‘State of Play’ – political intrigue with Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck on Netflix

Politics, journalism, and murder swirl through State of Play (2009), the American adaptation of the sharp, award-winning British mini-series. Cal McAffrey (Russell Crowe) is the old school reporter in rapidly evolving newsroom, still using an old IBM computer with the blinking cursor while everyone else is hooked up to the web. Della Frye (Rachel McAdams) […]

Richard Linklater's 'Dazed and Confused

‘Dazed and Confused’ on Peacock

Cinema has the unique ability to create a sensory experience vivid enough to make the past suddenly present and alive. Richard Linklater’s cinematic flashback Dazed and Confused (1993) captures a rich pageant of high-school life, circa 1976, in a mere 100 minutes, leaning on nostalgia without wallowing in it. Jason London is the center of […]

‘Changing Lanes’ – Ben Affleck vs Samuel Jackson on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Samuel L. Jackson is a recovering alcoholic whose sincere efforts to put his life back together is frustrated by unresolved anger and a self-righteous sense of vengeance. Ben Affleck is a smug, self-absorbed lawyer who refuses to accept culpability for his moral lapses and deals with his pangs of guilt by going on the attack. […]

Casey Affleck in Ben Affleck's directorial debut

‘Gone Baby Gone’ on Paramount+

Ben Affleck made a confident and compelling directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone (2007), his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s mystery novel about a pair of young private detectives (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) hired to look for the missing daughter of a junkie mother (Amy Ryan, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance). It’s […]

‘Argo’ – a stranger than fiction rescue tale on HBO Max

Winner of the 2013 Academy Award for best picture, Argo (2012) is also the name of a fake movie and a real-life rescue stranger-than-fiction mission to rescue the six Americans who escaped the U.S. Embassy in Iran when it was stormed in 1980. Ben Affleck directs (it’s his third film behind the camera) and takes […]