• La Vérité

    La Vérité

    ★★★★½

    A love story inside a murder trial that probes deep into the past of a relationship between two people and all the human entanglements that came along with it. It's a story of passion, jealousy, light-hearted fun and profound affection, ambition, bitterness and the indescribable pain of wanting.

    It's quite a far cry style-wise from, say, Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution which seemed to enjoy the cat-and-mouse like trial and twists and turns, whereas Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder favored…

  • Panic

    Panic

    ★★★½

    This is a very intriguing film that chronicles how mob justice can spread like a wildfire once the initial seeds of doubt about a person are sewn and it's pretty shocking how much the story devolves as it unfolds and how ruthless certain characters act, realizing the extent of their acts way too late.

    Monsieur Hire is kind of the village grouch and he doesn't have a lot of interest in mingling and interacting with his neighbors, which is why…

  • To Have and Have Not

    To Have and Have Not

    ★★★★

    "It's even better when you help."

    This is where it all started for Bogart and Bacall and what a start it is!

    Not to take anything away from this greatly captivating World War II yarn about seafaring captains helping out the French resistance but I think it is most definitely a film that follows in the footsteps of Casablanca but goes for an overall more elevated spirit and hopeful progression of things by comparison.

    Music also plays a crucial element…

  • Dark Passage

    Dark Passage

    ★★★★

    This is both a beautifully tranquil film noir story about an escaped convict going on the run and trying to prove his innocence and a tense thriller with a couple of suspense moments that starts with an action-oriented prison break getaway sequence after which we spend a good deal of the film in Bogart's point of view.

    I had no idea they shot POV sequences this long and convincing so early because I've always associated the technique with Halloween which…

  • Man Hunt

    Man Hunt

    ★★★★

    This is a captivating take on the kind of "what if?" genre and the influences from Lang's silent film days are clear from the very first scene.

    For an English-speaking film it's also quite bold in terms of how much the German dialogue takes over often times and how none of it comes with any English subtitles, as if Lang wanted his audience exposed to what German meant in those days without fully understanding it and this doesn't stop at…

  • Anatomy of a Murder

    Anatomy of a Murder

    ★★★★½

    This is quite the different beast compared to the Agatha Christie-based courtroom trial film of Witness for the Prosecution because it doesn't hinge so much on daring last-minute twists and revelations, yet both films are equally fascinating in their own right.

    What we get here is a mixture of a portrait of a countryside lawyer, who seems to favor fishing over taking on as many clients as he can, but who is then suddenly steered towards defending a murder case…

  • The Big Knife

    The Big Knife

    ★★★½

    "Were you never told that the embroidery of your speech is completely out of proportion to anything you have to say?"

    A stage play turned film with a formidable leading duo of Jack Palance and Ida Lupino that chronicles a successful film star's descent into despair when he's caught between renewing a contract with a man he loathes and trying to patch things up with his wife who he is separated from despite there still being obvious affection between them.

    It's a really harsh script, tearing down Hollywood at various points and moving somewhere between theatricality and somber earnestness.

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What we're witnessing here is an artist at war with themselves and with the studio, the money and power, behind them that says they'll lend them a blank canvas to paint a new version of a picture that the studio just as well would have had someone else paint for them. Coincidentally, though, it's a new version of an original painting by the artist that they're looking for and the new version said artist comes up with will be heavily…

  • On Dangerous Ground

    On Dangerous Ground

    ★★★★

    A distinctly unique film noir that starts out routinely in the big city with a cop described as a "gangster with a badge" who's been on the force too long for his own good and then it puts him in a completely unfamiliar environment for an assignment where he's supposed to help out with the chase of a young girl's killer.

    There's a strange sense of melancholy about the film once he's going up north and into the snow for…

  • Suspicion

    Suspicion

    ★★★★

    What nerves of steel Joan Fontaine's character must have in this with all the emotional ups and downs she is subjected to and is subjecting herself to in this whirlwind romance. She's either in high spirits, enjoying the love she gets from Cary Grant's character, or sunken deeply in despair when she suspects him of being a liar, a cheater and quite possibly a murderer.

    The tension, as is typical Hitchcock, is kept so high throughout that you can't help…

  • The Major and the Minor

    The Major and the Minor

    ★★★½

    And here I was thinking that Tenet was the first film to have someone utter the words "pincer movement" on screen.

    Looking at this concept from today's perspective one might find this to be a very odd film to say the least but, in its time, it seems to be a very fun comedy of an extended mix-up that brings along all kinds of shenanigans between adults acting like children and children appearing to act more adult than you'd think.…

  • Witness for the Prosecution

    Witness for the Prosecution

    ★★★★½

    I love a good courtroom drama and Billy Wilder certainly cooked up one of the most elaborate and suspenseful ones here.

    To say the impact of the film lies only in its stinger of an ending is to gloss over the many fine scenes leading up to it all, with an innocent man suddenly finding himself equipped with one lawyer after another for there's a lot of evidence pointing at him being a murderer.

    Added to that intriguing circumstance is…