This film marks several remarkable firsts: The first true representation of a David Mamet film script (although "The Verdict" in 1980 came first), the leading-man status of Kevin Costner (deservedly so, since despite disasters like "The Postman" and "3000 Miles to Graceland", he's a very good actor with a very impressive resume and an Oscar to boot), Sean Connery's first Oscar win, also very much deserved, and most importantly, the first good film from Brian De Palma. People call films like "Body Double", "Carrie", "Blow Out" and "Dressed to Kill" classics... why they do, I have nary a clue. Those are some of the worst rip-off films in history. His "Hitchcockian" feeling is, to me, straight-up plagarism. He rips off plots and shots that are embarassing mish-moshes of Hitch's best (and worst) stuff. And did you see "Mission to Mars"? I didn't think so. And the only people that I can imagine that liked "Femme Fatale" were fans of the bathroom sequence (If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about). The only other film of his that was worth watching was "Mission: Impossible". But "The Untouchables" is a real work of art. I won't go into plot points, but I'll comment on the film's great points: 1) The dialogue is sparkling. Mamet makes these people real as opposed to just making them standard action caricatures (the young idealist, the grizzled old wise-man, the cocky rookie, and the dorky fifth-wheel). 2) The performances are top-notch. Costner, Connery, Martin Smith, Garcia, De Niro, and an underrated performance from Richard Bradford as Chief Dorsett really help to pull this film off. They give it all they got. They make the tragedy and drama and excitement and horror and triumpth of this film work. 3) The visuals are stunning. Stephen Burum really makes that camera work, especially with those beautiful shots of LaSalle Street. This film is a great revisionist telling of the Eliot Ness vs. Al Capone brawl. The film obviously takess a lot of liberties with history, but they really work, especially with the dispatching of one particularly bad man which in my opinion makes for the MOST satisfying film death EVER. It really makes you happy to watch this guy bite it ("Did he sound anything like THAT?!?"). This is a great film and I could not recommend it more highly. But go ahead and skip the rest of De Palma's 'classics'.