Following the feedback and success of our 30 Films to See Before Your 30 feature, we decided to begin a new 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 new movies coming out in the same week, however, they will not count as one of the five. Although there isn’t a new release worth mentioning this week, Forrest Gump will be hitting select IMAX screens for a limited time only beginning this Friday, September 5.
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.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
A crime drama directed by Mike Newell and starring Al Pacino and Johnny Depp, the film is based on the true story of Joseph D. Pistone, an FBI undercover agent who infiltrated the Bonanno crime family in New York City during the 1970s, under the alias Donnie Brasco (Depp), aka “The Jewel Man.” Brasco maneuvers his way into the confidence of an aging hit-man, Lefty Ruggiero (Pacino), who vouches for him. As Donnie moves deeper into the Mafia, he realizes that not only is he crossing the line between federal agent and criminal, but also leading his friend Lefty to an almost certain death.
Starring Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, the film is based on the story of Jing Ke’s assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC. The nameless prefect of a small jurisdiction arrives at the Qin state’s capital city to meet the king of Qin, who has survived an attempt on his life by the assassins Long Sky, Flying Snow, and Broken Sword. Because of the assassination attempt, no visitors are to approach the king within 100 paces. Nameless claims that he has slain the three assassins and displays their weapons before the king, who allows the former to sit closer to him and tell him his story.
Jackie Brown (1997)
A crime drama written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, Jackie Brown is an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel Rum Punch, the first adaptation from Tarantino, and stars Pam Grier in the title role. The film’s supporting cast includes Robert Forster, Robert De Niro, Samuel L. Jackson, Bridget Fonda and Michael Keaton. It was Tarantino’s third film following his successes with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Jackie Brown is a flight attendant for a small Mexican airline, the latest step down for her career. To make ends meet, she smuggles money from Mexico into the United States for Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), a black-market gunrunner living in the Los Angeles area under the A.T.F.’s close watch, and quickly becomes a key figure in a plot between the police and an arms dealer.
A neo-noir, mystery-psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan, the film stars Guy Pearce as Leonard Shelby, a man suffering from short-term memory loss who uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife. Memento is presented as two different sequences of scenes: a series in black-and-white that is shown chronologically, and a series of color sequences shown in reverse order. The two sequences “meet” at the end of the film, producing one common story.
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker and directed by David Fincher, the film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin Spacey in supporting roles. The newly transferred David Mills (Pitt) and the soon-to-retire William Somerset (Freeman) are homicide detectives who become deeply involved in the case of a sadistic serial killer (Spacey) whose meticulously planned murders correspond to the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust and envy.