Category Archives: Crime

In his best performances, Lou Diamond Phillipsconveys a low-simmering anger just below the surface. His winning smile conceals contempt that his eyes give away. As early rock-and-roller Ritchie Valens in “La Bamba” (1987), the role that propelled him to brief stardom but an enduring career, he channels this inner resentment into an aggressive performance of Lieber and Stoller’s “Framed.” “I......
There’s a scene midway through Shane Black’s fun “The Nice Guys” in which Ryan Gosling’s truly mediocre private investigator has stumbled down a hill, drunkenly trying to impress a girl at a party. As he will do several times in the film, he literally falls into a clue, a rotting corpse of someone he’s been looking for. And what does Gosling do when he comes face to face with it? He doesn’t......
An observation of life in a Florida trailer park run by 120 convicted sex offenders, “Pervert Park” is about finding the light within society’s cavernous disdain for those, to paraphrase Todd Solondzmovies, we fear more than terrorists. As a staggering act of compassion and a political statement, “Pervert Park” starts with simple documentarian ideas—capture the......
Since the passing of this website’s founder in 2013, this website has reviewed nine films starringNicolas Cage. I have reviewed one-third of them. No other critic on this website has reviewed more than one. Perhaps you remember the opening line of Bob Dylan’s “Idiot Wind.” If not, you can Google it. But never mind. The point is, now that I’m reviewing my FOURTH Nicolas Cage movie for this w......
“Dheepan,” the controversial 2015 Palme d’Or winner, was written and directed by Jacques Audiard, whose films often focus on the forgotten and marginalized, the criminal, the displaced, characters who try to move out of a permanent underclass into the alienating mainstream of French life. In “The Beat That My Heart Skipped,” “A Prophet” “Rust ......
Simultaneously lush and lurid, sumptuous and startling, “A Bigger Splash” never goes where you expect, even as its undercurrent of danger is unmistakable from the start. With the follow-up to his landmark 2009 drama “I Am Love,” director Luca Guadagnino once again reveals himself to be a master craftsman. He draws four beautiful and well-balanced performances from his excellent cast, includ......
First, the bad news. “Term Life,” despite what you might expect from its laughable poster and no-critics-screening VOD release, isn’t “fun bad.” If you’re looking for the next “The Room,” or even something akin to some of Nicolas Cage’s more YouTube-ready over-the-top performances, you’ll have to look elsewhere. No, “Term Life” is just a run-of-the-mill, poorly made thriller that doesn’t th......
The final scenes of “Precious Cargo” include a character quoting the immortal final line from “Casablanca” and a close-up shot of a pile of dog excrement. Without giving too much away, let me just say one of them does a far better job of summing up the film than the other. For those of you who came away from last week’s action misfire “Criminal” thinking it could have been blander, stupider......
Punk rock thriller “Green Room” focuses more on the intensity fostered by live punk music than it does the actual sound and feeling of being at a punk show. Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier(“Blue Ruin”) explains/apologizes for his general approach to the punk scene in an early scene where fledgling rocker Pat (Anton Yelchin) explains why his band has no social media p......
Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before: A coolly handsome, accomplished professional secretly goes on a jealousy-fueled killing spree. A nosy detective and a pesky secretary find their way into the mix. References to specific bands of the era and three-way sexual escapades abound. Yes, “Kill Your Friends” inevitably invites comparisons to “American Psycho,” both in its themes and......