Special Agent Cooper’s review published on Letterboxd:
For me, about 97% of this is just as great as everybody told me it would be. I could write about five paragraphs about what makes the film great, but what is there to say that hasn't already been said by far too many others, when a film has this kind of legendary reputation?
I'll just say that I do echo the general adoration of the film and instead use this space to quickly point out a couple things that actually felt a bit off to me... and yes, I'll still gush about the film a bit before I wrap up. Nitpicks: I do think the film loses a lot of steam for a brief period when Michael visits Italy and that a pretty impulsively weird subplot choice is made at this point of the film that put me off a little bit. I also was really not a fan of some of the domestic melodrama and temper tantrum moments with Connie and her abusive husband, which felt fairly random in the larger context: tonally inconsistent with the rest of the film and not in service of the narrative and main characters. That's honestly it. I found everything else captivating and very impressive.
It is really hard to nitpick anything else. Even though I have those couple issues above, this is a great example of a film that overachieves in countless ways so that I can easily forgive a couple elements that I don't like and still roll out a perfect rating. There are so many iconic moments, directed and performed with such tension and conviction. Michael's character development is notably impressive within the scope of a single film. Brando is unreal with his memorable performance quirks. The baptism sequence contains some of the most effective and powerful editing in film history. There are so many wonderful script moments and so many genuine little details in the acting. It's hard to beat this film when it is on top of its game, and for a three hour film, it spends an absurd amount of time being on top of its game. Glad to say I finally knocked this one off the list. I'm looking forward to eventually watching Part II.