Category: "Crime Drama"

Pain and Gain Review

Who says all “based on a true story” movies have to take themselves seriously? Regardless of how true-to-life the events of “Pain and Gain” are, the film offers a ballsy take on a crime thriller, namely in being unafraid of comic territory.

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Gangster Squad Review

Los Angeles and gangsters. Before “Gangster Squad,” the first film that ought to come to mind is “L.A. Confidential.” For Ruben Fleischer’s latest, that creates an outrageous comparison point. The “Zombieland” and “30 Minutes or Less” director was probably not aiming that high. Even if he weren’t, he’s still not even aiming to add a […]

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End of Watch Review

If I were to pitch you a movie about two police officers who are partners on patrol in South Central Los Angeles, one of your first inclinations might be “not another buddy copy comedy.” While “End of Watch” is often funny, the newest film from “Training Day” writer David Ayer, is no comedy.

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Seven Psychopaths Review

In the marketing for “Seven Psychopaths,” CBS Films wants you to count the film’s seven stars, but the one real psychopath (and I mean that in most positive and endearing way possible) that matters is writer and director Martin McDonagh, whose sophomore film and follow-up to “In Bruges” is a cockeyed stroke of genius.

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Lawless Review

Seriously, prohibition did no one any favors. “Lawless” is a Western-inspired take on the gangster pic, in which the only rules are that there are no rules and the men with the power are the men who wield the most fear — and guns.

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Review: Drive

Welcome to “Drive,” Nicolas Winding Refn’s exercise in the tried and true lesson that less is more, and more when it follows less is pulse-pounding mayhem. Maybe somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of “Drive” could be considered “action” or “violence,” but Refn makes every second of it count. When each slowly mounting scene finally […]

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On DVD: The Lincoln Lawyer

There are the grand emotional courtroom dramas that immerse you in the ethical dilemmas that stem from from the case itself, filled with quotable speeches from venerable actors; then there’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” starring Matthew McConaughey. Based on the Michael Connelly novel, the film plays more like a crime thriller set in the legal realm, […]

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Archive Review: 25th Hour (2002)

This is one Spike Lee joint that I’m definitely smoking. A film that received a weak release from Disney’s Buena Vista/Touchstone Pictures and consequently made barely $13 million, “25th Hour” is a gem that many will stumble upon (such as myself) and pat themselves on the back for a good find.

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The Untouchables (1987) – 3.5/5 Stars

The Prohibition-era “fight” between gangster Al Capone and G-man Eliot Ness over the streets of Chicago is the stuff of legend. For this reason, director Brian De Palma’s next big mob-themed follow-up to “Scarface” is quite a challenge. Capone is an enigma of sorts: the closest thing to a tall tale that history has to […]

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“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) – 4/5 Stars

Continuing my Best Picture winner archive reviews. Pardon this one’s shortness and lack of detail: it was one of my earlier imdb reviews. Few crime films seem to transcend their genre. “Silence of the Lambs” is one of them. With incredible characters and careful, thoughtful direction, it’s not a complete surprise that this film is […]

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Archive Review: Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) – 4/5 Stars

If Michael, Magic and Larry, etc. became the first ever “Dream Team” of basketball players in 1992, then the cast of the “Glengarry Glen Ross” should be considered the “Dream Team” of male acting. There’s Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Jonathan Pryce and Alec Baldwin. You won’t find seven better […]

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Archive Review: Thelma & Louise (1991) – 4/5 Stars

Call it a chick flick, call it aggressive feminism, label it whatever you like, but “Thelma & Louise” is a classic story of female companionship and liberation that challenged what was and in many ways still is a male-centric movie industry. Roles for women in film have expanded over the years, but Thelma and Louise […]

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Archive Review: Road to Perdition (2002)

Anyone who has to direct another movie after his first feature film won him a Best Director Oscar, has to be scared out of his mind. How do you top that? Seriously. Although “Road to Perdition” is an impassioned story (based on a graphic novel) of an Irish mobster and his son trying to stay […]

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