Handsomely mounted and stylishly directed but otherwise rather unpleasant, this grandiloquent 1992 biopic about controversial Teamsters leader James R. Hoffa (Jack Nicholson)written by David Mamet (in his trademark plug-ugly monosyllabic style) and directed by Danny DeVito (who costars as a fictional loyal employee of Hoffa’s)may be vague around the edges as history but it’s conceptually clear about its own Godfather-style ambivalence. Its dark hagiography mixes a prounion stance with a more conservative view of crime and violence, seeing them as disturbing but impossible to eradicate. The period settings, though nicely handled, are less an original conception than dutiful homages to other movies. With Armand Assante, J.T. Walsh, John C. Reilly, Frank Whaley, and Kevin Anderson as Robert Kennedy. (JR)

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