I always forget Coppola did this. It's a lot quieter, less ambitious, and less... well... less dynamic than say Apocalypse Now or the Godfather films. But to be honest, this probably ranks up as my favorite film of his. I had seen it long ago and entirely forgot about it. It's a taut, character-driven thriller. Hackman, always excellent at making unlikable characters watchable, draws us in as Caul. The film is a nice reminder of how enjoyable a movie can be when you have a strong character leading us. Caul is faced with a conspiracy but the majority of the film isn't about him unraveling the conspiracy. Rather, we are given almost all the information up front, but it follows Caul as he struggles with himself regarding the information he has. Information he doesn't understand but struggles to without leaving his safety zone. Generally, I suppose, people get all up in arms about the sound design. I'm not really sure I know very much about it's place in sound design history so I won't really speak on that. But hey! It's got a lot of great sounds and uses sound really well. Which is good based on how much of the film is about sound and HEARING and EARS. Anyway, the ending is great. Pitch perfect. And we also get to watch John Cazale act which is always dandy. And Harrison Ford! As a douche!
Hackman trying to understand toilets.