Sorry Leo Dicaprio, being both likable despite being an overly profane and unlikable character has been done before you and better too: Jack Nicholson is very good in Hal Ashby's 'The Last Detail', a rambling road movie that's more about the journey than the destination. There's not too much to the movie besides banter led by Nicholson, but it's a journey worth taking.
Whiplash is a film that has been drumming up a lot of buzz, so seeing it was a necessity. It is about what it takes to be great (in the movie, its drumming, but its applicable to any art). When the movie's superb finale faded to black, I was left with one big question: who the hell pushed Chazelle into the 'great' category? He is certainly a name to write down and keep an eye on in the future.
Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential is a jazzy crime drama that pays homage to film-noir that preceeded, namely Chinatown.
The performances are memorable, and each character is interesting enough to make you anticipate their next appearance. In my eye, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger were standouts as a man-beating detective and a prostitute that looks like Veronica Lake.
I'm going to keep the plot very... hush-hush. This is a film for you to discover for yourself.
Of all the character's in Martin Scorsese's first masterpiece Mean Streets, the most important is the streets of Little Italy. The streets are not mean, they are made mean by the greedy hoodlums that reside on such roads. De Niro steals the show as a debt-heavy, trigger-happy hoodlum Jonny Boy. Harvey Kietel's duty as a conflicted man between mob and religion is good too. Scorsese's use of familiar locations, color, and music work beautifully. It's a wonderful precursor to GoodFellas.
Maybe someday I will watch this and GoodFellas back-to-back. That wouldn't be bad.
EDIT: My grammar here blows. Oh well.