New Orleans has the No. 1 per capita murder rating in the nation. A decade earlier the city was dubbed the "Murder Capital of the Country." Drugs and violence controlled the streets, taking... See full summary »
Detective Jack Lucas, a harried, self-hating, Los Angeles police detective races against the clock to clear his name when he's framed for a series of killings committed by a crafty serial killer, who targets him as his latest fall guy.
Lou Diamond Phillips,
A street prostitute takes in an abused young woman on the run from her misogynist boyfriend, leading to both facing off against the prostitute's dreaded pimp and a relentless police detective out to arrest all of them.
Rae Dawn Chong,
Lou Diamond Phillips
Jeff Powers is the newest member of a very elite and very secret LAPD division. Their mission is to target important criminals and to get them to stop. Police brutality is not a known term ... See full summary »
Mark L. Lester
Lou Diamond Phillips,
A lively young woman grappling with a very tough situation travels to Sequoia National Park with the intention of ending her life, but her plans are interrupted by her colorful family and an unexpected romance.
Joey Lauren Adams
A young married couple who are pregnant with their first child moves into their turn-of-the-century home where they discover that a great evil has resided there for nearly a century, ... See full summary »
Ellen Albertini Dow,
In the era of instant gratification, high action car chases, and predictable plot outcomes, it's nice to see a film that exemplifies the definition of film noir. This is what El Cortez can provide for audiences, a smart, dynamic, and unique film noir. Directed by Stephen Purvis, written by Chris Haddock, and lead by Lou Diamond Phillips in an outstanding cast, El Cortez, features all of those things that movie goers love to see. It has mystery, romance, suspense, humor and violence, it's a film that both genders will enjoy.
The film takes place in a local hotel in Reno, Nevada, and it revolves around it's autistic care taker, Manny DeSilva (Phillips), and his mysterious hotel guests. Although most of the actors, besides Lou Diamond Phillips, are unknown, they all deliver spectacular performances. The protagonist Manny, played exceedingly by Lou Diamond Phillips, is a complex middle-aged autistic man, who has a violent past, and is surrounded by people who seek to exploit him for his disability. El Cortez revolutionizes the way that autistic characters should be portrayed. Manny is strong, intelligent, complex, but also very vulnerable. As he tries to make a better future for himself, Manny's violent past catches up with him, and he's thrown into a world of deception, love, and betrayal. Lou Diamond Phillip's performance is not the typical way autistic characters have been represented in previous films, and Manny's character illustrates the complexity and dynamics of autistic people.
"Come to a place where secret's lie," is the tagline of the film, and it illustrates the mystery and complexity of this film noir. El Cortez is full of twists and suspense, however, in an age of constant plot twists (seen in most M. Night Shyamalan's films), "twists" have now become the norm. It seems that ever movie has to have an unsuspecting plot twist, including El Cortez. However, I feel that the plot twist of this film does not flow well, and will not make sense to most audiences. This is the only aspect of the film that I disliked. The rest of the film went against the typical Hollywood norms, but at the end, it succumbed to the typical Hollywood explosions, and a plot twist that's unpredictable, but out of place as well. Overall, I would recommend this film, due to it's humor, mystery, suspense, and charm, despite its typical ending. 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
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