Tag: Crime

2018, Movies

A Simple Favor (2018, Paul Feig)

This is a noirish murdery mystery/thriller with a heavy dose of comedy that feels relatively unique for these types of films. I was mostly with it until the very end and I do wonder how much of the fault for the ridiculous climax is on the novel versus on the screenplay. SPOILERS

2021, TV

Only Murders in the Building (2021)

This is an inventive and consistently funny mystery comedy that pokes fun at our obsession with true crime podcasts. As Jenn said, it fees kind of miraculous, a show like this with a central relationship that is basically grandchild-grandparents, rather than a friendship, a romantic relationship or even a parent-child dynamic. It feels like a …

2019, Movies

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019, Vince Gilligan)

Two disclaimers: First, I watched the final season of Breaking Bad quite some time ago. Not the season it premiered but whenever it found its way to Netflix, so within a year or so of its premiere. Call it 2014 ish. It’s been a while. Second, I hated the ending of Breaking Bad. But my …

2010, Movies

In the Name of the Family (2010, Shelley Saywell)

This is an episodic and workmanlike documentary about girls killed by their family members, ostensibly because they are not behaving correctly. It feels a little like it was made for TV but that could also just be the budget.

2004, 2013, 2018, TV

The Staircase (2004, 2013, 2018)

Full disclosure: I am very biased when it comes to these types of stories. For the number of years I’ve been listening to wrongful conviction podcast called Undisclosed. I have listened to a number of other podcasts with similar themes. So I am more predisposed than ever to side with the defense over the prosecution, …

1978, Movies

Death on the Nile (1978, John Guillermin)

This is a goofy – at times almost campy – adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel which benefits from location shooting but perhaps suffers just a little bit from the characterizations of its excellent cast, a few of whom feel like they are just reveling in their roles.

1989, Movies

Heathers (1989, Michael Lehmann)

At some point when I was younger, I told myself I had watched Heathers though I either confused it with some other ’80s movie featuring Christian Slater and/or Wynona Ryder or I saw five minutes of it and decided that counted. Anyway, I had definitely not seen Heathers.

2019, Movies

The Gentlemen (2019, Guy Ritchie)

Remember when Guy Ritchie was a fresh young director? Some people were (unfairly) calling him an English Tarantino. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels had to be sought out at the video store. Then he married Madonna and made some questionable film choices. Eventually he became one of the numerous indistinguishable blockerbuster filmmakers Hollywood goes …

2020, Movies

Enemies of the State (2020, Sonia Kennebeck)

This is a masterful documentary about an American potential whistle-blower accused of child pornography and related charges, who took refuge in Canada. I paid no attention to the story at the time, so the entire thing was new to me. Before I get to the review: if you like documentaries about the nature of truth, …

2019, Movies

Hustlers (2019, Lorene Scafaria)

This is a pretty heavily stylized dramatization of a true story of strippers ripping off rich men in post crash New York City. I somehow never read the infamous article – though I’m going to now – so I can’t comment onto how accurate the depiction is. (Though that is not something I usually care …

2020, TV

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez (2020)

This is a frustrating but also fascinating brief documentary series about Aaron Hernandez the NFL tight end who was convicted of murdering one person, charged with murdering two others, and credibly accused of shooting at least one other person. I paid no attention to this at the time so much of this was new to …

2019, Movies

The Laundromat (2019, Steven Soderbergh)

This is a bizarre, episodic and extremely stagey attempt to make the Panama Papers scandal more accessible and therefore of greater concern to the average American. It is a giant mess and only sporadic laughs and an excellent cast keep – and the film’s noble intentions – keep me from panning it. SPOILERS

2017, Movies

Logan Lucky (2017, Steven Soderbergh)

This is a very enjoyable heist comedy full of quirky performances and fun cameos. It’s a pretty silly film – some have called it a “hill billy” or “red neck” Ocean’s Eleven and the film itself calls it “Ocean’s 7-11” – but it’s pretty funny and manages to also be enjoyable as a heist movie, …

2008, Movies

Changeling (2008, Clint Eastwood)

This is a weirdly told true crime film which turns what would have probably been a really interesting film into a bit of a mess. It’s weird watching a Clint Eastwood film and thinking it could have directed by someone with a surer hand. I’m not sure what happened here, but it’s really clunky, something …

1994, Music

Bullets Over Broadway (1994, Woody Allen)

Obligatory mention: Woody Allen has been accused of sexually assaulting his adopted daughter. He also married the adopted daughter of his former partner. I can completely understand if you want to never watch another Woody Allen film, or read about Woody Allen. Bullets Over Broadway has been on my “To Watch” list for my entire …

2016, Movies

The Accountant (2016, Gavin O’Connor)

This is a kind of bizarre hybrid of an action movie with a serial killer-style crime investigation combined with forensic accounting – yes, I know how that sounds – that is surprisingly effective much of the time, but has some massive flaws that keep it from really working. Mild Spoilers

2015, Movies

Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)

This is an extraordinarily tense and well-directed thriller about the escalation and increased militarization of the Ward on Drugs. For the most part, I really, really liked Sicario, but I struggled with something and I’m not sure whether or not it could have ended better. SPOILERS

2017, Movies

TIFF 2017 Racer and the Jailbird (2017, Michaël R. Roskam)

This is an entertaining, albeit slight, amalgam of the bank heist genre with one of those romances where the two alpha leads, who do risky things in their professional lives, fall in love with each other, but which is pretty much entirely ruined by an absolutely bonkers left turn (well, a series of left turns) …

1968, Movies

The Bride Wore Black (1968, Francois Truffaut)

This has to be seen as the spiritual predecessor to Kill Bill, even if Tarantino insists he’s never seen it. The overall plot is just too similar, though Tarantino made far superior films. (I suppose it’s also possible someone just told him the plot, or he read the novel. SPOILER ALERT

2006, Movies

Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Billy Corben)

I have heard about this film from a number of people and wonder if we watched the same movie. This is a poorly made film that absolutely reeks of early digital technology – even if its release year of 2006 would suggest it wasn’t made with early digital technology. Why is it that so many …