Collateral ★★★★½

The film is sometimes exciting, often suspenseful, and always energetic and thoroughly compelling. Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise are brilliant as the two multilayered characters at the center of the story, with Cruise in an unusual role as a philosophical hit man who is mostly cold and indifferent but occasionally almost sympathetic; it is an absolute joy to watch the interaction between the two actors. Also noteworthy is Javier Bardem ("The Sea Inside", "No Country for Old Men") in a small role as Felix, a dangerous crime lord (I did not realize it was Bardem until I saw the end credits). The ending is, admittedly, very effective, but it feels slightly out of place, at least in terms of tone. Featuring gorgeous and memorable cinematography, "Collateral" is one of the most visually atmospheric movies I have seen.