This paranoid, stark portrait of criminality in L.A. must be one of the most engaging examples of the crime film genre. Robert Mulligan's film slowly evolves from a typical gangster neo-noir into a gripping nightmare of violence and tragedy. Jason Miller puts in an exceptional performance as Cooper, a low-ranking mob associate charged with renting some warehouses that his bosses need to stash stolen goods. But this everyday transaction spirals out of control when Cooper's contact suddenly can't be reached. Putting on the squeeze, his bosses send cocky cowboy Turner (Bo Hopkins) to keep a close eye on Cooper, who begins to suspect it's all a set up for his forced "retirement". Considerably more low key than the other cops 'n' killers films that dominated the 1970s, Nickel Ride is a notable character piece that makes the most out of its crumbling urban locations and the sense of mounting dread that overtakes Cooper as he finds himself struggling to stay one step beyond the mob brass that wants him dead.