Archive for the Crime Category

Marshland

Posted in Crime, Drama, Foreign Language, Mystery, thriller with tags on November 19, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Alberto Rodriguez.
Screenplay: Rafael Cobos, Alberto Rodriguez.
Starring: Javier Gutiérrez, Raúl Alévaro, Antonio de la Torre, Nerea Barros, Salva Reina, Jesús Castro, Manolo Solo.

“This place swallows you up”

In 2014, just before he won a leading Actor Oscar, Matthew McConnaughey was at the height of one of the biggest career turnarounds. It was a time that became gleefully known as the “McConnaisance” and one of the major projects that he was involved in was HBO’s television series, True Detective. It’s a surprise then that more people didn’t pay attention to Alberto Rodriguez’s Spanish thriller, Marshland. That said, it was a huge hit in its native Spain and while it made a brief arrival on the film circuit with many critics lavishing praise on it, it still seemed to disappear fairly quickly. It’s a shame as this is a dark, murder mystery that’s thoroughly deserving of a wider audience and shares many similarities with the aforementioned TV show.  Continue reading

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Baby Driver

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on October 23, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Edgar Wright.
Screenplay: Edgar Wright.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Flea, Lanny Joon, CJ Jones, Sky Ferreira, Lance Palmer, Hudson Meek, Paul Williams, Hal Whiteside.

“The moment you catch feelings is the moment you catch a bullet”

With his “Cornetto trilogy” and Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Edgar Wright has amassed a fervent following. He’s a director that can seemingly do no wrong in many people’s eyes but this enthusiasm is one that I’ve often questioned. I don’t think that Wright has produced enough overall quality to be considered so highly in people’s estimations. Stylistically, he’s fantastic and there’s always an energy and a plethora of good ideas on display but I’ve always struggled with how much mileage he tries to squeeze out of his material and how he brings his stories to a close. Baby Driver, as enjoyable as it is, suffers a similar fate.  Continue reading

Mulholland Falls

Posted in Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery with tags on July 7, 2017 by Mark Walker

Director: Lee Tamahori.
Screenplay: Pete Dexter.
Starring: Nick Nolte, Chazz Palminteri, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn, Jennifer Connelly, Melanie Griffith, John Malkovich, Treat Williams, Kyle Chandler, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Dern, Louise Fletcher, Daniel Baldwin, Ed Lauter, Titus Welliver, Richard Sylbert, Virginia Madsen, William Petersen, Rob Lowe.

“This is L.A. This is my town. Out here you’re a trespasser. Out here I can pick you up, burn your house, fuck your wife, and kill your dog. And the only thing that’ll protect you is if I can’t find you. And I already found you”.

Released in 1996, Lee Tamahori’s Mulholland Falls has largely been overshadowed by the Oscar winning L.A. Confidential – which followed a year later. Although I often find fault with the Academy, on this occasion, I’m not going to split hairs with them and argue that Tamahori’s film is as good, because it’s not. But that’s no shame in Tamahori’s efforts as, for me, L.A. Confidential is one of the best films over the last 20 years. Mulholland Falls is a very admirable attempt that doesn’t deserve to have become a forgotten addition to L.A. themed noir.  Continue reading

Triple 9

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on June 27, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: John Hillcoat.
Screenplay: Matt Cook.
Starring: Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Clifton Collins Jr, Kate Winslet, Gal Gadot, Teresa Palmer, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michelle Ang, Terence Rosemore.

“You’re a bank manager. You should be smart enough to know that the monster has gone digital. Be careful what you instagoogletweetface”.

After his relentlessly grim debut The Proposition and it’s equally grim follow-up, The Road, director John Hillcoat carved a reputation as a less than cheery filmmaker. However, he was clearly one with an undeniable ability to capture a time and place. His third feature – Lawless – proved again that he had a great eye for detail – even though it was lacking a depth of narrative. With Triple 9, Hillcoat, yet again, showcases his gritty realism but it suffers the same problems in terms of the story. Continue reading

Free Fire

Posted in Action, Crime with tags on June 1, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Ben Wheatley.
Screenplay: Ben Wheatley, Amy Jump.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Sam Riley, Michael Smiley, Jack Reynor, Baboo Ceesay, Noah Taylor, Enzo Cilenti, Mark Monero, Patrick Bergin.

“I told you, I don’t wanna work with anyone who’s carrying a loaded weapon”


In a short space of time, Ben Wheatley has fast became one of the most interesting and intriguing of director’s and it’s beginning to look like he wants to try his hand at many genres. Kill List was a heady mix of kitchen-sink drama and horror, Sightseers was a black comedy, High Rise was a dystopian morality tale on class divide and now with Free Fire, he sets out to deliver an unashamed action piece.  Continue reading

The Infiltrator

Posted in Biography, Crime, Drama with tags on April 14, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Brad Furman.
Screenplay: Ellen Brown Furman.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Gilgun, Juliet Aubrey, Amy Ryan, Yul Vasquez, Olympia Dukakis, Jason Isaacs, Art Malik, Said Taghmaoui, Juen Cely, Rubén Ochandiano, Simón Andreu, Christian Contreras, Michael Paré, Carsten Hayes, Daniel Mays.

“This is what I do. I’m an undercover narcotics agent. I sit with murders and bait men and I lie. I lie my ass off”

After their collaboration on The Lincoln Lawyer in 2011, Director Brad Furman reunites with Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo once again. Most of the positivity surrounding that film was slightly overshadowed by Matthew McConaughey’s renewed invigoration for dramatic acting (or the start of the McConaussance as it came to be known) while the likes of Cranston and Leguizamo filled in as support. The film itself was a decent enough legal thriller and now with The Infiltrator, Furman explores the other side of the law. Only this time, his fringe players take the central roles.  Continue reading

Eastern Promises

Posted in Crime with tags on March 31, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: David Cronenberg.
Screenplay: Steven Knight.
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinéad Cusack, Jerzy Skolimowski, Donald Sumpter, Tamer Hassan, Josef Altin.

“Anger is dangerous. It makes people do stupid things.”

With A History of Violence in 2005, David Cronenberg seemed to take his career in a more mainstream direction. It wasn’t the horror or dark science fiction that many had come to know him by, but an arresting thriller that was actually based on a graphic novel. It was a big success and, two years later, led to Cronenberg sticking with his leading man Viggo Mortensen and attempting something similar with Eastern Promises. You could say that their second collaboration delivers something even more satisfying.  Continue reading