Tag Archives: Crime Drama

Kin

Kin

Written and Directed by: Jonathan and Josh Baker (adapted from their short film)
Starring: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, James Franco, Dennis Quaid
Rated: PG-13 for gun violence and intense action, suggestive material, language, thematic elements and drinking

“Kin” opened without much fanfare, and no surprise – it’s the feature film debut of not only its star (Myles Truitt), but its writer-director team, Jonathan and Josh Baker as well. The product of these newcomers’ work is good, though, especially considering that they’re new to cineplex screens. This is a competent, solid film with a few things to say and a driving, focused plot.

Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves

Written and Directed by: Christian Gudegast Starring: Gerard Butler, Pablo Schreiber, O’Shea Jackson Jr, 50 Cent, Jordan Bridges, Evan Jones,Dawn Olivieri, Cooper Andrews, Eric Braeden, Brian Van Holt, Maurice Compte. Rated: R for violence, language and some sexuality/nudity There’s something gratifying about a familiar dish made well. There generally aren’t any surprises, but that can be a good thing. “Den of Thieves” is a gritty crime drama featuring two gangs on opposite sides of the law: the LA County Sheriff’s Major Crimes unit and the best gang of bank robbers in California. Their conflict has deadly repercussions for everyone involved, of course, and while the film is a collection of familiar tropes and characters, it goes through its paces well. Our protagonist – you can’t really call him a hero – is Nick Flanagan (Gerard Butler), a hard-drinking officer of the law whose life is falling apart. The unit he heads has been trying to

Read More

Black Mass

Black Mass

Directed by: Scott Cooper Starring: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Adam Scott Rated: R for brutal violence, language throughout, some sexual references and brief drug use. Organized crime has long fascinated both Hollywood and of the American public in general. It’s no surprise that one of the many books about it is now a movie: “Black Mass.” What may be a surprise to folks who’ve seen the posters and print ads is that the ensemble cast is led by Johnny Depp in impressive prosthetic makeup. He delivers an excellent performance, reminding us that he can do more than just act drunk and chew scenery. The movie is a solid true-crime tale, likely to please serious enthusiasts as well as those who like serious dramas about people’s bad actions leading to their inevitable fall. Depp plays Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger, once an inmate at Alcatraz, now the head of South Boston’s Irish-American

Read More

The Drop

The Drop

Directed by: Michaël R. Roskam Rated: R for some strong violence and pervasive language Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz There’s a subgenre of crime films that linger over their characters, whose plots move slowly at first, but gradually become increasingly tense until the final confrontation is not only inevitable, but startlingly intense. “The Drop” is a shining example of this genre, and it seems a fitting final cinematic role for the late James Gandolfini, who gets to showcase both his sense of timing and his ability to layer complexity into seemingly simple characters. The film rotates around Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy), a bartender who tries to hold himself aloof from the organized crime that surrounds him. Cousin Marv (Gandolfini) used to own the bar where Bob works, but now it’s owned by a Chechen crime family. The Chechens periodically use it as a “drop” – a place for their

Read More

Viva Riva!

Viva Riva!

Directed by: Djo Munga
Starring: Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna
Rated: R for strong sexuality, graphic nudity, brutal violence, language, and some drug use.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a very different place from the settings of most gangster films we see here in the States, but “Viva Riva!” would be right at home in a collection of underworld movies. This is a mostly by-the-numbers tale of a young criminal trying to make it big. Filmed in French and Lingala, the subtitles may provide a gloss to cover the occasional flaws for some.