By Tom Gliatto
Updated March 08, 1999 12:00 PM

Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal

Featured attraction

How does De Niro do it? Playing a panic-attack-prone Mafia boss who seeks psychiatric help, he doesn’t sacrifice any of the blunt, menacing power he developed over the years in such Martin Scorsese gangland epics as GoodFellas and Casino. But in this smart comedy, in which OCD can mean both Organized Crime Division and obsessive compulsive disorder, he gives his screen persona a little spin, a near-imperceptible tweak, and somehow executes a full comic turn. An actor who never misses a punch, he doesn’t miss a laugh, either. Analyze This is worth seeing solely for the look of disgust that creases De Niro’s mug when his new shrink explains the Oedipus complex.

De Niro is backed by one of the sharpest ensemble casts in a movie in some time. There’s the very quick, very assured Crystal, of course, as the psychiatrist who isn’t accustomed to patients bringing along their henchmen. Then you have Lisa Kudrow (Crystal’s displeased fiancée), Chazz Palminteri (a rival crook who can’t fathom what De Niro means by the word “closure”) and Joseph Viterelli (De Niro’s slow-moving, baggy-faced enforcer)—all terrific. Directed by Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day), Analyze This goes down like a cannoli filled with the lightest cream. (R)

Bottom Line: Looks like a Mob hit