Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson star in the Oscar-winning gangster film

Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’ on Netflix

The Departed (2006), Martin Scorsese’s return to American urban crime cinema, became the biggest hit of his career and earned him his very first Academy Award for Best Director. Leonardo DiCaprio is Billy Costigan, a street thug working for South Boston crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), and Matt Damon is Colin Sullivan, a rising […]

Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson star in the 1954 melodrama classic by Douglas Sirk

‘Magnificent Obsession’ – grand melodrama on Peacock TV

Jane Wyman’s Helen Hudson is the widow of a self-sacrificing surgeon. Rock Hudson’s Bob Merrick is an arrogant millionaire playboy whose reckless ways and attitude of entitlement indirectly lead to the death of Helen’s husband and to an accident that leaves her blind. The “magnificent obsession” of the title refers to a spiritual philosophy of […]

Christopher Lee is Dracula in the Hammer horror film from Terence Fisher with Peter Cushing

Hammer Films’ ‘The Horror of Dracula’ on HBO Max

After Hammer’s tremendous success with The Curse of Frankenstein, they struck a deal to adapt Universal studio’s catalogue of classics. The Horror of Dracula (1958) was their first follow-up. Christopher Lee removes the monstrous make-up from the earlier film and makes his entrance as an elegant, confident, altogether seductive Dracula, a frightening figure of flashing […]

‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ – Hammer horror on HBO Max

Britain’s Hammer Studios had been making films for decades before they suddenly redefined themselves with this lurid remake of the Universal Studios horror classic. Prohibited by Universal from copying their blocky make-up (and their script for that matter), Hammer returned to Mary Shelley’s novel for inspiration for The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)… and then went […]

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 Peacock

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 […]

Al Pacino in Christopher Nolan's 'Insomnia' (2002), the American remake of the Norwegian thriller.

Al Pacino battles ‘Insomnia’ on HBO Max

Between his breakthrough hit Memento and his blockbuster smash Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan helmed Insomnia (2002), the American remake of the icy, sun-bright 1997 Norwegian noir. Relocated to Alaska and starring Al Pacino in the role played by Stellan Skarsgård in the original, it’s built on the same motif: the 24 hour daylight of the […]

Mowgli and friends in Disney's live-action 'The Jungle Book.'

‘The Jungle Book’ – 2016 remake on Disney+

The Jungle Book (2016), Jon Favreau’s live action (or at least photo-realistic) version of the Rudyard Kipling stories, offers far more than the bare necessities as it combines Kipling’s stories and Walt Disney’s 1967 animated musical adaptation for a marvelous new version of the classic story of a boy quite literally raised by wolves. The […]

Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet in the film adapted from the Dashiell Hammett novel by John Huston.

‘The Maltese Falcon’ – the stuff dreams are made of on HBO Max

If there is a cooler, tougher, more shrewd and self-sufficient private detective in the movies than Humphrey Bogart’s incarnation of Sam Spade in John Huston’s note-perfect adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon (1941), I’ve yet to see him in action. The 1941 classic wasn’t the first screen version of Hammet’s iconic novel, but it […]

Chloë Grace Moretz stars in the American remake of the Swedish horror film, directed by Kodi Smit-McPhee

‘Let Me In’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Let Me In (2010), a remake of Let the Right One In, the Swedish coming-of-age horror movie-turned-adolescent survival drama in the wilds of suburban civilization, is as unexpected as can be: an American revision of a celebrated European film that honors the original while translating its anxiety and unease to a distinctly American setting. If […]