SPEED (Jan De Bont, 1994)

Speed, the most thrilling police actioner ever, is an extended roller coaster ride. Moreover, two interlocking subtexts of Graham Yost’s savvy script help the film to engage some interesting aspects of reality and myth, lifting the result way, way above the gutter grade of such other summertime rushes as the Die Hards, The Fugitive and […]

THE HOURS (Stephen Daldrey, 2002)

Stephen Daldrey’s immensely likeable Billy Elliot (2000) cannibalized itself beyond repair by its political silliness; there were other problems as well. The acting by Julie Walters and Jamie Bell, widely honored, of course elevated the musical-comedy-drama, and there was no dearth of passionate, heart-jumping scenes; but Daldrey’s first film left a good many of us […]

MACARIO (Roberto Gavaldón, 1960)

Despite winning a brace of best film prizes (in San Sebastian, Denmark, Santa Margarita Legure), despite being the first Mexican film to be nominated for an Oscar in the foreign-language division, despite excellent acting (the lead actor won at San Francisco), despite a crackerjack story (by B. Traven), and despite being gorgeously photographed in black […]