Category Archive: Crime

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (Day 96)

My Opinion: 8.1 || Exciting gangster biopic dominated by Vincent Cassel as the title character. Thrilling performance. Vibrant writing and direction. Engrossing from start to finish.

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Elite Squad (Day 94)

My Opinion: 6.7 || Gritty crime drama that’s more realistic than revealing. The film strives to deliver real meaning and has the right ingredients, but the crowded, overbearing production never gives the story room to breathe.

Le Doulos (Day 90)

My Opinion: 7.9 || Dark, tight crime thriller that plays cat-and-mouse with our loyalties and assumptions. Not a roller-coaster so much as a slow-track ride with trick mirrors and surprising turns. Once we get… Continue reading

Mesrine: Killer Instinct (Day 67)

My Opinion: 6.8 || Good gangster biopic, but the direction and acting are more interesting than the subject matter. It’s the first part of a two-film set, and has a to-be-continued ending that (unavoidably)… Continue reading

Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (Day 57)

My Opinion: 6.1 || A crime drama on the outside, but really a drama about friendships. It’s nothing special as a thriller, but once you stop looking for genre satisfaction and accept the film… Continue reading

Miss Bala (Day 55)

My Opinion: 6.4 || A point-of-view immersion into Mexico’s drug wars that emphasizes subjective experience over narrative structure or character development. The protagonist Laura is buffeted by circumstances she can’t control or understand, and… Continue reading

Nairobi Half Life (Day 50)

My Opinion: 7.7 || An absorbing, beautifully textured story. The young protagonist is an impressively three-dimensional character, and Nairobi itself is such a vibrant presence that you can almost taste and feel it. The… Continue reading

Rusty Knife (Day 39)

 My Opinion: 4.2 || And I chose this because? I can’t remember. It kicks off well, but the story becomes increasingly hokey and reliant on cantilevered coincidences. By the last third, it’s very difficult… Continue reading

Mother (Day 30)

 My Opinion: 5.6 || Do the strengths outweigh the flaws? I can’t decide. It’s slow to develop, many of the characters lack real depth, and the director sometimes seems more intent on tormenting his… Continue reading

The Sicilian Girl (Day 22)

 My Opinion: 6.1 || A good story that’s solidly told. Nothing extraordinary from a filmmaking standpoint, but the movie is entertaining and effective. Although the director does nothing to defy filmmaking convention, he also… Continue reading

  • About Me


    I'm an author and consultant in Portland, Oregon. My novel 'Beheld' will be published this June.

  • The Mission

    To watch and write about one new foreign film a day for 100 days. It's a cinematic world tour -- with an emphasis on diversity of language, era, and style.

    In addition to the daily commentaries, I'll post weekly and monthly wrap-ups. And explore cool ways of graphing the films and my responses to them.

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