Mini 10 Spot: The 5 Best Crime Movies You Haven't Seen!
We've had some pretty impressive crime dramas come out of Hollywood in the past few years including THE TOWN, PUBLIC ENEMIES, ZODIAC, AMERICAN GANGSTER, KISS KISS BANG BANG and COP OUT. OK not COP OUT, that was pretty much terrible. But while you may have seen all these movies, I've dug deep in the archives to help find you five crime movies that you may not have seen yet.
We at JoBlo.com have teamed with the fine people at Crackle, where you can watch movies and TV shows online for free, to find five of the best crime movies for your enjoyment. Each of these movies is available in Crackle's streaming library, which means you don't have to rent or buy any discs here. Just click the link, press play and you'll be following along at home!
We've got a pretty diverse list here with stars like Marlon Brando, NFL running back Jim Brown, Charles Bronson and Chow Yun-Fat. I tried to select five films that all fit within the crime genre but are very much their own movie. They're all movies that were mostly overlooked or underappreciated but deserve your attention nonetheless.
When the man comes up with mob violence it is time to Gunn him down! BLACK GUNN is classic mid-70s blaxploitation starring former NFL running back Jim Brown as the cooler-than-cool Gunn (just one name, so you know how bad he is). His less-than-cool bro gets mixed up with some Black Panther wanna-bes who run into trouble with the mob, headed up by an out-of-his-element Martin Landau. As you might expect, little bro gets snuffed out and Gunn is the only one who can exact revenge and catch the killers. There are many of the genre cliches here like pimps, drug addicts, mobsters and the like but it all comes together in a way that is enjoyable in both an ironic and legitimate way.
Before THE ROCK launched Nicolas Cage into an era of offbeat action hero characters, he was known mostly for his just plain old offbeat characters. 1993's RED ROCK WEST is one of the last of Cage's hapless goofballs, the kind of character that made him famous in the first place. He's not quite as over-the-top as, say, VAMPIRE'S KISS but still fills the role - a drifter who gets mixed up in plot to kill a bar owner's unfaithful wife - with enough Cage-isms to make this worth your while. And any time you get to see Cage go head-to-head with Dennis Hopper, who plays the hitman Cage is mistaken for, you know you're in for a good time. RED ROCK is a neo-noir classic highlighted what was once a promising career for director John Dahl, who went on to direct the equally as entertaining LAST SEDUCTION and ROUNDERS but would eventually get stuck with crap like JOY RIDE and YOU KILL ME.
No one will mistake STONE KILLER for one of Chuck Bronson's best affairs (that would probably be reserved for one of his other collaborations with director Michael Winner like DEATH WISH or THE MECHANIC) but it's definitely one of his most underappreciated. Bronson is oddly miscast as an Italian cop but he brings his trademark grizzled and grumbly demeanor to the role. STONE KILLER borrows heavily from DIRTY HARRY but features a memorable car chase, Bronson acting bad-ass, some wonderful location work (the film was shot in both LA and NYC) and a truly inspired performance from Paul Koslo who plays a nutjob bisexual assassin. It includes classic cop drama cliches (Bronson hands over his gun and his badge to the chief before the opening credits even roll!) but definitely worth a watch. If for no other reason than to see pre-"Three's Company" Norman Fell and John Ritter both playing cops.
This is not the Charlie Sheen/Kristy Swanson film from the 90s (though if you're drunk, that's worth a watch as well), but one with a much more impressive cast. Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Duvall, Angie Dickinson and Robert Redford team up for this 1966 Texan epic. THE CHASE was a dud when it was released but in retrospect there's a lot to enjoy. In fact, many of the reasons to enjoy the film are probably what critics and audiences in the mid-60s found to be a turn off. I can certainly see why some thought THE CHASE, with all its convoluted storylines and cliched characters, might be a failure, but the film is a big failure like Hollywood doesn't make anymore. Brando had a reputation for phoning in the occasional role but he's certainly not guilty here, digging his heels into Sheriff Colder, the only moral man in an immoral town. Director Arthur Penn was famously unhappy with the film but looking back on it now, there's a lot to enjoy.
This 1992 Hong Kong import features some of Chow Yun-Fat's best work this side of THE KILLER, even if the story is just the same old, same old. Here Yun-Fat stars as Jeff (yes, Jeff), a biker who gets mixed up in a heist gone bad, is betrayed by his friends, left for dead and then back for revenge (KILL BILL anyone?). Like many of director Ringo Lam's films, the action here is brutal (it takes only about two minutes before gangster Judge stabs a woman and slowly twists the knife in her heart) and whiz-bang fast. But that's what you came here for right? Despite many of the Hong Kong flourishes, this is, at many times, a very American stylized film, with a training montage in the middle that looks like it was out of a Stallone movie. The English dub is suspect but far improved over the original subtitles on the DVD. This was Chow Yun-Fat's last role before leaving to try and make a career in Hollywood (that never stuck, BTW) and watching this makes you wish he had stayed.