52 posts categorized "Crime Drama"

February 12, 2022

LANSKY

ColeSmithey.comHarvey Keitel brings "the Mob's accountant" to impressive life in this engaging telling of Meyer Lansky's sordid career.

American and Israeli governments prove to be the dirtiest mob of the bunch.

Shocker.

The difference is that Israel got a lot of Lansky's cash — he was mistakenly generous to his home country.

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America took a different, less successful tact, to rob Lansky. 

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Locating Meyer's hidden cash stash of [ostensibly] 300 million dollars was beyond U.S. spooks' reach.

Ta da.

4 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

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January 10, 2021

QUEEN & SLIM

Queen_and_slimRoll the dice. Dig the groovy vibe of this stunning independent gem. Think Bonnie and Clyde, but with a lot more style, sex, attitude, and daringness. Surprises just keep coming through the lives of American characters so lived in, you’ll swear you’re part of the adventure.

Director Melina Matsoukas (a two-time Grammy winner) throws down like a motherfucker in bringing scriptwriter Lena Waithe’s brilliant screenplay to dynamic life. Casting plays a significant part in this film’s overwhelming success as an example of truly inspired Cinema. Marvel has nothing on Melina Matsoukas.

Queen&slim

Daniel Kaluuya (Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”) is remarkably charismatic as Slim, a regular guy who gets caught in a deadly confrontation with an Ohio police officer. Jodie Turner-Smith is off the charts as Queen, an attorney sticking to Slim like glue after surviving the couple’s roadside encounter with a racist cop. Kaluuya and Turner-Smith enjoy an undeniable sexual onscreen chemistry that fires suspenseful twists and turns for our couple on the run. You'll be on the edge of your seat. And yes, "Queen & Slim" rates as great pick for a date movie if you're in the mood to get some. 

Queen-and-slim-feature-image

“Queen & Slim” embodies America's laundry list of racial social injustice as part of the overall fabric of the story at its heart, a love story. I promise you’ll love this movie. Spoiler alert, the window jumping scene will put your heart in your throat. Wow.   

Queen&slimRated R. 132 mins. 

Five Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

April 24, 2018

POLICE BEAT

Police BeatA poetic character study etched in its primrose Portland, Seattle locations, “Police Beat” is a clear-eyed dissection of the immigrant experience in pre-smartphone America. Senegalese non-actor (and former Junior World Cup Soccer Team star) Pape Side Niang plays Z, a newly hired bicycle cop attempting to create a romantic life with an American white girl more interested in playing head-games than spending time with him.

Barely into his 20s Z is a Muslim struggling with Western culture from the ground up. His motivations are unfettered. He saw an ad in the newspaper, passed the test, and became a police officer.  

Screen Shot 2022-01-11 at 9.41.56 PM

Co-writer/director Robinson Devor (“Zoo”) frames the weeklong narrative in police procedural terms based on actual case files. As such, every day-to-day social encounter rings with an element of banal, unpredictable truth beneath Z’s running inner monologue that narrates the movie. Our protagonist deals with frequently stressful tasks by concentrating on things in his personal life. The device works well in keeping the audience engaged. Every scene has multiple layers of emotional and physical suspense inherently built in.   

Pape Side Niang

Z wants to be promoted to a patrol car. In the meantime he’s stuck patrolling downtown Portland on a mountain bike. His sometime partner (Eric Breedlove) is a heroin-addicted white cop whose girlfriend is a prostitute.

Pape Side Niang’s character is the same person in or out of uniform. He brings his own method of common sense in dealing deal with the normal, confused, irate, or outright insane (largely white) locals he comes into contact with. His exotic West African accent expedites rather than hinders.  

Police Beat

“Police Beat” (2003) is far from a perfect film, but its originality unites with its quietly charismatic lead actor and keen compositions to generate a haunting human experience brimming with truthful social commentary.

Sadly, Pape Side Niang passed away at the age of 25 with “Police Beat” as his only film.

Not Rated. 80 mins. 

4 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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