Paul Elliott’s review published on Letterboxd:
The iconic presence of Steve McQueen undoubtedly heightened the Peter Yates' directed Bullitt into a cinematic milestone. Adapted from the novel Mute Witness by Alan R. Trustman and Harry Kleiner, it is, on paper, a scarcely original cop thriller. Still, be that as it may, McQueen, who has arguably never been better, empowers the role of Detective Lieutenant Frank Bullitt with iconic strength through his graceful and sententious presence. Furthermore, Yates' controlled and naturalistic direction ensnares the dominant cinematic brand of late 1960s hipsterism, and San Francisco, filmed in gleaming sunlight, has never looked so good.
It celebrates the relationship between its characters and cars. The tenet hits an engaging crescendo in a memorable chase sequence that snakes its way through the twisting Northern California landscape. Here Yates manipulates the two vehicles driven by McQueen and Bill Hickman (who plays a contracted killer) to substitute for their characters and licenses them to do negotiations for their respective drivers. Accompanied by a fantastic original score by Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin, the eponymous cop against the system character of Bullit, along with the film itself, has come to be seen as archetypal, even seminal, for justifiable reasons.