Money Train (1995)

If you like action, buckle up. Two NYC cops, who also happen to be former foster brothers, are thick as thieves despite incessant bickering about the one’s gambling addiction. All bets are off when they both fall for their beautiful new coworker, a fellow undercover sting agent who knows exactly which brother she wants. Sparks fly as a tangle with the transit authority ups the ante in a turf war for control of the subway. The arrogant director doesn’t care who lives or dies so long as he makes his money– an irresistible temptation to a chronic gambler…

Never Let Go (1960)

What’s a struggling salesman to do when his new car– the key to improving slumping sales– gets stolen? All the charisma in the world won’t help John Cummings retrieve it from the chop-shop if the police are more focused on catching the crooked garage owner than finding an individual vehicle. Cummings wants to provide for his family but as his obsession with retreiving his stolen property grows, taking matters into his own hands jeopardizes more than his own safety.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

If you don’t own a copy, you’ve either forgotten about this movie or have never seen it. This is arguably each lead’s most famous role of their career. And for good reason: when an disparate team of jewel theives vie for their loot, Deception is the rule of law in what amounts to The Bermuda Triangle of relationships. Love and lust notwithstanding, greed and revenge bring out a range of emotions– and even slapstick– in those subjected to the whims of manipulative Wanda, a woman so dynamic, a beloved pet is named after her.

The Imposter (2012)

How does a foreign man suddenly end up a U.S. citizen, welcomed into the family of a long- missing child? While it’s impossible to fully understand the grief of those keeping vigil by the window, waiting for a phone call that may never come, it is curious that every expert agrees there are many loose ends. Is it merely that hindsight is 20/20 (as the old saying goes) or is there a more sinister explanation? Though the testimony of an identity thief certainly isn’t everything, it seems to corroborate the suspicion of at least one specialist…

Masterfully crafted, the details of this publicly documented incident are recounted chronologically by a rotation of several family members, some government employees, a smattering of friends/ neighbors and one relentless private investigator. During the lengthier portions of each person’s story, voiceover serves as narration for actors’ portrayals of the events being described. By the end of the film you have about as much information as everyone involved to decide for yourself what you think happened.

Candyman (1992)

The poster’s striking similarity to Silence of the Lambs led me to believe this was a spoof. At first glance even the premise seems unimpressive: a skeptical person accidentally summons a monster– the tortured soul of a slave, who fathered the child of a powerful man’s daughter. *eyeroll* The more I read– hook for a […]

Rope (1948)

Everyone is at least familiar with Alfred Hitchcock, especially iconic classics, such as Psycho and The Birds. But for some reason his adaptation of a stage play that’s right up his alley tends to get overlooked. Obviously, there’s dramatic tension in a slashing knife, a flock of pecking birds, or any other bloody spectacle. But […]

One Last Heist/ The Hatton Garden Job (2017)

The fact that there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking or mind-blowing would normally be a strike against a movie; but this particular caper seems to be an homage to Guy Ritchie’s signature style, rather than a knockoff. As closely as anyone could base a movie on a major British news story, several old professional thieves team up to procure retirement funds. But don’t be fooled; though they only steal from the filthy rich and never kill anyone, none of them could be compared to Robin Hood. The young’un of the bunch has specific recruiting criteria: “Now the way I see it, this is an old school gig. And needs an old school crew.” However, as one of the first of the reluctant hires points out, “There’s old school and then there’s just… old.” According to the actor who plays him, “People should see this movie because this is what your granddad was up to when you weren’t looking.”

Mildred Pierce (1945)

I liked this movie upon first viewing and have re-watched it since. I should clarify: the original version; while Kate Winslet’s talent is undeniable, remaking a classic film in color serves no purpose. I would, however, be interested in seeing this reinterpreted in a modern context as the themes (e.g. permissive parenting and familial loyalty) are still relevant and need revisiting. History repeats itself, especially when Society fails to pay attention to former generations when they tried to warn us. Some viewers will automatically assume an old movie—particularly one in black and white—is outdated. But its archetypical style is precisely what will induce the connotations necessary to see the film through, such as not being in a hurry to get to the action or the assurance that it won’t rely too heavily upon sequencing gimmicks to explain background information. Ultimately, its enduring legacy can be attributed to superior filmmaking, which includes everything from acting to editing.

Charade (1963)

It’s as if Hitchcock went to Paris. He didn’t but a script full of twists and turns brought to life by two of the most elegant lead actors ever to grace the screen, supported by high-quality talent is bound to yield mystery, action, suspense, humor and romance. What’s not to like?

Baby Driver (2017)

The very thing this gem has going for it is also its downfall, at least as far as marketing is concerned: its genre is unclassifiable. The closest comparison would be a musical, the likes of which have only been attempted during a few seconds of a TV ad. The score is the soundtrack is the playlist to which the main character listens throughout the movie. But rather than singing, choreography is the main draw. In fact, it’s practically a main character.

Everything from windshield wiper blades swiping to car doors slamming to gunshots firing is perfectly synched to the rhythm of the music. Be ready to immerse yourself in the story of a silent getaway driver the moment it starts (e.g. the lyrics of the opening song are visually incorporated into the scenery as graffiti, product labels, print ads, etc.). The style of this film is certainly clever but excellent acting coupled with the unique premise of unlikely partners in crime is what makes it thoroughly engaging.