Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx collide in ‘Collateral’ on HBO Max

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 […]

Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in 'Million Dollar Baby'

Clint Eastwood’s ‘Million Dollar Baby’ on Amazon Prime

Always one of America’s most undervalued directors, Clint Eastwood proved himself American cinema’s national treasure in the third act of his impressive career. Million Dollar Baby (2004), an understated, unpretentious, powerfully told drama, adapted from F.X. Toole stories by Paul Haggis, earned Eastwood his second round of Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture (his […]

Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Terminal’ on Amazon Prime

Tom Hanks winds up in the longest airport layover in the history of mankind in Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal (2004). He plays Viktor Navorsky, a traveler from the fictional Eastern European country of Krakozhia that, as fate would have it, dissolves between the time he boards his flight in Europe and arrives at JFK in […]

‘Napoleon Dynamite’ – high school eccentrics arise

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) is the quintessential high school misfit. Gawky and slack-faced under a red afro and windowpane glasses, Napoleon (Jon Heder) runs in a squatting shuffle, whines every single utterance, and punctuates his eternal disappointment with a sigh like a slow leak on a Mack Truck. With a fantasy inner life and an outsized […]

Leonardo DiCaprio is Howard Hughes in 'The Aviator,' directed by Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator’ on Paramount+

The Aviator (2004), Martin Scorsese’s epic biography of the life of Howard Hughes, is his love-letter to the old-Hollywood bio-pic. This is high-style filmmaking wrapped up in a tormented hero whose soaring flights of greatness are matched by the mortal pull of his devils, which Scorsese establishes (perhaps too patly) in a childhood prologue bathed […]