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Crossfire

  • Moralistic ▶ Yes please
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The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

While still making its colorful feel-good musicals and comedies, MGM opened a second wing in the late '40s and early '50s to make grittier, more realistic dramas. John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle is one of these. Though it was conceived to look like a low-budget "B" movie, it featured an "A"-list director who had just won an Oscar (for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), and an excessive running time (112 minutes) that would have disqualified it for "B" movie status. read more...
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    The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

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    • With: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore, Sam Jaffe, John McIntire, Marilyn Monroe
    • Written by: Ben Maddow and John Huston, from a novel by W.R. Burnett
    • Directed by: John Huston
    • MPAA Rating: Unrated
    • Running Time: 112 minutes
    • Release Date: 05/22/1950
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    Kill the Messenger (2014)

    Michael Cuesta's Kill the Messenger takes on dense material, and for the most part makes it feel important without feeling heavy or overstuffed. First, it provides a biographical portrait of reporter Gary Webb (Jeremy Renner), who wrote for the San Jose Mercury News and committed suicide in 2004. Second, it chronicles Webb's biggest story, published in 1996, asserting that, in the 1980s, the CIA used profits from crack cocaine sold on the streets of Los Angeles to back the Contras in the war in Nicaragua. Third, it follows Webb's downfall, not at the hands of the CIA, but at the hands of other journalists. read more...
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      Kill the Messenger (2014)

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      • With: Jeremy Renner, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosemarie DeWitt, Oliver Platt, Robert Patrick, Paz Vega, Barry Pepper, Tim Blake Nelson, Andy Garcia, Michael Sheen, Gil Bellows, Richard Schiff, Ray Liotta
      • Written by: Peter Landesman, based on a book by Gary Webb, and on a book by Nick Schou
      • Directed by: Michael Cuesta
      • MPAA Rating: R for language and drug content
      • Running Time: 112 minutes
      • Release Date: 10/09/2014
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      Pawn Sacrifice (2015)

      Director Edward Zwick is pretty much an invention of the movie business. Ever since the inception of the Oscars, studios have divided their investments between movies that will hopefully make money, and movies that will hopefully make them look good. Oftentimes a genuinely great filmmaker will make a genuinely great film that actually gets noticed, but just in case, directors like Zwick are needed. Whereas a genuinely great director makes a great film from his soul, Zwick makes films based on what other great films might look like. However, his new movie, Pawn Sacrifice, somehow feels more like a struggle than a statement, and it's arguably his best movie in a couple of decades. read more...
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        Pawn Sacrifice (2015)

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        • With: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Lily Rabe, Robin Weigert
        • Written by: Steven Knight, based on a story by Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Steven Knight
        • Directed by: Edward Zwick
        • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual content and historical smoking
        • Running Time: 114 minutes
        • Release Date: 09/17/2015
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        Shattered Glass (2003)

        It's just a little creepy to make a celebrity out of this great faker, but Shattered Glass nonetheless is an even and gripping portrait of Stephen Glass, the New Republic reporter who fabricated many of his published stories at the magazine, circa 1998. read more...
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          Shattered Glass (2003)

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          • With: Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloe Sevigny, Rosario Dawson, Melanie Lynskey, Hank Azaria, Steve Zahn
          • Written by: Billy Ray, based on an article by Buzz Bissinger
          • Directed by: Billy Ray
          • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, sexual references and brief drug use
          • Running Time: 95 minutes
          • Release Date: 08/09/2003
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          Moby Dick (1956)

          Of course, it's lunacy to try to make a movie out of a novel as sprawling, as complex, and as masterful as Herman Melville's Moby Dick, but taken for what it is, John Huston's 1956 movie is pretty entertaining. Richard Basehart narrates as Ishmael, befriends the harpooner Queequeg (Friedrich von Ledebur), and listens to a sermon by Father Mapple (Orson Welles). (Mapple speaks from a pulpit decorated to look like the front of a ship.) From there, they sign on with the Pequod, captained by the mysterious, obsessed Ahab (Gregory Peck), who wishes -- at any cost -- to capture the great white whale known as Moby Dick. read more...
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            Moby Dick (1956)

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            • With: Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, Leo Genn, James Robertson Justice, Harry Andrews, Bernard Miles, Noel Purcell, Edric Connor, Mervyn Johns, Joseph Tomelty, Francis De Wolff, Philip Stainton, Royal Dano, Seamus Kelly, Friedrich von Ledebur, Orson Welles
            • Written by: Ray Bradbury, John Huston, based on a novel by Herman Melville
            • Directed by: John Huston
            • MPAA Rating: NR
            • Running Time: 116 minutes
            • Release Date: 06/26/1956
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