Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, and Jodie Foster star in Spike Lee's 'Inside Man.'

‘Inside Man’ on Peacock

Inside Man (2006) isn’t the kind of film you expect from Spike Lee, who has always favored conversation over action. That’s part of the pleasure. It’s a high concept heist thriller starring Clive Owen as the brains behind a bank robbery turned hostage situation and Denzel Washington as the presiding NYPD Detective on the scene, […]

‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ – third time’s the charm on HBO Max

George Cooney and Brad Pitt reunite to old gang for one more romp in Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), third film in Steven Soderberg’s jaunty heist franchise. This time they’re out to avenge group mentor Reuben (Elliott Gould), who has been cheated by international casino kingpin (Al Pacino, playing the financial shark with teeth bared). While Reuben […]

‘Ocean’s Eleven’ – the art of the heist on HBO Max

Steven Soderbergh and his cool cast accomplish what Lewis Milestone couldn’t with the original Vegas playboy Rat Pack back in the 1960s: they swing to the beat of the heist. Ostensibly a remake / reworking of the fun but often flat heist classic with Frank Sinatra and friends, Ocean’s Eleven (2001) is the most shamelessly […]

Simon Yam stars in the South Korean heist thriller

‘The Thieves’ – Korean high tech heist on Viki and free on Hoopla

The Thieves (South Korea, 2012) is Asia’s answer to the Ocean’s films, a sleek, snappy heist movie with plenty of working parts, eccentric personalities, and convoluted plotlines complicated even more by a confusing flashback structure more entertaining than elucidating and more twists than you can easily track. The basic premise brings together two separate crack […]

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ on Amazon Prime

Is there another American filmmaker who takes such joy in telling stories and spinning cinematic spells as Quentin Tarantino? I don’t mean tackling big issues or making epic statements. I’m talking about the sheer pleasure of telling audiences a tale that takes them places they don’t expect and ways they haven’t quite experienced before. The […]

Paul Rudd is Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man. in the Marvel superhero movie directed by Peyton Reed.

‘Ant-Man’ – Marvel gets small on Disney+

Ant-Man (2015) hit theaters with a slightly different approach for a Marvel superhero movie. It’s more playful and comic, with a reluctant hero who has a motley crew of buddies and a mentor with a sly sense of humor as well a drive for justice, and while the stakes are big (stopping a tech giant […]

‘Le Cercle Rouge’ on Criterion Channel

Crime cinema has never been so meticulously and coolly executed as in Le cercle rouge (France, 1970). Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1970 heist classic stars Alain Delon and Gian Maria Volonte as coolly professional thieves, Yves Montand as a soused sharpshooter who regains his self-respect when he joins their team, and Andre Bouvril as the unrelenting cop […]

The original ‘The Killers’ on Criterion Channel

The first 15 minutes of Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) remains the most the most faithful adaptation of Ernest Hemingway ever put on screen. Two gunmen from the city (Charles McGraw and William Conrad) take over a small town diner to wait for their target. When he doesn’t show, they take the hit to him, […]