GoodFellas (1990, dir. Martin Scorsese)

The rise and fall of mob informant Henry Hill. Peerless, confident, cine-literate story of a generation of Mafia-related life, which stands also as a lesson in popular music, Italian cookery, and the storytelling possibilities of cinema. Magical from first frame to last.

The Rainmaker [AKA John Grisham’s The Rainmaker] (1997, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

A young lawyer takes down a callous insurance company. Slick, mainstream, and linear legal thriller with no surprises but plenty of feel-good under-dog moments. Damon in Mary Sue mode. A professional, anonymous job from its former genius writer/director.

Life On The Line (2015, dir. David Hackl)

Electrical power workers battle their demons, and sometimes, power cuts. Ho-hum drama which can’t decide if it’s interested more in blue-collar soap operatics or in Hawksian camaraderie under pressure, ending up focusing on neither.

Villain (1971, dir. Michael Tuchner)

The fall of a London gangster. Great bit of lowlife Cockney thuggery, with Burton playing a character that has attributes of both Kray twins. Huge strength in depth in the casting, plus lots of quirky detail, and a snarling central performance. Recommended.

Deepwater Horizon (2016, dir. Peter Berg)

Drama based on the true story of a drilling rig disaster. Another effective Berg/Wahlberg collaboration after Lone Survivor (and the subsequent Patriots’ Day) that tells a true-life tale with an emphasis on ordinary people, camaraderie, and a little patriotism.