Alec Baldwin in 'Miami Blues,' directed by Geroge Armitage.

‘Miami Blues’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Miami Blues (1990) should have been the first film in funky crime movie franchise. It’s based on the first of four novels by modern hardboiled crime author Charles Willeford featuring Miami police detective Hoke Moseley; adapted and directed by George Armitage, who learned his trade making pictures for Roger Corman; and produced by Jonathan Demme, […]

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 […]

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in 'Taxi Driver'

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ on Hulu and Sundance Now

Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese’s incendiary masterpiece of alienation and anger and urban anxiety may be the most maverick vision of seventies American cinema. It is certainly one of the most visceral portraits of the American urban underbelly ever put on film, a movie bathed in blood as much as in light, and almost forty years […]

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 […]

Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks star in this family drama based on a true story

‘People Like Us’ on Netflix

People Like Us (2012), a based-on-a-true-story family drama, offers some touching moments between the Hollywood contrivances and some moving moments that remind us of the power of family ties. Chris Pine stars as Sam, an amoral wheeler dealer in financial straits who has to be pushed by his girlfriend (a terribly underserved Olivia Wilde) to […]

Christian Bale and Russell Crowe star in James Mangold's fine remake of the classic western

‘3:10 to Yuma’ – a superb western remake on Amazon Prime

3:10 to Yuma (2007) – Delmer Dave’s original 1957 3:10 to Yuma, based on the short story by Elmore Leonard, is a superior western: understated, smart, visually modest and dramatically surprising. James Mangold’s remake is a fine film its own right. It is respectful of the story and the situation and then it goes its […]

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 […]

Terence Stamp and Christina Hendricks in the Agatha Christie adaptation

What to stream: Agatha Christie’s ‘Crooked House’ on Amazon, ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ on Netflix, more ‘Santa Clarita’

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, Showtime Anytime, FilmStruck, video-on-demand, and other streaming services … The handsome British mystery Crooked House (2017, PG-13), based on the Agatha Christie novel, features Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, and Christina Hendricks as prime suspects in the murder of a business […]