This film is almost universally praised, finding a place on everybody's best-of lists, and I feel foolish criticising it; but at every point along the way if there's a stupid decision to make the character does that. It's downright painful. I kept talking to the screen. "Don't do that! Anything but that!"
The Guardian gives it 5 out of 5 stars and calls it "brilliant". Empire Online opens with this: "For over 40 years critics and filmmakers from Francois Truffaut to Paul Schrader to Curtis Hanson (citing its influence on LA Confidential) have paid homage to the technical mastery and I inspiration of Orson Welles' potent 50s noir." Time Out gives it 5 out of 5 stars and calls it a masterpiece that gets better with age.
A 1958 NYT review says, "THANKS to Orson Welles, nobody, and we mean nobody, will nap during "Touch of Evil,"". Roger Ebert gives it a spot on his Best Movies list. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 96%.