The casting left much to be desired also. I believe Ryan Gosling is a terrific actor, but his performance in this film was poor. He came across as just a young, arrogant POS lawyer. His gum-chewing, "cooler-than-the-other-side-of-the-pillow" act was cringe-inducing. He was supposedly this young, hotshot lawyer, yet his actions were dumber than a fence post. The scene in the Judge's chambers with the Judge and Anthony Hopkins, after he was attacked in the courtroom by the Detective, showed a somewhat befuddled lawyer who had no idea what was going on. Really??? Thought you were the young high-powered hotshot. He threatens Hopkins with "Don't make me come across this table". Really??? Right after an assault in the courtroom, this is all he can think of to say? In front of the Judge? Really??? I could be wrong, but do lawyers make threats that they can't actually follow through on, if need be? "Don't make me come across this table" sounds like a threat in a barroom between 2 construction workers. I doubt if any judge would permit something like that in chambers between 2 opposing counsel, and a young, hotshot should have known that was inappropriate.
The whole "find the gun" charade was just tiresome. The Detective told him that they had gone through the house 3 times...these are knowledgeable, experienced police and forensics people. There IS NO GUN IN THE HOUSE! Have as many temper tantrums as you like...Treating the detective and his people like mis-behaving children will not help, and shows you are no hotshot. It's a law...you can't fit a square peg into a round hole, but you're going to force this Detective's nose into the dirt until he shits a gun? Nice hotshot lawyering there, slick.
There was a decent idea for a movie here, but this was incredibly mis-handled, and Ryan Gosling completely misplayed the lawyer.
I give it a 3 because of Anthony Hopkins performance. He was a completely unlikable, slimy snake, and he seemed to relish the role.
Otherwise, this was just poorly written, and poorly made. The casting of Gosling was a mistake.
Just more mindless, liberal, millennial mush-brained BS
The scenery and Redford's acting were first rate, and everyone else did a decent job, but overall I found it to be disappointing.
Some on this site have complained about Brad Pitt's Irish accent, however I thought Pitt was easily the best part of this film. He succeeded in creating a troubled, but somewhat sympathetic character. It is his performance that I even gave this film a 4. Treat Williams was also very good as the mean, black-hearted weapons contact for Pitt's character in New York.
I had enormous problems with Harrison Ford's efforts in this movie, if "efforts" is the right word. When Ford first burst on to the scene many years ago, he looked like a solid, creative acting talent. However, in recent years, he has taken on this goody-goody, moralistic, cutesy-pie, boy scout character style which he seems to hide behind, and it's just ridiculous, and reflects really lazy acting (see: "Air Force One" and "Patriot Games", to name two). It is truly irritating and disappointing, and brought this movie way down in my view.
I had trouble swallowing the premise, but Ford's performance just made this cringe-inducing to me.
John Wayne's Rock Torrey is an extremely capable naval commander, and a smart, decent human being who attracts quite a crew around him. The character is someone you like and admire. Everyone seems to feel that Rock will get them through whatever dangers lay ahead.
Unfortunately, Commander Eddington, played by Kirk Douglas, cannot control the serious sexual demons roiling around inside of him. However, as his last act on earth, he takes an unauthorized plane trip to do a little reconnaissance on the Japanese fleet before he is finally shot down. This was really a subtly nuanced character. He is, at once, an effective second in command to Rock; he is also a seriously disturbed individual. It is difficult to resolve the incredible bravery with the cowardly rape. Well done by Douglas.
Patricia Neal, as a tough as nails nurse, fits in very nicely with Rock Torrey. You root for these two to find a life together.
Brandon De Wilde, as a young Naval Ensign, and Rock Torrey's estranged son, is at first resentful of his absentee father, but steps up for his father when he comes to understand the character his father possesses.
This is a very entertaining movie. It keeps you in your seat a little like a soap opera, but John Wayne just dominates this movie. His is a powerful character, and his presence is the key that all the other characters revolve around.
Portrays the contrasts between p*ss-and-vinegar young soldiers, and the old-hand leadership of Sergeant Hazard and the Sergeant Major.
