No Sudden Move (2021, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Two criminals are hired for a straightforward job: matters get complicated. Excellent period drama, using the tropes of noir to critique capitalism and corporate greed. Lots to relish, not least a cast in depth, plus slick, confident direction, writing, and design. Recommended.

Here’s the trailer.

The Many Saints of Newark (2021, dir. Alan Taylor)

A late 60s/early 70s New Jersey teenager is raised in a mob-affiliated household and neighbourhood. This The Sopranos prequel works as a both an insight into the earlier lives of that series’ main characters, and as a stand-alone movie. Tony Soprano very much a supporting character here: the focus is on his uncle Dickie, played by a never-better Alessandro Nivola.

Here’s the trailer.

Hubie Halloween (2020, dir. Steven Brill)

Salem’s self-appointed guardian of Halloween tries to protect the holiday despite his many bullies. A messy but fun comedy-horror from the Sandler production line. Won’t win many converts, but sly movie jokes, some heart, and a few WTF moments from a game cast all help.

Here’s the trailer.

Hannibal (2001, dir. Ridley Scott)

Clarice Starling is helped by a former victim of Lecter’s to find the escaped Hannibal. Elegant sequel to The Silence of the Lambs with Lecter repositioned as an antihero. Lots to enjoy if you go with it, though it lacks the impact of its predecessor.

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.