Pam Grier, Robert Forster and Samuel L. Jackson star in Quentin Tarantino's adaptation of Elmore Leonard

Pam Grier is ‘Jackie Brown’ on Netflix

Jackie Brown (1997) – “Amateurs borrow, professionals steal,” goes the maxim, and Quentin Tarantino steals like a pro. Where directors of the previous generation peppered their films with classic cinematic quotes, Tarantino plunders the films of his formative years for ideas—mostly B-movies and exploitation films about cars and capers and criminals—and riffs on them with […]

Alain Delon stars in the Jean-Pierre Melville French crime film classic

Jean-Pierre Melville’s ‘Le Samourai’ on Criterion Channel

Alain Delon is the coolest killer hit the screen, a film noir loner for the modern era, in Jean-Pierre Melville’s austere 1967 French crime classic Le Samourai (France, 1967). Delon’s impassive hitman Jeff Costello is a professional’s professional, an assassin with a face of stone, nerves of ice, and the patience of a monk. He […]

Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, and others star in the film by Lana and Lilly (formerly Andy) Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

‘Cloud Atlas’ on Netflix

Cloud Atlas (2012) wants nothing for ambition. Jumping between six distinctive stories in six different eras, with a cast that plays different (yet connected) parts in the various storyline, it’s at once literal and evasive, a film that wears its heart on its beautifully stitched sleeve and its meaning in its design and yet finds […]

James Woods and his wild bunch of vampire hunters in 'John Carpenter's Vampires'

‘John Carpenter’s Vampires’ on Hulu

John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998) is not just the first and only vampire film from the great American horror director, it’s the closest he’s gotten to directing an actual western. It’s not simply the dusty, dusky New Mexico setting or the Ry Cooder-esque electric country blues score. He and screenwriter Don Jakoby transform John Steakley’s novel […]

Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves are Bill and Ted in the cult slacker comedy

‘Bill & Ted’s’ excellent movies on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Whoa! Check out the cult slacker comedies that made Keanu Reeves a star. In Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Reeves and Alex Winter are the high school underachievers and would-be rocker stars who are destined to save the world with their music, or so claims their most excellent fan from the future, a time-travelling […]

Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Larry Fishburne in 'The Matrix'

‘The Matrix’ trilogy on Netflix

The Matrix (1999) has become such a touchstone of American pop culture—referenced, copied, parodied, and parroted)—that it’s hard to remember just how new and different and distinctive it was when it debuted in 1999. Which is not to say that it is completely original. Image Tron as a Greek Myth, or Sim City as an […]

Peter O’Toole, Barbara Hershey, and Steve Railsback star in Richard Rush’s Oscar-nominated film

‘The Stunt Man’ on Amazon Prime and Sundance Now

The Stunt Man (1980), Richard Rush’s brilliant little backstage drama of illusion and reality and moviemaking sleight of hand, earned three Oscar nominations and universally glowing reviews, yet is was barely seen on its initial release and became an almost instant cult classic. Steve Railsback is intense and haunted as the Vietnam vet on the […]

Axel Jodorowsky and Adan Jodorowsky star in Alejandro Jodorowsky's cult movie

‘Santa Sangre’ – Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surreal psychodrama on Amazon Prime

Santa Sangre (Mexico, 1989) – A student of Marcel Marceau in Paris, a founder of the surrealist theater Panic Movement in Mexico City, a Zen Buddhist, playwright and comic strip author, the Chilean-born Alejandro Jodorowsky made his fame as a cult film director with his sprawling, symbolic, surreal films El Topo and The Holy Mountain, […]

Susan George and Peter Fonda are 'Dirty Mary Crazy Larry' in the cult action crime film.

‘Dirty Mary Crazy Larry’ on SVOD and DVD

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974) – Peter Fonda is all testosterone and irresponsible arrogance as Larry, a former race car driver who plots a supermarket heist with his devoted, more level-headed mechanic (Adam Rourke). Susan George is pure devil-may-care sexual firecracker as wild child Mary, who takes shotgun on their getaway because she doesn’t have […]