This film tells a bitter tale of a dysfunctional family. Joshua, a cold-blooded professional killer, returns to his Brighton Beach boyhood home for a "job." He knows it will be difficult to... See full summary »
In the rail yards of Queens, contractors repair and rebuild the city's subway cars. These contracts are lucrative, so graft and corruption are rife. When Leo Handler gets out of prison, he ... See full summary »
An innocent immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.
Dostoevsky-inspired drama set in 1900s Prague about a bored arrogant playboy who spends time seducing other men's wives and dueling. He begins an affair with his friend's wife, but falls in love with her. She becomes pregnant. Is it his?
Jack is now out of jail and he meets Nick, his adolescent son. Their relationship will be complicated, because Jack has a problem with alcohol. But his love for Nick will help him to get over the past and reach his dreams.
While in prison, Jack had two momentous experiences: he got religion, and met the woman who would become his wife. He and Alison are devoted to the idea of staying in God's good graces, so ... See full summary »
This film tells a bitter tale of a dysfunctional family. Joshua, a cold-blooded professional killer, returns to his Brighton Beach boyhood home for a "job." He knows it will be difficult to return to the Russian-immigrant community of his youth--in his eyes, we see anticipation of the inevitable emotional pain and psychic turmoil that seeing his forsaken family and estranged companions will bring him. To do his job, and try to maintain some semblence of sanity, he has had to wall off his humanity from even himself. Seeing his kid brother, who adores him, talking with his dying mother, who still loves him, and yes, arguing with his abusive father, begins to wreak havoc with his personal defenses. As his steely demeanor begins to dissolve, we are shown the soul of a hit-man crumbling away, piece by piece. Finally, all that he now allows himself to admit that he loves is agonizingly torn away from him and he is left with the ultimate punishment for his transgressions. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
A superior drama, and a stunning debut for director James Gray.
This is without a doubt the best debut by a filmmaker in the last decade. James Gray has directed with a sure hand, exerting amazing control over a wide variety of performers and flawlessly maintaining a haunting and menacing mood in his tale of crime and punishment among Russian immigrants in Brooklyn. Vanessa Redgrave is superb, as usual, and Maxmillian Schell has been kept from the unrestrained emotionalism to which he is prone (see JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG), so that he gives one of his very best performances in years. As for Edward Furlong and Tim Roth, both of whom can be very good or very bad, lets just say they haven't been this good before or since. Gray's command over such aspects of the film as pacing and visual style is impressive. The whole thing builds to a stunning climax.
17 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?