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  • Three Days of the Condor

    Three Days of the Condor

    ★★★

    A spy (mis)adventure, originally called Six Days of the Condor, featuring a typical rather-wasted de luxe cast. Its plot is a crude Kafkaesque labyrinth of greedy motives. The acting (Faye Dunaway in particular) is restrained; Robert Redford, the CIA agent who just reads books, stars almost like an urban Jeremiah Johnson --minus the beard.

    Bergmanian actor Max von Sydow, in a wonderfully upstaging but considerably concise supporting part, actually gets to reveal the nastily intriguing nature of the state of…

  • Somebody Up There Likes Me

    Somebody Up There Likes Me

    ★★★★★

    Starring Paul Newman in one of his most interesting performances, Robert Wise's Somebody Up There Likes Me is a haunting piece of cinema.

    Newman wasn't the first choice for the career-making part of the rash and real-life champion Rocky Graziano. It's just impossible to think of James Dean as a more suitable actor, though. Come to think of it, perhaps not even Brando himself had pulled it off better than Newman, who made Somebody Up There Likes Me in Brando's…

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  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight

    ★★★★★

    "The nigger in the stable has a letter from Abraham Lincoln?"

    And that is just but one quote. This is Tarantino's greatest screenplay since Pulp Fiction (1994). Every word from it is pure gold. I could picture in my mind the ominous snowy scenery suddenly getting blood-stained by reading this literary masterwork alone. Then even I could put Tim Roth or Michael Madsen in roles other than the ones they do, since I couldn't get enough of them --one of…

  • L.A. Confidential

    L.A. Confidential

    ★★★★★

    A bloody mess due to police corruption in 1950s' Los Angeles is handled expertly by director Curtis Hanson: both the ideal and the immoral, the gritty side and the Hollywood lights of lore unite to create a compelling picture that is neo-noir at its tightly exhuberant best.

    Based on James Ellroy's novel, it tells a grand epic but never loses its focus on the psychological motivations of its deeply faulty antiheroes, brilliantly played by Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and Kevin…