The death of Jackie Willow is stunning, and the scenes afterward are sensitively done, and very sad. There is much to consider in the prices we all pay for being so ready to get into combat. Sergeant Hazard understands the costs, and wants to get back into the action, if only to ensure no more young men enthusiastically stumble into death.
Very well done, and very well acted.
Hud is exceedingly charming, capable and charismatic, but there is emotional damage hidden within, and he is also cruel and unforgiving, and wants to shun and hurt anyone who gets too close. Anybody who gets too close to Hud does so on Hud's terms. His terms are to take whatever he wants. He has no inclination to understand what anyone may want or need from him. He pursues his own wants and needs, at whatever expense.
Brandon De Wilde is Hud's young nephew, Lon. Lon admires Hud, and aspires to live the rugged life that Hud himself lives. It is through their relationship that Lon begins to see the cruelty and thoughtlessness behind Hud's charm. Most of the movie wedges young Lon between his brash, virile Uncle Hud, and his moral, upstanding Grandfather (Hud's father). Lon is also the son of Hud's dead brother; a death that still is a source of unspoken pain between Hud and his father.
The other interesting character is that of Alma, played by Patricia Neal. She is the somewhat homely, but undeniably sexy housekeeper for the house full of men. She is a woman who has lived a somewhat hard life, and seen her share of hurt. She keeps Hud at arms length, although certainly aware of his virility and sex appeal. She, too, is treated to ugly examples of this attractive, emotionally damaged man.
Emotionally stunning movie; many remarkable segments, including the riveting cattle slaughter scenes.
Easily an Oscar-worthy performance by Newman. One of the more remarkable portrayals of his career.
I was really taken with the opening montage, portrayed with a Johnny Cash song, which I'm guessing is called "When the man comes around". Very good movie opening; well done, and provides a visual and musical taste of the ugliness to come.
The movie provides a little black humor in the middle, as the occupants of the mall indulge in silly fantasies to temporarily escape the terrifying situation they are in (Sex, rooftop golf, dress-up, etc.), all done to a tune that seems to be called "Get down with the sickness". There is also a segment of "Zombie-Celebrity-look-a-like" shooting gallery that is humorous.
Ving Rhames, Jake Weber and Mekhi Phifer are excellent actors who lend name recognition, and strong screen presence to this remake. The other actors all do a fine job rounding out the characters trapped in the mall.
Not overly gory, but an enjoyable, and well done, horror movie.
Stick around for the end credits, for a montage hinting at the fate of our heroes.
The story of prideful men, living a hard life in the latter days of the American frontier. These are men with regretful episodes in their past, but they believe in moral good, trust among men, and living life with dignity. They are willing to stand up when these things are breeched, and take men to task for trespassing.
Robert Duvall has probably never been better as Boss Spearman, a trail boss who has learned to live life the hard way. One of the best lines in the movie is delivered by Abraham Benrubi (Mose) about Robert Duvall's character. After a storm, Boss goes out looking for the crew's horses. After a time, Boss comes riding back into camp with all the horses rounded up. Mose looks on admiringly, and says "Ol' Boss...he sure can cowboy, can't he?".
Kevin Costner is excellent in his role as Charley Waite, a man still haunted by a somewhat murderous past. It is Boss's moral courage, coupled with Charley's underlying explosive violence, that keeps you spellbound as the two confront the brutal town bosses and their henchmen.
Annette Bening, James Russo and Michael Gambon are excellent in their roles, and makes this a very entertaining western.
A fine movie; well-acted and well-made.
No matter how much time goes by, or how dated this film may look, it still resonates the utter incomprehensibility of criminal acts such as this.
This really traces multiple tragedies: The tragedy, brutality and senselessness of the murder of the Clutter family, a decent farm family in small-town Holcomb, Kansas; and the wasted, brutal and sad lives of Hickok and Smith.
An interesting point is made in the film: that neither of these two immature, scared, petty criminals would have ever contemplated going through with something like this alone. But, together, they created a dangerous, murderous collective personality; one that fed the needs and pathology of each of them. They push each other along a road of "proving" something to each other. That they were man enough to do it, to carry it out; neither wants to be seen as too cowardly to complete their big "score"; an unfortunate and dangerous residue of the desolate lives they led. These were two grown-up children, who live in a criminal's world of not backing down from dares; who constantly need to prove manhood and toughness. in this instance, these needs carried right through to the murder of the Clutters.
