Mile 22

Year: 2018
Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg,, John Malkovich, Iko Uwais, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey

Written by Elena Morgan

When police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais) hands himself into the US Embassy with the promise to give the Americans information on missing nuclear substances in exchange for getting him out of the country, it’s up to intelligence officer James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) and a secret tactical command unit to do just that.

‘Mile 22’ is an action thriller where the action is overly edited and there aren’t many thrills. Honestly, my eyes and my head hurt by the end of this film. There are so many cuts in a scene, even the mundane ones of two people talking at a table, that it puts that scene in ‘Taken 3′ where there are about 14 cuts in the 6 seconds it takes Liam Neeson to climb a fence to shame.

When you’ve got a fantastic martial artist like Iko Uwais starring in your film, why on earth would you film and edit every single one of his fight scenes so incomprehensible that you never really get to see what he does best?! The editing is so quick, the cuts are at weird places, and the camera is constantly shaking. In one scene it’s so difficult to follow what is going on I somehow managed to confuse Uwais for Wahlberg. The problem with a lot of the action sequences is that there are so much shaky cam and far too many cuts, that it was difficult to make out where characters were in relation to one another, even when they were in one room.

Mark Wahlberg’s James Silva is one of the rudest, abrasive and unlikable characters I’ve seen in a long time. He monologues in people’s faces, is disrespectful towards his colleagues (some of whom are supposed to be his friends as well) and to make sure you know how smart he is from the outset, in one of his first scenes he completes the “World’s Most Difficult Puzzle” – though besides from doing that you never really see him being smart, he just shoots a lot of people and talks very quickly.

‘Mile 22’ revels in its violence. Characters are mowed down by gunfire left and right, both good guys and bad guys, but none of them are fleshed out or remotely interesting so you feel nothing when they die a gruesome death. ‘Mile 22′ is full of American patriotism, but not the good kind. This is the hateful, toxic kind where Americans play God with no real thought paid to those everyday people who are living in an apartment block where they are having a shootout in the hallway. And then there’s the member of the tactical unit who controls a drone and is so eager to destroy property and kill people that when he finally gets the chance he pushes that button with glee. The fact this is played for laughs makes it even more distasteful.

‘Mile 22’ is an incomprehensible overly-edited mess. It’s a hateful film full of hateful characters who bark out not-so witty one-liners one minute and technical jargon the next – none of these characters seem like real people. Even with this super-secret all-knowing task force being a part of its plot, the script offers nothing new to the genre and its attempt at flashiness fails to hide how dull and predictable the story really is.

ELENA’S RATING:

1

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IGN Share Exclusive New ‘Mile 22’ Red-Band Trailer

“An elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.”

Directed by: Peter Berg

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey, John Malkovich, Iko Uwais

Release Date: August 27th, 2018

 

All The Money In The World

Year: 2017
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer

Written by Jessica Peña

What a treat it is to get Ridley Scott’s latest, ‘All the Money in the World,’ in the US on Christmas Day. I found a great deal of adoration in this film. Bouncing back from a major derailment, the film is a robust drama with powerful performances by its lead ensemble. It’s hard to form an expectation going into the film. Rest assured, Ridley Scott secured an impressive outcome.

‘All the Money in the World’ tells of the real life 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, grandson to the richest man in the world, J. Paul Getty, the egocentric oil tycoon. The story follows Gail Getty (Michelle Williams) as she desperately tries to get her son back safely. A ransom of $17 million is put up for Paul’s return, and to the shock of the world, J. Paul Getty Sr. blatantly refuses. A man of lavish assets and an obsessive appreciation of old artefacts, he explains that the easy payment would bring all 14 of his grandchildren to be kidnapped. The stern J. Paul Getty will not stand for his money to be thrown away like that. For having expressed great love for Paul Getty III specifically, he is quite the selfish soul.

Scott’s latest film is a powerhouse with near perfect form, but I know what you really came here for. So let’s cut to the chase. Christopher Plummer crushes. The veteran actor proves himself to be an even more believable J. Paul Getty than what a prosthetic Kevin Spacey would’ve been. With just two months before release, news broke of sexual assault allegations made against Kevin Spacey. Immediately, the actor has since been blacklisted by Hollywood and much of the world, hopefully. There’s no denying that the outrage has circled ‘All the Money in the World’ with much attention and anticipation. It’s put a spotlight on Ridley Scott’s following move. From initial trailers, there was always something cringy about those pounds of makeup on Spacey. With all things considered, we still wonder what the Spacey final cut looks like. His work usually comes off very defined with sarcastic undertones, but having re-shot a total of twenty-two scenes with Plummer, Ridley Scott has welcomed in a much more sincere charisma to J. Paul Getty.

