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City of God [ 2002 ] [ Hits:3238 ]
Review: City of God aka Cidade de Deus looks and feels real. You know you’re about to see something special, when the opening scene rolls. Chickens are being plucked and prepared, while festive music fills the air. In the City of God, the children are the criminals. They all run around playing ‘cops and robbers’. Only this ‘cops and robbers’ leaves some dead. When they’re not playing soccer on the dusty fields, they’re toting handguns and holding gas trucks up for money and loot. The polic...

Drive [ Hits:2789 ]
Review: Driver (played by Ryan Gosling in super-intense mode) enters an elevator with the nice girl who lives down the hall.  As he walks in he notices a big guy in the elevator who looked as if he was about to get off on their floor, before he saw that Driver and the girl were getting into the elevator.  Driver takes note of this as he walks into the elevator, and keeps the thug in his periphery as the elevator descends.  Then, in a fairytale sweep guaranteed to melt cinemagoers’ hearts, he swivel...

Four Corners [ Hits:1676 ]
Review: Pollsmoor Prison is overpopulated and way beyond capacity, famous for Nelson Mandela's incarceration and infamous for its prolific gangsterism. A gang war has been raging for almost a hundred years between 'The Numbers', several prison gangs divided by their 26, 27 and 28 affiliations, exercising their rule by means of extreme violence. Their bonds extend beyond the prison walls to the Cape Flats, where it's unsafe to walk the streets, depending on which gang's tattoos you bear. This is the dan...

American Gangster [ 2007 ] [ Hits:3039 ]
Review: Ridley Scott introduces American Gangster, an epic American crime film based on a true story. Detective Richie Richards (Crowe) makes in-roads into Frank Lucas’s (Washington) heroin empire in Manhattan. Drug abuse is rife during America’s involvement in Vietnam, and Lucas smuggles narcotics from Thailand only to establish a monopoly with ‘Blue Magic’ a purer, cheaper alternative for U.S. junkies during the 1970s. Scott is supported by Academy Award winners, Denzel Washington and Russell...

The Drop [ Hits:955 ]
Review: The Drop is a slow-boiling, character driven Brooklyn crime drama based on Dennis Lehane's short story, Animal Rescue, about a Brooklyn bartender, who finds himself entwined in an investigation after a robbery gone awry. It's quite surprising that this is Lehane's first feature film screenplay when you consider his novels: Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone have all been adapted into great films. Lehane's story is small and intimate in scale, immersing us in a close-knit Brooklyn ...

The Place Beyond the Pines [ Hits:1365 ]
Review: The Place Beyond the Pines is a sprawling crime epic about family, fatherhood, fate and justice. Director, Derek Cianfrance, landed excellent co-lead performances from Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine and this echoes in the haunting The Place Beyond the Pines. While not as melancholic and more ambitious, this generational crime thriller has the earmarks of an American classic. At the centre of the The Place Beyond the Pines is the photograph of a young family, as a motorcycl...

Prisoners [ Hits:1302 ]
Review: Prisoners is an epic crime drama thriller from Denis Villeneuve, director of the Oscar-nominated foreign film, Incendies. The film pivots on two powerful co-lead performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal with fine direction from Villeneuve. Prisoners makes a wonderful comparative character study of two men approaching the same dire situation from a subjective and objective perspective, much like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jackman is unleashed, channeling Wolverine-style ferocity into a ...

American Hustle [ Hits:1356 ]
Review: When David O. Russell makes a movie, people sit up and take notice. He reportedly said he hates plots and is all about characters. Well, the critically acclaimed director has managed to get Oscar-nominated performances out of his cast in his last three films.  It's no wonder he's developing a loyal following of audiences, and actors. Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and now American Hustle may deal with some fairly contentious characters and issues, yet Rus...

City of Violence [ Hits:1198 ]
Review: City of Violence is an adaptation of the award-winning novel, Zulu, by Caryl Férey. The gritty crime drama thriller has been directed by Jérôme Salle and stars Orlando Bloom and Forest Whitaker. We're immersed into apartheid-era Cape Town, South Africa, where two policemen are investigating a massacre, apparently provoked by the availability of a new illegal drug. Instead of a typical Hollywood buddy movie, we're presented with an artful crime drama that fights against these genre conventio...

Nightcrawler [ Hits:874 ]
Review: Nightcrawler is a dark and deviant crime drama thriller from Dan Gilroy that skewers news services with a compelling story about a sociopath, whose dead eye acumen and entrepreneurial spirit see him accumulate more and more power within the local news scene in Los Angeles. By covering the graveyard shift and some of the most grisly crimes in affluent areas, our ambitious on-the-scene newsman gains traction with a local news network and manager. Jake Gyllenhaal is a perfect match for Lou...