The film contains a somewhat sentimentalized look at the Clutter family, but the point is made. These were respected, law-abiding, small-town people, who didn't deserve this terrifying fate. The movie also gives us a sense of the young lives of Hickok and Smith. Perry Smith, whose early life was filled with security and love, but watched in horror as alcohol took his family down a tragic path. Hickok, poor and left pretty much to his own devices, not able to see how he fit in, using his intelligence and charm to con everyone he came into contact with.
An interesting, and maybe the first, look at capital punishment, and what ends we hope to achieve. Is this nothing more than revenge killing for a murder that rocked a nation at a time when we had not yet had to fully face that there might be such predators among us, or does putting these guys at the end of a rope truly provide a deterent to the childish and brutal posturing of men like these? Is it possible to deter men who live lives of deceit, operating under the radar, believing they fool everyone they come into contact with? To be deterred, you must believe it's possible you will be caught. Is it possible to deter these men who believe they are too clever to be caught?; who have committed hundreds of petty crimes, and got away with them? This was supposed to be a "cinch", "no witnesses".
When caught, Hickok finds he can't charm and con the agents the way he had department store clerks. Smith, who believes he deserves such a fate anyway, who seemed to be the only one who truly grasped the gravity of what they had done, willingly tells the story when he learns that Hickok has cowardly caved in. Hickok blinked first. A silly game of chicken between two immature, emotionally damaged, dangerous men.
Fascinating psychological thriller, telling a story of a horrendous crime in this nation's history. Stunning portrayals by Robert Blake and Scott Wilson. These roles made their careers.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS I like Mark Wahlberg's character. He plays Charlie, the tough, but easygoing leader of a gang of thieves. He is the heir apparent, and takes over leadership of the crew from retiring thief legend and father figure, played by Donald Sutherland. The crew pulls off a successful "Italian Job", a gold heist, but are ripped off by a slimy crewmember, played by Ed Norton. During the rip-off, Sutherland is killed.
The majority of the movie takes place a year later, as the crew forms once again to take revenge, and get the gold back.
The director keeps the action and the plot moving along pretty well, and the cast are likable, and seem to be having a good time.
Not an award winner, and there might be plot holes, but it is an enjoyable, decently made movie.
However, the "twist" is revealed much too early, and made Ivy's journey through the woods nearly meaningless. Why not wait to reveal what Ivy's father told her until later in the movie? It would have made the journey much more terrifying. It just didn't make any sense to me, and made the rest of the movie rather anticlimactic.
I felt Joaquin Phoenix was a major disappointment. I get that he was the strong, silent young stud of the village, but his acting was nearly comatose. William Hurt was exceptional, as was Bryce Dallas Howard and Adrien Brody.
Started out very well, and could have been a very good atmospheric thriller, but just lost it's way and fizzled out.
Any white male suspects get talked down to, and treated with humiliation at every opportunity, to convince us of...what, exactly? Any character who hints at white, lower-class criminality is treated with utter contempt, unless the character is a soft-spoken white female, who is a victim of a lower-class, white male petty criminal; thus the violins start, and she then becomes the "victim", regardless of any choices she herself made which put her in this position. It's someone else's fault. Meanwhile, the drug-gang, car-jacking, street-thug world is strangely absent, or treated with kid gloves. Is this supposed to show us how "diverse" and "not racist" we fancy ourselves to be? This show, along with CSI: Miami, are not network dramas made to entertain. These are shows produced and written with someone's political and social agenda in mind. This is not the business of these television dramas. I find myself cringing at some of the ridiculous dialogue; the moral posturing, cheesy one-liners, mock-hip slang and insulting behavior of the characters. You end up having to question the motivations of the characters: did you pursue this line of work to genuinely help people and society, or to take advantage of the power and authority your position gives you over people you clearly see as beneath you? There isn't anything remotely likable about these characters, nor is there anything interesting about the ridiculous coincidences and bent and twisted science which allows these characters to neatly wrap cases up. I don't believe for a second this is even a decent, realistic look at crime scene procedure. There seems to be an underlying attempt to socially "educate" us.
