Uma Thurman is The Bride in Quentin Tarantino's 'Kill Bill.'

Last chance: ‘Kill Bill: Volumes 1 and 2’ on HBO Max

Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Quentin Tarantino’s fourth film (as he insists in the credits) returns to his old passions with a new weapon in his arsenal: a visual eye. Tarantino created the role “The Bride” for Uma Thurman, who plays the lead with fierce intensity. A professional assassin left for dead, she wakes up […]

George Clooney stars in the political thriller by Tony Gilroy

Last chance: George Clooney is ‘Michael Clayton’ on HBO Max

“I’m not a miracle worker. I’m a janitor.” George Clooney simmers as Michael Clayton (2007), a legal “fixer” who works behind the scenes of a powerful New York law firm, in Tony Gilroy’s smart, sharp legal drama. When he’s sent to clean up the moral meltdown of the firm’s leading litigator (Tom Wilkinson), he unwittingly […]

George Clooney is ‘The American’ on Amazon Prime

Anton Corbijn’s The American (2010) is a cool, continental thriller starring George Clooney as the titular American, a professional in the assassination game in Europe. I use the term “thriller” in the generic sense, as this plays out more like Jean-Pierre Melville portrait of isolated underworld professionals, freelancers in the international network of criminal enterprise. […]

Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, and Robert Shaw star in Steven Spielberg’s summer blockbuster

‘Jaws’ – the original summer blockbuster on Peacock

Jaws (1995), Steven Spielberg’s meticulously-directed, tension-filled, career-redefining thrill machine, has been pegged as the original modern summer blockbuster. And while that is true, this pop-culture masterpiece is more than simply a well-tooled thriller. Spielberg brings a sense of community, family, and humanity to the supermarket thriller from Peter Benchley, a book more designed than written. […]

Jesse Eisenberg, Alec Baldwin, Greta Gerwig, Roberto Benigni, and Penelope Cruz star in Woody Allen's comedy

‘To Rome with Love’ on Amazon Prime

To Rome with Love (2012) takes Woody Allen’s continental road show to Italy for a quartet of stories – really, more like extended skits – with an international cast. Jesse Eisenberg ignores advice from his older self (Alec Baldwin) when his relationship with Greta Gerwig is complicated by the emotionally ping-ponging Ellen Page in the […]

Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray star, Harold Ramis directs

‘Caddyshack’ – Slobs vs. snobs on Hulu

Caddyshack (1980), the definitive slobs versus snobs comedy, is ostensibly the story of a working-class golf caddy (Michael O’Keefe) at an exclusive country club trying to land a scholarship and plan his future, but his coming-of-age story becomes just another thread in the comic chaos. Chevy Chase, fresh off Saturday Night Live, takes top billing […]

Steven Spielberg directs the big screen adventure adapted from the Herge graphic novels

‘The Adventures of Tintin’ on Hulu and Paramount+

The Adventures of Tintin (2011), Steven Spielberg’s first foray into motion capture filmmaking, turns the legendary boy journalist and globe-trotting adventurer from the early graphic novels of Herge into a big screen hero, complete with trademark cowlick and best friend canine Snowy watching his back. Spielberg and his collaborators (notably co-producer Peter Jackson) chose to […]

Pam Grier, Robert Forster and Samuel L. Jackson star in Quentin Tarantino's adaptation of Elmore Leonard

Pam Grier is ‘Jackie Brown’ on HBO Max

Jackie Brown (1997) – “Amateurs borrow, professionals steal,” goes the maxim, and Quentin Tarantino steals like a pro. Where directors of the previous generation peppered their films with classic cinematic quotes, Tarantino plunders the films of his formative years for ideas—mostly B-movies and exploitation films about cars and capers and criminals—and riffs on them with […]