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      Kansas City

      R Released Aug 16, 1996 1h 55m Drama List
      60% Tomatometer 42 Reviews 43% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings Aspiring thief Johnny (Dermot Mulroney) messes with the wrong man when he attempts to steal from Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte), a Kansas City mob dynamo. Blondie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Johnny's wife, refuses to sit back and let Johnny be held captive, resulting in a scheme to abduct a prominent government official's wife (Miranda Richardson). Blondie's plan is to use the woman's political connections to free her husband, but it gets complicated when the two women form an unlikely bond. Read More Read Less Watch on Prime Video Stream Now

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      Critics Reviews

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      Richard Brody New Yorker Hectic and seething... Jul 24, 2023 Full Review Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader Charlie Parker and his mother are gratuitously shoehorned into the plot, though some of the movie’s other strategies for imparting flavor work; what doesn’t work here is the flip cynicism, which by now, alas, has become Altman’s debilitating trademark. Jun 14, 2022 Full Review Kevin Maher Times (UK) As always with Altman, the ensemble excels, with every character perfectly played, all fates cleverly connected, and all action overlaid with a thumping jazz score. Rated: 4/5 Jun 21, 2021 Full Review Michael Atkinson Spin Kansas City goes nowhere fast. Dec 27, 2022 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy Altman stated that Kansas City was constructed like a jazz session, and that proves to be both its greatest strength and its major weakness. Rated: 2.5/4 Mar 14, 2020 Full Review Kevin Wight The Wee Review Robert Altman's ode to his jazz-age childhood has all the authenticity and self-indulgence you would expect Rated: 3 Mar 2, 2020 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Dani G Another attempt from Robert Altman to have multiple lead characters with mediocre results Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 06/05/24 Full Review Jerod S Didn't work for me. The choppy and long jazz interludes couldn't keep me invested in a double kidnapping in the 30s. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 05/18/24 Full Review isla s I enjoyed this film as a stylish crime drama film with a film noir feel to it, mainly for the music played - the musical performances shown are quite impressive. I particularly enjoyed the what I call 'sax-off'. It has a really jazzy vibe. The plot is interesting too and I liked that one of the main characters was essentially a female gangster - cool stuff. If you like jazz music of the 1930s (this film is set in the 1930s, I believe) then hang around when the credits start, as we're shown and hear music while most of the credits roll. Yes, I'd definitely recommend this film. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review bill b I had hoped that the movie would feature more of the musical numbers played all the way through but I was disappointed. They should put out a DVD of only the musicians and their music. The plot was not good, the writing poor, and the acting, except for Bellafonte, not exceptional. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member If there's one place where nothing is black and white and the music never stops it's Kansas City A large cast from Jennifer Jason-Leigh to Miranda Richardson to Steve Buscemi to Harry Belafonte to Dermony Mulroney and directed by Robert Altman During the 1930s a pair of kidnappings expose the complex power dynamics within the corrupt and unpredictable workings of its citizens Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held at the Hey Hey Club, she launches a desperate plan to release him She kidnaps the wife of a powerful local politician in an attempt to blackmail him into using his connections to free Johnny Despite this being election time, he risks exposure by putting the political machine into action to free Johnny and thereby save his wife Mrs. Stilton, meanwhile, has befriended Blondie and is impressed by her love and devotion to Johnny, especially in contrast to her own loveless marriage It's an unlikely friendship stemming from a crime in progress The film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics This feels though like a slight entry in Altman's filmography Dull in spots and doesn't really have a sense of urgency Maybe the filmmakers just forgot the basic ingredients how to make a noir film It's mediocre at best even if it has great talent involved Should've been a stronger period piece for this director Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member I'm trying to figure out why film critics gave this such good reviews. The structure of the story was so convoluted and the acting so below average, I found myself tuning out halfway through this mess. The long drawn out club scenes were unnecessary, and Harry Belafonte's character yapping perpetually about nothing was annoying! And why is Robert Altman held in such high regards? Does he get a free pass every time he makes a lousy movie? "Oh, it's an Altman film, it's an automatic thumbs-up". I guess Popeye gets a 4 star review, huh? Kansas City seems to jump from one scene to the next, you start loosing interest in the story. I didn't even care about the outcome. To hell with this movie! Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Kansas City

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Aspiring thief Johnny (Dermot Mulroney) messes with the wrong man when he attempts to steal from Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte), a Kansas City mob dynamo. Blondie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), Johnny's wife, refuses to sit back and let Johnny be held captive, resulting in a scheme to abduct a prominent government official's wife (Miranda Richardson). Blondie's plan is to use the woman's political connections to free her husband, but it gets complicated when the two women form an unlikely bond.
      Director
      Robert Altman
      Producer
      Robert Altman
      Screenwriter
      Robert Altman, Frank Barhydt
      Distributor
      Fine Line Features
      Production Co
      Sandcastle 5 Productions
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Aug 16, 1996, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 31, 2014
      Runtime
      1h 55m
      Sound Mix
      Surround
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