5 August 2002 | billmelden
A gangster film with a classical twist
William Reilly's "Men of Respect," starring John Turturro and the fascinating Katherine Borowitz, is one of the few genuinely innovative gangster films produced in recent years. Chronicling the rise of a very bold, but not very decisive hit man (Turturro, the film's characters are carefully and convincingly delineated, and the frequent scenes of grotesque violence are almost a diversion from the development of the characters themselves. Although Turturro is splendid as the bloodthirsty, but slightly addled killer, the film is stolen by the performance of Ms. Borowitz, who plays his long-suffering, titanium-spined wife. Other characters include the ill-starred mob bosses played by Rod Steiger, Peter Boyle, and Rod Steiger. Other scene-stealers include three unforgettable "witches," whom Turturro consults for a glimpse of his future. If this is beginning to sound familar, it should: "Men of Respect" is a very faithful update of "The Tragedy of Macbeth!" A movie to savor, and an actress not to be forgotten.