Reading over the reviews here of this remarkable movie, I'd say most of its virtues have been well covered, and what's behind most of the bad reviews uncovered: people who don't get this movie are ones who need the usual thriller or Godfather stuff, which this film doesn't provide. It's small-scale, enormously subtle in story and acting, and its originality is as subtle as the rest of it. Among the trio of friends who came up together--Spielberg and Lucas the others--I think Coppola was the only real grownup, and the most ambitious to say something truly serious, though he also had the grand visual flair of the other two. The Conversation is at the heart of his work. If I had to compare it to anything, it'd be the Melville story "Benito Cereno," in which we think we know what's going on but we don't, not at all. Other reviewers mention the "philosophical" aspect. For me, here's what that's about: With the most sophisticated technology available, professional bugger Harry Caul finds out what two people said. But what he doesn't understand is the _meaning_ of what they said, and the meaning is what makes the difference. The way Coppla reveals that, with a little trick of sound, is for all its quietness one of the most brilliant and hair-raising moments I know in film. It's a parable of technology, of the meaning of truth, of the nature of preconceptions (who we expect to be the bad guys aren't) and lots else--the philosophically inclined can take their pick. In my own list of greatest movies of all time, this is somewhere in the first five. If you don't need exploding fireballs in your thrillers and know great acting and directing when you see it, this movie is as good as it gets.