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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Griffin Dunne
Rosanna Arquette
Verna Bloom.
Directors
Martin Scorsese.
Screenwriters
Joseph Minion.
Running Time
96 minutes

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After Hours
An underrated and sardonic take on the New York nightlife.


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Plot
When computer programmer Paul picks up Marcy so begins the most insane night of his life. Lost in the netherworld of New York’s SoHo, Paul yearns to get home but must first negotiate sadomasochists, cat burglars, kooks, angry cabbies, ice cream truck drivers and an angry mob that may just want to kill him.


Review

Spoken of as a lesser Scorsese, a quick-fire, low-budget spin across the tiles of lower Manhattan having grown disaffected with working with studios, After Hours is sneakily one of the master’s best. There is something liberated in the caffeinated hyperkinetic style he lends the movie, as if the grand moral poems he had become acclaimed for were a heavy burden, and finally he had a chance to cut loose.
 
That is not strictly speaking the case, for the sake of keeping things moving Scorsese ended up cutting 45 minutes from his working cut of Joseph Minion’s script (already lightened of its mobster elements). This was every bit a labour of love as Raging Bull, a thrilling dance of caustic genius, a morally energised screwballer in which a working drone steps out of his formulated life for a fix of something darker. Bad move. 
 
Dunne’s growing exasperation, and terror, in failing to achieve the simplest of tasks in just going home is the anchor for the Wonderland style freakshow of bohos and nutcases that stand in his path. The surreal swirl of women alone, chimes a note from the director’s own turbulent romantic life. From Arquette’s madly swinging moods, to Linda Fiorentino’s quirky artist, to Teri Garr’s beehived weirdo, the women are presented as mouse traps for this innocent sap who only wanted to get laid.
 
With his camera giddy and wild, Scorsese concocts a streetlife as demented as Mean Streets is grounded. An excursion into a sadistic, unhinged quasi-Manhattan. “Different rules apply when it gets late,” warns Dick Miller in a cameo. It’s a shame Scorsese hasn’t returned to them, this is the blackest funniest comedy he’s ever given us.

 


Verdict
Martin Scorsese’s take on NYC puts a hip spin on Joe Minion’s cleverly constructed nightmare.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for After Hours
Empire Star Rating

Brilliant

Another brilliant, sometimes overlooked Scorsese movie. The twists and turns keep coming and you really want Paul to pull through. It's Scorsese, so the editing, lighting, cinematography and soundtrack are all great. Really atmospheric in places too. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Coyleone at 22:32, 19 October 2012 | Report This Post


a true classic in all respects

in my opinion my truly great film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by matthew316 at 15:06, 26 August 2006 | Report This Post


RE: After Hours

The art of the "black comedy" is a fine one, and Martin Scorsese's ours ne one, indeed. It concerns a mild-mannered computer programmer Paul Hackett(Griffin Dunne), a single guy in the big city who seems to live in his structured comfort zone quite happily...until he meets the alluring Marcy(Rosanna Arquette), in a coffee shop in Soho, New York. He agrees to meet her later at her apartment, which is when things get a little strange for Paul. Bad Luck follows him around like an ever-growing... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Peter A. Quinn at 01:12, 18 April 2006 | Report This Post


after hours

amazing film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by adambatman82 at 22:20, 05 April 2006 | Report This Post


after hours

amazing film ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by adambatman82 at 22:20, 05 April 2006 | Report This Post


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