Following the feedback and success of our 30 Films to See Before Your 30 feature, we decided to release our latest series: 5 Movies to Watch This Week. As the title suggests, this will be where I personally recommend five movies to watch each week. I will use the introduction of these posts to also mention movies coming out in the same week, however, they will not count as one of the five. For example, The November Man starring Pierce Brosnan hits theaters this Wednesday, August 27.
I’m going to try and shy away from the more obvious/popular films in an effort to introduce new films to each reader, however, there might be times when it makes sense to mention a fairly popular movie. For each movie on the list, I will include the film title along with the year it was released, some information about the film, and the IMDB rating based on a scale of 1-10 (unless I feel otherwise, but for the most part the ratings tend to be spot on).
Feel free to leave any film recommendations in the comments below, as I’m always searching for great movies.
Enter the Void (2009)
A psychedelic melodrama set in the neon-lit nightclub environments of Tokyo, the film follows Oscar, a young American drug dealer who gets shot by the police, but continues to watch succeeding events during an out-of-body experience. The film is shot from a first-person viewpoint, which often floats above the city streets, and occasionally features Oscar staring over his own shoulder as he recalls moments from his past.
Note: The film makes heavy use of imagery inspired by experimental cinema and psychedelic drug experiences.
The film was written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer. De Niro plays Neil McCauley, a professional thief who leads a group of bank robbers, while Pacino plays Lt. Vincent Hanna, a veteran L.A.P.D. robbery-homicide detective tracking down McCauley’s crew. The central conflict is based on the experiences of former Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson and his pursuit in the 1960s of a criminal named McCauley, after whom De Niro’s character is named. The group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.
Sexy Beast (2000)
A British crime film and the directorial debut of Jonathan Glazer, Sexy Beast stars Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane. Ex-con and expert safe-cracker Gary “Gal” Dove (Winstone) has served his time behind bars and retired to a Spanish villa with his ex–porn star wife. Their idyllic life is shattered by the arrival of an old criminal associate, sociopath Don Logan (Kingsley), who is intent on enlisting Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.
A crime comedy written and directed by Guy Ritchie, the film is set in the London criminal underworld and contains two intertwined plots: one dealing with the search for a stolen diamond, the other with a small-time boxing promoter (Jason Statham) who finds himself under the thumb of a ruthless gangster (Alan Ford). The film features an assortment of characters, including Irish Traveller Mickey O’Neil (Brad Pitt), arms-dealer Boris “the Blade” Yurinov (Rade Šerbedžija), professional thief and gambling addict Franky “Four-Fingers” (Benicio del Toro), American gangster-jeweler “Cousin Avi” (Dennis Farina), and bounty hunter Bullet-Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones). The film shares themes, ideas and motifs with Ritchie’s first film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Timecrimes is a low-budget thriller that’s well-crafted and loaded with dark humor and bizarre twists. The film follows Hector, an ordinary guy who is spending a few days in the countryside with his girlfriend. While playing with his binoculars, Hector spies a woman taking her clothes off at a nearby house and decides to take a stroll and give her a closer look. When he arrives at the house, the woman is lying in the grass and appears to either be dead or passed out. As Hector examines her, he’s attacked by a strange man and flees on foot. Hector seeks refuge in a building that turns out to be a research facility owned by a mysterious scientist, who gives him a place to hide. However, Hector realizes it was actually a time-travel machine when he emerges a few minutes later and looks out the window to see himself standing over the unconscious woman in the distance.