Reportedly Scott’s first choice for the role, Plummer was called in immediately following a 48 hour decision to recast. Scott is quoted expressing his decision to push the film forward and not risk failure. He wanted the work of the cast and crew to be honored and not damaged by Spacey’s involvement in the project. The shift is almost seamless. There is a brief, somewhat obvious scene where J. Paul Getty is in the desert attending to his oil business where Plummer was green screened in. Scott had nine 18 hour days to get his ducks in a row, and it is well worth the effort. Adapted from John Pearson’s book, ‘Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty’, this film sets up some serious examination of the wealthy man, but doesn’t completely make it about him. It was great to see a film that involved more than one calculated story.

Believe it or not, Michelle Williams carries this film so well. As Gail Getty is put through an enormous amount of stress and finds herself battling her father-in-law to pay up, Williams delivers stellar aggression as a woman who knows how to stick it to the richest man in the world. When J. Paul Getty refuses to pay the ransom, Gail is quick to put in efforts to rescue her son. She doesn’t settle to being paid out and silent in all of this. Being married into the Getty family proves be a battle in itself. Williams graces it with her Oscar-worthy energy. Mark Wahlberg is exceptional to the narrative as Getty Sr.’s business manager and ex-CIA agent, Fletcher Chase. We don’t see an award-winning Wahlberg, but Fletcher Chase grows a little in realizing just how selfish the great oilman really is. Charlie Plummer, no relation to Christopher, is certainly worth the attention as the 16-year-old, J. Paul Getty III. His performance cements him as a promising young actor. Let’s keep a little eye on him moving forward.

Let us not overlook Romain Duris, a French actor who plays one of the Italian kidnappers. His character has somewhat of a gratifying story. Interacting with Paul Getty III throughout the time they have him, we see a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome unravel. The story has its spectacular character moments there and in Gail Getty’s perseverance. Where it feels it should pick up momentum in its third act, it instead sits on murky exposition. Luckily, it wakes up in no time and closes off as a solid drama that was much better than I had expected.

From an opening shot that nods to Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita,’ to the gruesome cutting of an ear, ‘All the Money in the World’ manages to pull off a great technical achievement despite its publicized setback. It is a well grounded film that helps close 2017 on a strong note. It delves into what having all the money in the world does to someone and how it affects the children of the family. It deserves to be applauded for more than it’s magic trick of reshoots. The genius of it all is rooted from Ridley Scott’s impeccable direction.

Jessica’s Rating: 7.8 out of 10

Daddy’s Home 2

Year: 2017
Directed by: Sean Anders
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, John Lithgow, John Cena

Written by Tom Sheffield

Another year, another sequel that we probably wouldn’t have missed if it was never made. Sean Anders returns to direct this festive sequel to the 2015 comedy, ‘Daddy’s Home’. Thanks to a special screening at my local cinema, this happened to be my first festive film of the 2017 (after avoiding ‘Bad Moms Christmas’), and all I can say is the only way is up for my festive viewings this year.

In this festive sequel, Brad (Ferrell) and Dusty (Wahlberg) have a co-dad routine in place that they think is going swimmingly. It soon comes to their attention that their children don’t like having to spend Christmases at different houses every year, so the co-dads decide to have one big family Christmas. Coincidentally, Dusty’s estranged father, Kurt (Gibson), calls to say he’s dropping by for Christmas too, and Brad’s dad, Don (Lithgow), is also on a plane to spend Christmas with them. Kurt is intent on causing a rift between Brad and Dusty from the second he meets them at the airport, and it doesn’t take long before the cracks begin to show.

As with the first film, Wahlberg and Ferrell are a great comedic pair on-screen. Their friendship in this film is put through its paces, which leads to lots of arguing, hugging, fighting, and the exchanging of kind words through gritted teeth. Newcomers Gibson and Lithgow are fantastic additions to the cast, and play their respective roles superbly. Lithgow is an over-loving, coddling, old-fashioned dad, and Gibson’s character is anything but those things. The child actors also get a thumbs up from me, especially young Scarlett Estevez. The less you know why they’re brilliant in this film, the more hilarious they’ll be in the film if you see it, so I’ll say no more!

Where this film really falters is trying to make us care for each and every one of these characters. The plot delves into multiple character backstories and sub plots that, in all honesty, we don’t really care about. I think the forced addition of making it a festive film also hinders the overall story. Don’t get me wrong, introducing us to Dusty and Brad’s Dads was a great idea, but trying to delve into their backstories, whilst also having all the characters in the story interact with one another, then throwing Christmas shenanigans into the mix, all just lead to one gigantic mess of a plot, which admittedly occasionally got a laugh out of me, but overall is easily forgettable and feels wholly unnecessary.

