken pool drama, a follow-on from The Hustler, never aligns to the simple organising principle of repeat value.
Time Out London
The mixture of mutual need and mistrust in the relationship between Vince and Eddie is only one of the motors in a film that sees Scorsese's direction at its most downmarket and upbeat - never have pool tables, balls and cues looked so rich and strange - and has one of the most protean and compelling music soundtracks (Clapton, Charlie Parker, Warren Zevon, Bo Diddley) in ages.
The picture might have been a pop classic if it had stayed near the level of impudence that it reaches at its best. But about midway as Eddie has a crisis of confidence, and when Eddie locks his jaw and sets forth to become a purified man of integrity, the joy goes out of Newman's performance, which (despite the efforts of a lot of good actors) is the only life in the movie, except for a brief, startling performance by the 25-year-old black actor Forest Whitaker as a pool shark called Amos.