Probably the thing that brought the movie down a bit for me was utilizing Cole Hauser as a leading man. I hate to say that because I like a lot of the things he's been in ("Pitch Black", "Tears of the Sun"). He has a look of physicality and menace about him, and his eyes can pierce holes in you. He can definitely command a screen in the right situation (His brief role on ER as Samantha's ex, trying to weasel back into her life, was memorable). But he isn't the most expressive or charismatic guy, and he seemed out of place in a position of carrying a movie as a lead. He definitely does a decent job, but I didn't always get a sense of his claustrophobic rage at what was happening to his life and his family. I didn't quite get where he was going with this. Perhaps it would have been better if a scene had been staged where he deals with the last straw, and gets those eyes burning. That may well have told us we were going for a fun ride. Due to an incredible coincidence, he apparently "accidently" kills the Kevin Gage character, or was it coincidental or accidental? It was a little hard to tell with his reaction. I think I might rather have seen him finally at the end of his rope, and go after these guys methodically and brutally. These psychos would have deserved it.
I think Cole Hauser is a good actor, for what he is, but he's probably best in a character or secondary role.
Not a bad movie, although a little disjointed. Tom Sizemore's character is very disturbing, and Dennis Farina is good as a Detective, methodically piecing together what's going on.
The ending is silly, and humorless.
There are amusing bits in this, though: (Ron, working on his "guns", and massive erection sequence; the competing anchor teams "street fight"; Ron's drunken self-pity phase).
However, other scenes and aspects of this don't seem to be played out as well as they could have been. It's ironic: Fred Willard, who soberly plays the station manager in this, was probably born to play a character like this.
Will Ferrell is generally good, but the humor is odd and offbeat, and doesn't seem to hit all the marks it could have.
A movie about desperate, scrambling, down-on-their-luck real estate salesmen - why should we care about this? Well, we do care about it, as we are drawn into this seedy world by characters that you come to care about.
The dialogue is fantastic, and delivered by actors absolutely on top of their game. Jack Lemmon's sad, pathetic Shelly Levine character is stop-you-in-your-tracks good. A legendary salesman, now broke, insecure and still clinging to outdated sales techniques that used to work for him; powerless to help a daughter in need of extensive medical care; you can feel the sad, defeated rage from Lemmon as he desperately scrambles to convince his out-of-his-element boss (Kevin Spacey) how important he used to be, and how relevant he still is. These are fascinating and emotional scenes.
The movie moves along well, as these guys scheme and schmooze their way through whatever life puts in front of them. Utter and classic B.S. artists who know they have spent their lives lying and rationalizing themselves, but resigned to not knowing any other way.
The only purely honest, human conversations these guys have is with each other, complaining about each other and the conditions that they must work in. Everything else is "closing".
-POSSIBLE SPOILERS- The trip back to their coney island home is thrilling as they must run a gauntlet of menacing, bizarre street gangs. Each one presents a unique challenge for this resourceful bunch. The largest, and most deadly gang in the city, the Riffs, are kept out of things, hovering throughout the movie as a dreaded threat, until the end, when they inexplicably come to the Warriors' aid. This seems to come from respect; that the Warriors were able to make it back home. The Riffs weren't about to annihilate a gang that had made it through an impossible journey. Not to mention that they weren't guilty of a shooting they had been set up for.
The movie features a fantastic soundtrack, and a thrilling tone as the gang barely escapes various threats from rival gangs throughout the city. The cast is rather unremarkable, but very effective. James Remar is probably the best known actor among them, and he is a scene stealer as the emotional, angry, ready-to-rock-and-roll Ajax. Michael Beck is not really much of an actor, but he does a good job with the stoic leader, Swan.
Treat Williams was tremendous in this, although I must indicate my one complaint with the movie. That was in Williams' occasional overacting. The pain and emotion mostly was silently played out by Williams. The wrenching, emotional toll was plain to see and sense, even on a tough cop's stoic face. However, Williams occasionally went emotionally berserk, ostensibly to indicate the depth of his turmoil. This is a minor complaint, though. Actually his performance in this was astonishing.
