Tag: Crime

Bonnie And Clyde

Regarded as a countercultural, anti-establishment rallying cry as well as being one of the films that kickstarted the New Hollywood era (though many would argue Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? is the film to have done so), Arthur Penn’s Bonnie And Clyde seems forever bound up with the turmoil and change of the […]

0585 | Suburra

On paper Stefan Sollima’s Suburra doesn’t really offer anything new: it’s a sprawling epic about gangsters and organised crime in Italy, and it details the way in which the influence of different crime families and gangs spreads all the way up to the highest echelons of society, noting that there is a point where the […]

0576 | Gangster Squad

Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer’s Gangster Squad is a fairly derivative take on Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables: in this 2013 film 1940s Los Angeles takes the place of 1920s Chicago, and there are similarities between the two stories, both based on real life events, both involving honest cops tasked with taking down a well-connected and […]

0565 | The Nice Guys

Though there have been some dips in his career, Shane Black has a stronger claim than most to the title of Master of the Hollywood Buddy Comedy, with a number of his wisecrack-heavy screenplays giving birth to some memorable double acts who just manage to remain on the right side of the law: Mel Gibson […]

0537 | Du Rififi Chez Les Hommes (Rififi)

Often referred to as the finest heist movie ever made, Jules Dassin’s Rififi was developed while the American noir director was living in France, having found himself on the Hollywood blacklist a year or so earlier. Dassin came across Auguste Le Breton’s slang-filled crime novel of the same name, and though he was initially skeptical […]

0481 | Chinatown

[Note: Given that it’s over 40 years old, and well-known, I’m including plot spoilers in this post, so please take this note as fair warning.] ‘Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown’ is the famous line that gave a name to Robert Towne’s original screenplay, and thus to Roman Polanski’s neo-noir. It’s the last line of dialogue […]

0474 | Zodiac

Because the real-life case of the Zodiac Killer has never been closed, except for a few years in which it was marked ‘inactive’ by the San Francisco Police Department, this version of events by David Fincher is a rare Hollywood mystery: after detailing the long investigation into several murders Zodiac claimed he committed, the puzzle […]

0464 | Le Dernier Diamant (The Last Diamond)

This new release is the fifth film by French director Éric Barbier, but the first that I’ve seen. It’s a heist movie set in Paris and Antwerp, starring Yvan Attal as a safecracking jewel thief and Bérénice Bejo as the exhibitor / seller of a 137-carat diamond, and it spends a lot of time following […]

0410 | Son Of A Gun

Son Of A Gun is a fairly typical crime thriller, and by that I mean it’s full of all the crime thriller stuff that will be familiar to most viewers: a seasoned, vicious, ruthless armed robber (played by Ewan McGregor, whose performances have begun to improve of late after a bit of a dip), a […]

0322 | Hyena

Is there a sub-genre with a reputation worse than the British gangster film at the moment? Granted the occasional gem appears once in a while but for longer than I care to remember an unhealthy percentage of releases have been of middling quality, go straight to the supermarket shelves and are (or look as though they are) riddled with clichés, many of […]

0259 | Animal Kingdom

Based on true events, David Michôd’s debut feature Animal Kingdom follows the criminal exploits of a Melbourne family when three brothers become embroiled in a bitter, retaliatory war with the city’s police force. Innocent and not-so-innocent blood is shed in this tense, tough drama, which features several good performances and wisely favours short bursts of realistic action over prolonged chase scenes […]

0231 | A Most Violent Year

Sadly some excellent films disappear quickly from UK cinema screens during the months of January and February. It’s an unfortunate side effect of the recently-adopted tradition of rushing through the award season heavy hitters in the new year, an industry-wide decision that has seen Birdman, American Sniper, Wild, The Theory Of Everything, Foxcatcher, Whiplash and more released within a period of 21 […]

0093 | Sexy Beast

Remember Christmas? That time of year for relaxing, taking stock, eating, drinking and spending time with the family? I’ve just experienced my first Christmas at Popcorn Towers, having moved house earlier in the year, and took a few days off work in the run up to get all the preparation finished. Presents were bought and […]

0081 | A Simple Plan

At the beginning of A Simple Plan, a superb crime drama from 1998 directed by Sam Raimi, Bill Paxton’s character Hank Mitchell recalls some advice he once received: “When I was still just a kid, I remember my father telling me what he thought it took for a man to be happy. Simple things, really. […]