The Color of Money ★★★★

One of those genre films that Scorsese will insist on making more interesting than it deserves to be, not least by splitting it into three genres: sports movie, road movie and existential crisis movie. There's plenty of both director and star in Fast Eddie Felson, the former precocious talent whose best days appear to be behind him, and more than a smattering of Tom Cruise in Vincent Lauria, the irritating and irritatingly good punk kid set to take on the world. The middle act drags a little as Vince takes forever to stop being thicker than his own hair, but you're never far from another onslaught of trick shots in the thrillingly-staged pool games. Nobody shoots pool like Marty: reminiscent of Raging Bull's fights, these ball-busting interludes are so much fun they threaten to overwhelm the quiet machinations going on behind Paul Newman's massive shades. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio rounds out the weird family unit with a decent role that should have gone further, but in the games Scorsese plays, women rarely get a decent break.