Review: Ash Is Purest White

Director: Jia Zhang-ke Actor: Zhao Tao, Liao Fan, Xu Zheng For as long as there have been gangster pictures there has been the trope of the gangster's moll; the beautiful dame as trophy appendage with smart retorts but virtually no agency of her own. The latest film from Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke inspects this trope, … Continue reading Review: Ash Is Purest White

Review: Dragged Across Concrete

Director: S Craig Zahler Stars: Mel Gibson, Tory Kittles, Vince Vaughn Following brutal western Bone Tomahawk and the equally punishing exploitation flick Brawl In Cell Block 99, S Craig Zahler cements his position as poster-boy for America's most violent impulses with this evocatively titled crime drama. This time the buddy cop movie is Zahler's playground. … Continue reading Review: Dragged Across Concrete

Review: The Third Murder

Director: Hirokazu Kore-Eda Stars: Kōji Yakusho, Masaharu Fukuyama, Suzu Hirose It's hard to believe I've never gotten around to reviewing a Hirokazu Kore-Eda film on here before, seeing as the man is responsible for some of my favourite films of recent years. A Japanese modern master frequently compared - with genuine credibility - to Yasujiro … Continue reading Review: The Third Murder

Review: Ocean’s Eight

Director: Gary Ross Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway It's highly possible I'm looking in the wrong (or right) places, but it seems as though the manchild brigade who so thoroughly soiled their nappies over Paul Feig's Ghostbusters haven't had much to say about the arrival of Ocean's Eight. Maybe they're all still too busy getting … Continue reading Review: Ocean’s Eight

Review: Molly’s Game

Director: Aaron Sorkin Stars: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Michael Cera For those not previously acquainted with the life and (mis)deeds of Molly Bloom there are two main draws to this new film, which seems intent on slipping out unnoticed in the shadow of Star Wars. Firstly, the acting clout of Jessica Chastain, comfortably one of the … Continue reading Review: Molly’s Game

Review: Hell Or High Water

Director: David Mackenzie Stars: Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster The economics of what keeps the rich rich and the poor poor often seem like a rigged game, especially in our present financial climate. It is with intense anger at this capitalist monopoly that David Mackenzie's modern Western Hell Or High Water finds relevancy. Hell, it's … Continue reading Review: Hell Or High Water

Why I Love… #67: Judex

Year: 1963 Director: Georges Franju Stars: Channing Pollock (Judex / Vallieres), Francine Bergé (Diana Monti / Marie Verdier), Edith Scob (Jacqueline Favraux), Théo Sarapo (Morales), Michel Vitold (Favraux). Genre: Crime Drama / Adventure The shot begins with a pair of nice men's shoes. Black. Polished. The feet in them are attached to a pair of … Continue reading Why I Love… #67: Judex

Why I Love… #54: Serpico

Year: 1973 Director: Sidney Lumet Stars: Al Pacino (Frank Serpico), John Randolph (Chief Sidney Green), Cornelia Sharpe (Leslie Lane), Tony Roberts (Bob Blair), Jack Kehoe (Tom Keough) Genre: Crime Drama / Biopic There are many reasons for Sidney Lumet's Serpico to appear in this series. So many, in fact, that it's difficult to know where to … Continue reading Why I Love… #54: Serpico

Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

"If you ride like lightning, you're gonna crash like thunder". So says gangly mechanic Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) to his small-time crime protege Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling). Glanton is a drifter and sometime-carnie who has previously eked out a living as a motorcycle stunt driver. Arriving back in the green suburbs of Schenectady, New York, Glanton … Continue reading Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

Why I Love… #36: Bonnie And Clyde

Year: 1967 Director: Arthur Penn Stars: Faye Dunaway (Bonnie Parker), Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow), Michael J Pollard (C.W. Moss), Gene Hackman (Buck Barrow), Estelle Parsons (Blanche) Genre: Crime Drama / Biopic “When and how will I ever get away from this?” You can see it in Bonnie Parker's eyes, a thought rightfully divined by Clyde … Continue reading Why I Love… #36: Bonnie And Clyde

Why I Love… #30: French Connection 2

Year: 1975 Director: John Frankenheimer Stars: Gene Hackman (Det. James ‘Popeye’ Doyle), Fernando Rey (Charnier / ‘Frog 1’), Bernard Fresson (Det. Barthélémy), Cathleen Nesbitt (The Old Lady), Philippe Leotard (Jacques). Genre: Crime Thriller / Action / Drama Well, this is an unlikely candidate you might think. Why not William Friedkin’s classic original? The French Connection … Continue reading Why I Love… #30: French Connection 2

Why I Love… #24: Zodiac

Year: 2007 Director: David Fincher Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal (Robert Greysmith), Mark Ruffalo (Inspector David Toschi), Robert Downey Jr. (Paul Avery), Anthony Edwards (Inspector William Armstrong), Chloe Sevigny (Melanie), John Carroll Lynch (Arthur Leigh Allen), Brian Cox (Melvin Belli) Genre: Crime Drama David Fincher makes beautiful looking films, but beautiful in a way different from most other A-list … Continue reading Why I Love… #24: Zodiac