Josiah Morgan’s review published on Letterboxd:
A building storm of a film, clouds rolling across the sky, the sweltering humidity of an oncoming storm does nothing to dissuade the eventual thunder-strike, the lightning-bolt that pierces the crux of positivity, no longer is the celebratory facade of the Corleone wedding justified, the shady rooms and whisky-obstructed casual routines begin to overwhelm the faded exteriors. I believe in America too, but not this America of a lost Paradise, the unwound clock stuck at 12:12, it truly is a film about intimacy, a fight to demonstrate the means by which humanistic integrity can tear down the walls of Capital profit.
Coppola leaves us languishing in the dull humility of Christmastime violence, foregrounded in a whirlwind of streetlights, the muted emotional response can do nothing to restore faith in the connections we have to others. Instead we slip from our ideals, falling into the accidental traps laid by those who lived before us.
The American Dream as a chase film, Vito running towards it, Michael running away from it, this film echoes inside itself and rebounds into the psyche of the audience, Coppola's camera an exploration of emptiness as contextualized by the fullness of character development.
Blood spills out onto the sterility of sidewalk cement and cafe wallpaper, returning home to safety we are left with one fleeting glimpse of each other, to be stored in our memories forever.