Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

The upheaval of the 1970s is the backdrop for Sidney Lumet’s brilliant Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 crime drama that is as much about the personal as it is about the political. The picture features a screenplay by Frank Pierson and is based on P.F. Kluge’s 1972 Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank,” […]

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The Battle of Algiers (1966)

Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is at once a scintillating form of entertainment and a dazzling historical document. The 1966 motion picture was shot on location by cinematographer Marcello Gatti and features a somewhat subdued score by Ennio Morricone, with the screenplay by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas.

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Sin City (2005)

A mean and brutal piece of work, Sin City introduces a hermetically sealed universe full of rain and blood. This 2005 film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and is based on the graphic novel of the same name, specifically Miller’s The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard.

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Ip Man 2 (2010)

Wilson Yip’s Ip Man 2 has many of the same goals as it 2008 predecessor. Its affection for the myth of its titular character is apparent, as it its desire to stand for the dignity of its characters. This 2010 picture is also fashioned as a tight, artistic martial arts epic and a historical stamp […]

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The Awakening (2011)

Nick Murphy’s The Awakening gets off on the right foot, blending greying horror visuals with a strong protagonist to craft an absorbing set of possibilities. But Murphy and Stephen Volk’s screenplay steers things so entirely askew for the last third that the goodwill of this 2011 British movie is driven into the ditch.

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The Invitation (2015)

A chilling and astute horror picture, The Invitation is directed by Karyn Kusama from a screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. There’s a lot to mull over in this 2015 film and Kusama keeps the suspense building while laying the philosophical footing for a gut punch.

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Creep (2014)

Patrick Brice directs, writes and stars in the 2014 horror film Creep. He wrote the screenplay with Mark Duplass, who also stars in what amounts to a two-man show. There’s a lot to like about this lean and mean found footage thriller, but it also drags in places.

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Standoff (2016)

Adam Alleca writes and directs the 2016 film Standoff, a sometimes chatty and sometimes gratifying thriller. There are those who will hold that the movie is smarter-than-thou, with its psychological wrangling. And there are those who will be engrossed by the manly head-to-head. And there are those who will find value in the both elements, […]

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