Viggo Mortensen makes ‘Eastern Promises’ on Peacock

Eastern Promises (2007) reunites A History of Violence director David Cronenberg and star Viggo Mortensen for another dive into the shadowy, dangerous world of organized crime and hidden identities. As Nikolai, a chauffeur and foot soldier in a Russian crime family in London, Mortensen wears his shadow of a smile like an impenetrable mask. One […]

‘Dirty Pretty Things’ – Life in the social margins of London in HBO Max

In Dirty Pretty Things (2003), Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Okwe, a once respected Nigerian doctor just trying to preserve his dignity and integrity under the radar of London society. As an immigrant awaiting resident status, he spends his days hustling as a cabbie with a counterfeit license and his nights working the front desk of a […]

John Wayne storms the ‘Sands of Iwo Jima’ on Amazon Prime

Sands of Iwo Jima (1950) is the best war film that John Wayne made outside of John Ford’s masterpiece They Were Expendable. Made four years after the end of the war in 1949, it was the biggest picture that Allan Dwan, once a major director of big silent movie spectacles and handsome star vehicles, had […]

Christian Bale is Batman in Christopher Nolan's 'Batman Begins'

‘Batman Begins’ – Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight on Hulu

One of the defining films in the elevation of comic book movies to adult fare, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins (2005) rebooted the Batman mythos for the big screen, bringing the often lighthearted hero back to the shadows, both figuratively and literally. It’s quite a leap from the previous Batman revival launched by Tim Burton’s 1989 […]

Last chance: Errol Flynn is ‘Captain Blood’ on HBO Max

Errol Flynn was Warner Bros. contract player, barely a supporting actor on the Hollywood scene, when he shot to stardom in the starring role of Captain Blood (1935), Warner Bros.’ lavish adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s novel. His bravado and charisma brings to life the rousing tale Peter Blood, a courageous British doctor who, unjustly sold […]

Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in the 1973 escape drama from director Franklin J. Schaffner

Last chance: Steve McQueen is ‘Papillon’ on HBO Max

Ten years after Steve McQueen made his name in the most famous prison break thriller of them all—The Great Escape—he stepped into the role of Henri ‘Papillon’ Charriere, the real-life French safecracker convicted of murder (unjustly, he maintained) and sentenced to the prison colony in French Guyana and, later, Devil’s Island. Directed by Franklin J. […]

Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx collide in ‘Collateral’ on Amazon Prime

Tom Cruise is well cast as a coldly efficient professional assassin and Jamie Foxx is excellent as the cabbie who picks unwittingly drives him to his targets in Michael Mann’s coolly attenuated thriller Collateral (2004). Mann is the king of crime movie professionalism and his characters are the best at what they do, consummate professionals […]

Kirk Douglas in ‘Detective Story’ – the original precinct cop drama on Peacock

Detective Story (1951) is the godfather of the TV precinct show. Adapted from Sidney Kingsley’s Broadway play and directed by Hollywood master craftsman William Wyler, it plays out almost entirely in the detective squad room over the course of a long shift. Kirk Douglas stars as Det. James McLeod, a law and order zealot with […]

Al Pacino stars in 'Serpico',' directed by Sidney Lumet

Al Pacino is ‘Serpico’ on HBO Max

“It’s incredible but I feel like a criminal because I don’t take money.” So says Al Pacino in Serpico (1973), Sidney Lumet’s take on the true story of frustrated New York policeman Frank Serpico. As portrayed by Al Pacino, Serpico is the resident nonconformist in the working class New York Police Department, a college-educated street […]

Robert De Niro in the Martin Scorese gangster epic with Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Casino’ on Peacock

“In the casino, the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.” Five years after his gangland masterpiece GoodFellas, Martin Scorsese reunited with writer Nicholas Pileggi and stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci […]