Bilge Ebiri’s review published on Letterboxd:
Umpteenth viewing. One of the greatest films ever. Decided to give the director's cut another go after multiple recent re-viewings of the theatrical cut, as well as all of Mann's other films, while writing my profile of him for Vulture.
Here's the thing: While the theatrical cut might be "canonical," I really really love the director's cut as well. Yes, losing the cold open in the club is wrong, but other than that, there's a lot of stuff here that works quite nicely and fleshes things out. I particularly like the way the longer version fleshes out the two male-female relationships -- especially Naomie Harris and Jamie Foxx, whose romance winds up being slightly backgrounded in the theatrical.
Also, the boat race sequence is pretty great. I'd rather it not be there at the beginning, yes, but wow. Incredibly well shot and put together. He should have just made it a promotional short and released it in advance of the film.