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'The Argument' Matches:

The Argument

  • Anxiety Level ▶ I like my stomach in knots
  • Funny ▶ Yes please
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Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)

Director Wayne Kramer once tried to make an insanely over-the-top action movie, Running Scared (also starring Paul Walker), which many admired for its sheer over-the-topness. But then Kramer detoured for the completely earnest (and awful) immigration drama Crossing Over, which proves a point: Kramer isn't going over the top for any honest, organic reason, but rather as a cold, calculated exercise. He switches styles to suit the occasion, or the current trend. It's the same with Pawn Shop Chronicles, though this time he and screenwriter Adam Minarovich very obviously draw empty inspiration from Pulp Fiction. read more...
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    • Funny ▶ Yes please
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Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)

96.0% Match

  • With: Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Kevin Rankin, Vincent D'Onofrio, Norman Reedus, Chi McBride, Elijah Wood, DJ Qualls, Pell James, Lukas Haas, Sam Hennings, Ashlee Simpson, Michael Cudlitz, Thomas Jane, Matt O'Leary, Kaitlin Ferrell, Rachelle Lefevre
  • Written by: Adam Minarovich
  • Directed by: Wayne Kramer
  • MPAA Rating: R for violence, sexual material, graphic nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
  • Running Time: 112 minutes
  • Release Date: 07/11/2013
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Bitter Melon (2018)

San Francisco filmmaker H.P. Mendoza — a writer, composer, and actor on the terrific Colma: The Musical — delivers this deceptive comedy-drama about a Filipino-American family Christmas. Two sons return home: younger Declan (Jon Norman Schneider) is gay and comes from New York, and older Moe (Brian Rivera) comes from Philadelphia; Moe is married to an African-American woman but has left her behind so as not to upset his conservative family. Unfortunately middle brother Troy (Patrick Epino) still lives at home and rules through his abusive behavior toward his wife (Theresa Navarro) and mother (Amelie Anima). The newly arrived sons try to spend as much time out as they can, but it's not long before they realize that the world would be better off without Troy. A plan to kill him is suggested, briefly laughed at, and then taken seriously. Mendoza balances humor and darkness with amazing deftness, and spends enough time with each character so that they move beyond their one-line descriptions. read more...
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    • Funny ▶ Yes please
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Bitter Melon (2018)

95.0% Match

  • With: Jon Norman Schneider, Patrick Epino, Brian Rivera, Josephine de Jesus, L.A. Renigren, Theresa Navarro, Sohr Picart, Amelia Anima, Anne Ishida, Corey Jackson, Ryan Morales, Safiya Fredericks, Vint Carmona
  • Written by: H.P. Mendoza
  • Directed by: H.P. Mendoza
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Release Date: 12/06/2018
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Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

Bong Joon-ho's debut feature isn't as well-known as his next, the hit Memories of Murder (2003), but it shows him already in command of his craft, and with many of his signature themes in place. Barking Dogs Never Bite is set in a huge apartment complex, where Ko Yun-ju (Lee Sung-jae) lives with his beautiful, but demanding pregnant wife, Eun-sil (Kim Ho-jung). He struggles to achieve a position as a professor, but his wife treats him like a servant. The sound of a barking dog makes him snap and he tries to kill it by throwing it off the roof, but instead he starts a long chain of events involving several others (and several dogs). Bae Doona (later in American films like Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending) plays a clerk at the apartment complex, who helps put up posters for missing dogs; her best friend (Go Soo-hee) is a sullen toy store owner. Bong's sense of place is not only vivid and memorable, but it ties inexorably into his themes. The big apartment building is a soulless hunk of brick, but it also contains many moving parts. He also slyly transforms the movie from what seems to be a dark comedy into something quite a bit more powerful, a squirmy look at the dark underbellies of humans, and the monsters we can turn into without even realizing it. read more...
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    • Funny ▶ Yes please

Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000)

94.0% Match

  • With: Lee Sung-jae, Bae Doona, Kim Ho-jung, Byun Hee-bong, Go Soo-hee, Kim Roi-ha, Kim Jin-goo
  • Written by: Bong Joon-ho, Song Ji-ho, Derek Son Tae-woong
  • Directed by: Bong Joon-ho
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Language: Korean, with English subtitles
  • Running Time: 110 minutes
  • Release Date: 02/19/2000
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Dope (2015)

Rick Famuyiwa's Dope (2015) is a refreshing twist on all those nerdy high school comedy-adventure stories that used to star John Cusack. Set in a dangerous area of Inglewood, it focuses on three friends, Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Jib (Tony Revolori), and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons), who play in a band and are obsessed with 1990s hip-hop. Enduring metal detectors and malevolent bullies at school, they all just want to lay low and survive long enough to get to college. Malcolm's crush on a neighborhood beauty, Nakia (Zoe Kravitz), brings them to a party, which accidentally leaves them with a huge package of drugs; the only way to get rid of it is to sell it. The movie provides all the fun and laughs that this genre usually promises, in addition to tons of great music by Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, and more. But it also raises intriguing questions about race, language, stereotyping and labeling, and gender politics (frequently mistaken for a boy, Diggy is actually a lesbian). As Malcolm, Shameik Moore gives a breakout performance, and is someone to watch for. Forest Whitaker produced and narrates. read more...
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    • Funny ▶ Yes please
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Dope (2015)

92.0% Match

  • With: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise, Chanel Iman, Blake Anderson, Zoë Kravitz, ASAP Rocky, Lakeith Stanfield, Rick Fox, Amin Joseph, Tyga, Roger Guenveur Smith, De'aundre Bonds, Quincy Brown, Kap-G, Vince Staples, Casey Veggies, Wyking Jones, Forest Whitaker (narrator)
  • Written by: Rick Famuyiwa
  • Directed by: Rick Famuyiwa
  • MPAA Rating: R for language, drug content, sexuality/nudity, and some violence-all involving teens
  • Running Time: 103 minutes
  • Release Date: 06/18/2015
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The Death of Stalin (2018)

Directed by Armando Iannucci (In the Loop), The Death of Stalin is in fact a comedy, and not just a dark comedy or a comedy-drama, but a full-on, all-out screwball-fest, with jokes and one-liners zigzagging so fast you'll need to google them to keep up. I know next to nothing about the recent history of the Soviet Union and I can't claim to know much about the accuracy of the details herein, nor can I make the claim that I was able to follow every single machination and twist. But I can agree with one character who says "I've had nightmares that made more sense," and assert that I was able to relax and go with the flow, and laugh — a lot. read more...
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    • Funny ▶ Yes please
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The Death of Stalin (2018)

92.0% Match

  • With: Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Palin, Andrea Riseborough, Paul Chahidi, Dermot Crowley, Adrian McLoughlin, Paul Whitehouse, Jeffrey Tambor
  • Written by: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Peter Fellows, Fabien Nury, based on a graphic novel by Fabien Nury, Thierry Robin
  • Directed by: Armando Iannucci
  • MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, violence and some sexual references
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Release Date: 03/15/2018
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