A memory technician becomes obsessed with a nightclub singer. Somewhat laboured SF noir, indebted to Blade Runner, Chinatown, and – er – Who Framed Roger Rabbit, saddled with po-faced script and narration. Some visual stuff works (there’s one genuine moment of wonder) but the central mystery and its importance is bungled.
Tulsa-based criminals work to raise the money to get a matriarch out of prison before she dies. Not-bad 2010-set noir drama with action elements. Does plenty of things seen elsewhere (from Heat to Hell or High Water) but has its own decent vibe, a fine cast of character actors, and some quirky moments. Swab remains a talent to keep an eye on.
Two officers – one trusted, one implicated in police violence – are caught up in a riot situation and cut off from support. This Danish drama mashes up the behind-enemy-lines likes of ’71 with a David Ayer-ish cop neo-noir. Somewhat schematic in its storytelling, but undeniably confident, and at least attempting – not always wholly successfully – to mix action with social commentary.
Detectives struggle with a series of murders. Based very loosely on real-world unsolved crimes, this noir-ish thriller can’t decide whether to go for procedural or for obsessive cop angst. It tries both, and so doesn’t gel. Decent performances from an up-and-coming cast and an OK look make this a not-uninteresting curio though.
A former detective returns to Japan from the US: an old friend’s daughter under threat. Neither quite a neo-noir, an action thriller or a study of overseas crime syndicates, The Yakuza tries to be all three with variable results. Slow, but interesting, with flashes of a darker, better, and more violent film lurking.
Two suspended detectives needing money plan to hijack the proceeds of a crime. Slow-burn minimalist neo-noir procedural thriller that takes time with its characters, allowing you to understand – if not agree with – their actions. Long, but enthralling, and brutal at times. Recommended.
A patient involved in a drug trial murders her husband. Woozy neo-noir that comes at you like a mix of 50s paranoid Hitchcock and 60s New Wave. Lots of fine stuff along the way, even if the plotting isn’t as crystal as in Soderbergh’s best work.
A hitman is subjected to forced gender reassignment. A messy hotchpotch of bad taste, worse gender politics, and a standard pulpy noir payback yarn. Tomboy is never uninteresting, but not always for the right genre reasons. A future cult beckons.
A retired assassin returns to the fray. A glorious stylised neo-noir action flick with a neat mythology, splendid choreography, crisp direction, some sly humour, and committed performances all round. The 2014 state of the action movie-making art.