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Thriller
 

Philo Vance Murder Case Collection

Man, that’s a lot of vintage homicide.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Following a half-dozen Perry Mason movies into the Warner Archive store are the half-dozen Philo Vance films that make up his Murder Case Collection. While S.S. Van Dine’s “dilettante detective” is nowhere near as well-known today as Erle Stanley Gardner’s attorney-at-law, this is the better set by bounds.
 
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sushi Girl

For those who like it raw.


Thriller

Rod Lott
No matter what you see or hear, don't move a muscle. That’s the advice one very bad man gives to the titular Sushi Girl. Particularly squeamish viewers won’t be able to adhere to such counsel, as this minor crime gem revels in the revolting.
 
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sleepless Night

Run, bad cop, run!


Thriller

Rod Lott
And just like that, director Frédéric Jardin leaps onto my ongoing radar for his work on Sleepless Night, a powerhouse French-language thriller. The crime film begins with action and rarely lets up during its 98-minute sprint.
 
Friday, March 1, 2013

Compliance

Do as you’re told and watch ... if you can.


Thriller

Rod Lott
File Compliance under “stranger than fiction.” Although not a documentary, it is based on a true story, and one so utterly outrageous that many will refuse to believe it anyway.
 
Monday, February 25, 2013

Argo

2012's presumed Best Picture winner hits home video.


Thriller

Phil Bacharach
Generating suspense from a story that is a matter of historical record is no easy thing. That was the primary challenge facing Ben Affleck and Chris Terrio, the director-star and writer, respectively, of Argo, a thriller inspired by a real-life covert operation that helped rescue six U.S. embassy workers out of Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
 
Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Factory

The ending is a crime.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Can a bad ending ruin an otherwise OK movie? In the case of The Factory, I believe it can.
 
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kill for Me

Roomies, sheesh!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Rent’s a bitch. And that is why, six months after her best friend went missing, Amanda (Katie Cassidy, TV’s Arrow) finally gives in to getting another roommate, Hailey (Tracy Spiridakos, TV’s Revolution). The two college students turn out to have something in common, however: abusive men.
 
Friday, February 8, 2013

Black's Game

Love crime films? Play it!


Thriller

Rod Lott
Here's how I knew the Icelandic crime thriller Black’s Game was going to be great:
 
Friday, February 1, 2013

The Thieves

Let it steal your heart and your evening.


Thriller

Rod Lott
When done right, few films can provide as much enjoyment as the heist picture. South Korea's The Thieves is one of them — epic in every sense of the word: in length, in scope and in entertainment.
 
Wednesday, January 30, 2013

All Superheroes Must Die

Packs a mild punch.


Thriller

Rod Lott
At least All Superheroes Must Die isn't like every other comic book-inspired cinematic vision that currently serve as the buttered bread to Hollywood's rumbling stomach. That alone is not enough to make for a good movie, but it's a head start.
 
Monday, January 28, 2013

End of Watch / Officer Down

Two new releases shine a light on the shield.


Thriller

Rod Lott
I'm a sucker for a good cop movie, and End of Watch is a great one. Had I seen it before its home-video release, it would have made my 2012 year-end list.
 
Friday, January 25, 2013

Cherry Tree Lane

‘Cherry’ bombs.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Pick a revenge movie. Any revenge movie.
 
Thursday, January 24, 2013

Wake in Fright

G'day, mate? Hardly!


Thriller

Rod Lott
From 1971, Wake in Fright is a lost film recently and literally rescued from near-oblivion. While I can’t say I was familiar with it before its Drafthouse Films re-release, I’m glad it was saved. To have lost a work this good would have been a blow.
 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Suddenly

Shoot the president? Sinatra aims to do it his way.


Thriller

Rod Lott
From 1954, Suddenly is the lesser-known of Frank Sinatra’s two films centered on a presidential assassination. Cry “sacrilege” if you wish, but I actually prefer it to the later, more polished, highly revered The Manchurian Candidate. Yes, Suddenly is a B-noir treatment of the same theme, but the underdog proves ridiculously effective.
 
Friday, January 11, 2013

Sleep Tight

Definitely not a cure for insomnia.


Thriller

Rod Lott
César (Luis Tosar, Miami Vice) works as a concierge at an apartment building in Barcelona. He handles the door, the mail, the plumbing. Although he enjoys an amiable rapport with many of the residents, he is thoroughly unhappy.
 
Friday, January 4, 2013
 
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