If you have finished watching the film Taxi Driver (1976) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
Rules of Engagement
Even William Friedkin's most loyal fans would admit the Nineties were not a particularly fertile artistic period for him. That decade saw him putting out the laughable horror film The Guardian (1990), the eventual release of his long-on-the-shelf and heavily recut 1987 death penalty drama Rampage (1992), the tepid sports drama Blue Chips (1994), and the resoundingly unnecessary (save for a nifty car chase) Jade (1995). On the small screen, he helmed two made-for-cable remakes, the Roger Corman production Jailbreakers (1994) with Shannen Doherty, Antonio Sabato Jr., and Adrien Brody, and 12 Angry Men (1997) with a powerhouse cast that included Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, Ossie Davis, James Gandolfini and, perhaps inevitably, Tony Danza. Continue Reading →
At the risk of making a "getting a lot of Sorcerer vibes from this" guy out of myself, The Hunted—William Friedkin's 2003 old-master-hunts-rogue-student thriller really does make for a fascinating counterpart to his earlier men-on-a-desperate-mission masterwork. Both delve into the lives of damaged, forlorn, isolated men on perilous quests for deliverance. And both of those quests lead deep into madness. Both pointedly contrast man-made, flame-choked hellscapes (Sorcerer's exploding oil well, The Hunted's secret mission amidst the Kosovo War) with the vast, amoral green of the deep forest (Columbia and Oregon, respectively). Both turn on setpieces that thrill while maintaining a grounded (if not necessarily "realistic") feel and weave surreality in with care. Continue Reading →
Folks, maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t think we’re ready for Nazi redemption stories yet. Granted, there have already been a few, but those were from a time when the threat was neutralized. Now, in our current upside down world, they’re being normalized by both the media and Republican politicians, some of whom, like Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, would rather pretend they don’t know what “white nationalism” is than denounce it. We really don’t need a “but what if they can change?” story right now. But Paul Schrader is doing it anyway with Master Gardener, a movie that is surely well-intentioned, but ill-timed at best, and clumsy and borderline offensive at worst. Continue Reading →
We love movies about con artists, because they’re always glamorous, with attractive, elegantly dressed people slickly seducing their marks. It’s far sexier and intriguing than the sad reality of con artistry, which mostly seems to involve catfishing lonely people on dating sites, or swindling them out of cash on behalf of a made-up charity. No one likes to think about how easy it is to be fooled by someone who’s simply a good liar, it makes more sense that these things happen as part of an elaborate scheme created by a network of seasoned professionals alternately working together and stabbing each other in the back. Apple TV+’s Sharper scratches that particular itch, and looks good doing it, but ultimately feels a bit hollow, and has twists that are far more transparent than they should be. Continue Reading →