It is Chicago in the 1920s and corruption and gangs are rampant. Crime boss Al Capone (Robert DeNiro) is a big player and controls much of the city. No one seems to be able to stop him so this leads to Federal Agent Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner – Dances With Wolves, The Upside of Anger) waging a war against Capone. Oddly enough it takes a Treasury Agent to take this powerful criminal down. So he is sure he can trust the men he is working with Ness handpicks his small team. Jim Malone (Sean Connery) is a grizzled veteran, George Stone (Andy Garcia – Ocean's Thirteen, When a Man Loves a Woman) is a green rookie and Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith – American Graffiti, Starman) works in the FBI as an accountant. It takes Malone's expertise and Ness' determination to finally catch up with one of the most notorious criminals in American history.
In one of the rare times that critics and movie goers agreed The Untouchables was loved by everyone. The film version of the television show of the same name was a success on Oscar night (Sean Connery won for Best Supporting Actor) and at the box office. It was done well from head to toe. The cast was wonderful, Brian De Palma's (Scarface, The Black Dahlia) photography was beautiful, Ennio Morricone's (Bugsy, La Cage Aux Folles) score was delightful, and even the wardrobe was dead on. We know that De Palma can direct an entertaining gangster flick based on Scarface, but this is probably one of his stronger pictures; if not his strongest. He shows a deft touch telling the story of an honest man who is trying to bring down an evil person. It is able to be at the same time entertaining and full of tension and emotion. The story is told as an epic but without compromising the actual historical event. De Palma's direction is helped in a big way by the acting of Kevin Costner and Sean Connery. This is one of Costner's best acting jobs and it is Connery's. They really seemed to understand their characters and translated that onto the screen. The film oozes with style and substance and ends up being one of the stronger pictures to come out of the 1980s.
-The Script, The Cast
-Reinventing the Genre