There is a scene in the movie where Danny goes out in the night to help a junkie informant. The junkie is sick and desperate. He has nowhere else to turn except his cop handler, Danny. Danny finds himself in the position of having to get his informant his fix to keep him from getting violently sick. Danny finds himself running around in the rain and mud, ripping off another sick junkie of his stash. This junkie is desperate, too, and his cries dig deep into Danny as he rips him off. Later, when he takes the junkie home, his wife/girlfriend gets the drugs, disappears into the bathroom and takes them. When the junkie breaks into the bathroom, she tells him that the drugs were junk, and she flushed them down the toilet. The junkie is back where he started, and he begins beating her. Danny stands there, soaking wet and muddy, stunned by what is happening, and what he is out there doing. This simple scene is played out very well, and Treat Williams stands there with the revulsion and heartbreak played out on his face. This is not what he is supposed to be doing; this is not what he became a cop for.
A well-directed, well-acted movie.
However, I do find that I enjoy watching this from time to time. I seem to enjoy just about anything with Wesley Snipes. I believe he is very underrated. His easygoing, but dedicated cop in this works for me. He works hard, is smart, and seems to be someone you can rely on. He cares deeply for the "brother" who grew up in his house, but he is frustrated in constantly having to bail him out of trouble.
I suppose Woody Harrelson's character is probably the worst thing about this for me. His character is seriously annoying, and it would be hard to believe him surviving as a police officer, with all his personal problems. It's okay to suspend disbelief, but a movie like this should at least have an air of plausibility.
Robert Blake's subway manager is quite a bit over-the-top, but provides a real antagonism for the buddy/brother cops, and establishes himself as the real villain for the plot.
The plan, and the execution of the robbery, (and Snipes character going along with something like this), REALLY stretches plausibility, but there is an easy camaraderie between the 2 actors, and the action is good.
It ain't all that good, but it isn't unwatchable.
I never got too close to those people, and ended up joining the service, and never looked back to what happened to them.
Matt Dillon was exceptional, and a decent job by the cast all around. Dillon captured the essence of a smart guy, who knew what a dead-end existence he lived in, but was unwilling or unable to yet break free. Brilliantly directed by Gus Van Zant. He captured this ugly life well.
The actors are all surprisingly effective, especially Robert Downey. His performance is remarkable but, unfortunately, would become a showpiece of a path he was personally very familiar with.
James Spader nearly steals the movie with his performance as "Rip', a cruel, icy, menacing drug dealer to rich, bored kids.
I admit to being stunned by the ending. I half expected some kind of happy, hopeful ending, and was emotionally effected by the sudden, tragic ending.
A movie that pulls you in; a very good job.
Rob Lowe is not bad as the creepy, highly intelligent psycho. James Spader is very good as a decent working stiff, caught up in a world that, at first, excites and energizes him, but goes horribly wrong.
However, Lowe really can only take the character so far. He reaches about as far a psychopath as he is capable. Then, the movie gets a little dull. The tension should slowly accumulate in a movie like this, as the villain reveals more and more of his pathology. Lowe never seems to go much beyond a sinister grin. Spader's passive yuppie character finally finds the rage and the courage to finally take matters into his own hands. However, it seems forced. Lowe's character has a point: You knowingly and enthusiastically took part in robberies and beatings. It isn't that easy to now claim enraged, moral high ground. What are you truly capable of if the right opportunity presented itself? Spader finally gets the message: this guy set you up, and he isn't going anywhere until he is eliminated, either through death or incarceration.
Someone else mentioned that the casting was reversed. I am reminded of James Spader's cool, creepy, menacing "Rip" character in "Less than Zero". That's an interesting point. Turn the casting around, and you may very well have an above average movie.
I don't know what it will take to remove political considerations from life-and-death struggles...How about we work at saving lives, and worry about who gets credit later? If someone becomes injured due to gang warfare, we don't deny them care or drag our feet because we don't agree with the gangster "lifestyle".
Absorbing, heartbreaking and touching. A fantastic and, obviously, loving job by the entire cast.