David Hemmings in the giallo horror classic by Dario Argento

Dario Argento’s ‘Deep Red’ on Amazon Prime

Deep Red (Profundo Rosso, Italy, 1975), Dario Argento’s fifth film and his fourth giallo (his non-horror interim film Le Cinque giornate remains unreleased in the U.S.), stars David Hemmings as an American jazz pianist and music teacher in Italy. He witnesses a bloody murder in an apartment window and rushes up from the street to […]

Johnny Hallyday stars in the Johnnie To crime thriller from Hong Kong

Johnny Hallyday gets ‘Vengeance,’ Johnnie To style, on FilmStruck

Johnnie To, the reigning king of the crime movie and the romantic code of gangster brothers within the mercenary world of organized crime, delivers another perfect little genre piece with Vengeance (Hong Kong, 2009). French pop legend Johnny Hallyday stars as Costello, a retired pro who comes to Macau to take revenge on the men […]

Arnold Schwarzenegger takes on Kristanna Loken in the Terminator sequel directed by Jonathan Mostow

‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ – Ah-nold is back in black on Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s old, obsolete Terminator is back in black in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003). Black leather, that is, as well as his trademark dark glasses and mono-syllabic punchlines. He may be machine, but he’s got the spirit of a human whirring inside the gearbox as he plays tough-love father figure to John […]

Al Pacino is Cuban thug turned Miami drug lord Tony Montana in Brian De Palma's 'Scarface'

‘Scarface’ – Say hello to my little friend on Netflix

Brian De Palma’s Scarface (1983), ostensibly a remake of the Howard Hawks gangster classic, moves the iconic rise and fall crime opera from the tommy-gun gangster street battles of the prohibition era to the cocaine wars of Florida in the eighties. In the process, De Palma, screenwriter Oliver Stone, and star Al Pacino carved out […]

Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton star in Sam Raimi's thriller

‘A Simple Plan’ on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu

A Simple Plan (1998) – An endless white landscape of rolling hills and snow-blanketed forests. A lonely acoustic score (by Danny Elfman) plays in the background. A vision of rural simplicity portrayed in hushed tones. The stillness is about to shatter. Brothers Hank (Bill Paxton), an accountant at a small town feed store, and Jacob […]

Daniel Radcliffe stars as an FBI agent undercover in the white supremacist underground in Imperium

‘Imperium’- Undercover in Amerikkka on Amazon Prime Video

Imperium (2016), an undercover thriller “inspired by real events” (which I guess is a step removed from “based on a true story”), stars Daniel Radcliffe as an FBI analyst working the social media end of the terrorist watch team. Nate is intelligent, observant, and cultured but socially awkward, a loner and the butt of jokes […]

Szabolcs Thuróczy and Zoltán Fenyvesi in the film by Attila Till from Hungary

‘Kills on Wheels’ – Wheelchair assassins on Netflix

The offbeat Hungarian thriller Kills on Wheels (Hungary, 2016) turns a dark subject into an unexpected crime tale of triumph and hope with a streak of black comedy. Zoli and Barba are disabled teenagers in a rehabilitation facility where they meet Janos (Szabolcs Thuróczy), a former fireman now paralyzed from the waist down. Gruff and […]

Shauna Macdonald stars in the subterranean horror from Neil Marshall

‘The Descent’ – subterranean horror on Netflix

British genre maven Neil Marshall howled his arrival with his werewolf combat thriller Dog Soldiers, a sly and inspired UK hit that made cult ripples stateside. With The Descent (2005), a nerve wracking, claustrophobic survival thriller about six spelunking women hunted by the creepiest cave dwellers to skitter across a screen, Marshall honed his skills […]

‘Alien: Covenant’ on HBO Now

You may recall Prometheus with both awe and astonishment, a film with astounding moments of beauty and horror and brilliance bumping up against stupidity and sloppiness and half-baked ideas. Alien: Covenant (2017), the second film in the Alien prequel series, takes place a decade after the events of Prometheus (2012) and continues writing the xenomorph […]