Un prophète (A Prophet): I Predict a Great Film in Your Future

Un_prophete

Un prophète (A Prophet) (2009)

Genre: Crime | Drama
Country: France | Italy
Director: Jacques Audiard
Stars: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif

 

Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) is an Algerian Muslim living in France. At the age of nineteen, Malik is arrested and sentenced to six years in prison for attacking police officers. Shortly after arriving he is approached by the Corsican Mafia Continue reading

Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens): Gets My Stamp of Approval

nueve_reinas

Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens)(2000)

Genre: Thriller | Crime
Country: Argentina
Director: Fabián Bielinsky
Stars: Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Leticia Brédice

Juan’s father is a lifelong con artist imprisoned for his last failed scam. In order to raise money to bribe a judge into reducing his father’s sentence, Juan must enter the world of the grift. During one of his cons, Juan successfully swindles a cashier. But when his greed and inexperience has him attempting the same scheme in the same store at shift change, Juan is busted by Marcos, an off-duty officer who’s been watching his every move.

Once out of sight of the store, Marcos reveals to Juan that he’s not a cop, but actually a fellow con artist. After hearing Juan’s story of his father’s plight, Marcos offers to take him under his wing and teach him the tricks of the trade. Continue reading

Bound – And Determined to Become a Cult Noir Classic

boundBound (1996)

Genre: Thriller | Crime
Country: US
Director: Andy and Lana Wachowski
Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, Joe Pantoliano

Bound is the brilliant directorial debut of Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski (The Matrix, V for Vendetta, Cloud Atlas), the writing/directing duo more affectionately known as The Wachowski Brothers, but who are now professionally identified as simply, The Wachowskis. Presented as neo-noir, Bound is a suspenseful thriller that follows the classic noir outline of sex, violence, and betrayal, only with a twist. Our two star-crossed lovers are both…women [gasp]. Holy leaping lesbians Batman! Don’t panic 1966’s Robin. Although lesbian relationships in modern cinema have become quite mainstream, in 1996 this was still pretty taboo. Continue reading

M – Is For Masterpiece

M3M (1931)

Genre: Thriller | Crime
Country: Germany
Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut

“Just you wait, it won’t be long,

The man in black will soon be here.

With his cleaver’s blade so true,

He’ll make mincemeat out of you!”

A serial killer is on the loose in Berlin. His crimes, so unfathomably heinous, have become the talk (and paranoia) of the town. Even his targeted prey, the city’s children, play a macabre elimination game, chanting a chilling limerick and pretending to identify potential victims. Apparently this is before parents taught their children about “Stranger Danger”. Continue reading

The Raid: Redemption – Or How to Put a Beat down on the Action Film Genre

the_raidThe Raid: Redemption (2011)

Genre: Action | Crime
Country: Indonesia
Director: Gareth Evans
Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy

I love over-the-top violence in films. I can’t help it. It literally makes me giddy. Now, before you start worrying about my psychopathic tendencies, let’s be clear that it’s only movie violence that brings me to exuberant bliss. If I actually saw someone get shot in the face in real life, I would consider it to be extremely traumatic. But as long as I can watch a film through the veil of understanding that what I’m seeing is pure movie-magic fakery, then I say the more katana swords and corn syrup blood the better. Continue reading