The addition of Gibson, Lithgow, and Cena is the films only saving grace. The new characters meant some of the comedy didn’t feel as repetitive and I found their characters far more interesting and much funnier than the co-dads. The child actors also have their chances to shine during this film, and again, I found some of their scenes much funnier than Wahlberg and Ferrell’s.

As one of only a few festive films hitting cinemas this year, it’s probably worth a gamble going to see it as you may find yourself liking it more than I did. It does offer up a few good laughs, and a twist or two you don’t see coming! I will also add that there is a particular musical scene at the end of the film that would melt the ice-cold heart of the Grinch, and in those few minutes I forgot what I was watching and actually felt a little Christmas-y! That didn’t last long though, and I soon crashed back to reality and pondered on the other things I could have done in those 100 minutes I’d just wasted.

Tom’s Rating: 4.5/10

 

 

Transformers: The Last Knight

Year: 2017
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael

Written by Corey Hughes

Whether you love it or hate it, franchising has become a fundamental influence on Hollywood’s success in film today. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Fast and Furious series, movie franchises come in many shapes and sizes. Yet despite an overwhelming consensus of negative reviews from critics, the Transformers franchise is one that refuses to die down.

And why should it? With Michael Bay’s retail-toy adaptations being as lucrative as they are, Bay wipes the tears of negative criticism with $100 dollar bills. But with ‘The Last Knight’ reputedly being the final one to be directed by Bay, (fingers crossed), is there a possibility that the fifth film will defy all odds?

Nope.

Summarising a synopsis for ‘The Last Knight’ is as useful as a eunuch in a brothel. As the film begins, we are thrown back into the ‘dark ages’ of England, where King Arthur and the Vikings are at war. With the battle against Arthur and his men, the king seeks out the magic of Merlin (Stanley Tucci’s second outing in the franchise) to tip the balance of war in his favour. 1600 years later, the fate of the human race relies entirely on the discovery of Merlin’s magical staff. Blah, blah, blah; if you’re really into the plot at this point, then all credit to you.

This boils down to what I believe is Michael Bay’s biggest flaw as a filmmaker. Barring his over reliance on slow-motioned, explosive and debris-propelling action, he is entirely incompetent at telling a coherent and engaging story. His films, especially his treasured Transformers flicks, are told exclusively through these grand, spectacular action set pieces. Narrative, for Bay, seems secondary; a grout to fill in the gaps. The action, nonetheless, does look spectacularly convincing. The use of CGI, especially for the appearance and movement of the Transformers, is unparalleled in its presentation.

With the story being as convoluted as it is here, with multiple sub-plots in play, the film is desperately calling out for strong performances, but there’s none to be seen here. Although new arrival Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the crude, but whimsical old Brit is amusing, it’s Wahlberg’s ‘The Happening’-esque wooden performance that will have you shaking your head in disbelief. Yet that’s the least of the film’s problems. ‘The Last Knight’ establishes no sense of continuity from its predecessor and with the onslaught of new characters being vomited onto the screen, Bay and co. are discouraging their viewers to invest in the characters and the conflict that they find themselves in. Even the on-screen relationship between Wahlberg’s Cade and Laura Haddock’s highly-educated and snobby Vivian Wembley seems forced, with no eye for attention being invested in their developing attraction. It’s sloppy, unconvincing, and if we didn’t care about the film before, we surely don’t now.

In the end, this fifth outing for the Transformers franchise regrettably ticks all the boxes for a totally unforgettable Michael Bay action flick. Hot girl? Check. Unforgivable product placement? Check. Flat-lined humour with a paper-thin story? Check. Resisting the urge to pluck your eyes out from their sockets? Check.

On a more light-hearted note, I’ve created a new drinking game for ‘The Last Knight’: take a shot every time Optimus Prime declares, “I am Optimus Prime!” That way, by the time the final credits roll, you’ll be absolutely shit-faced. It’s by far the only way you’re going to enjoy this one.

Corey’s rating: 3.5 out of 10

 

Take A Look At The Brand New Transformers The Last Knight Motion Posters

Love them or hate them, the Transformers are back this year in what Michael Bay assures fans is his last ‘Transformers’ film (Like we haven’t heard that one before!).

Bay took to Twitter earlier today to share these brand new motion posters of the Transformers, which includes Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Barricade,, Hound, , Hot Rod, and of course Megatron! New additions to the franchise are Sqweeks and Cogman, who we get our first good look at in their motion posters. 

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The Transformers: The Last Knight Extended Super Bowl TV Spot Is Very Michael Bay

Transformers, possibly the most critic proof franchise in film history, returns in 2017 with its fifth instalment – The Last Knight. I could spend my time musing over how that happened, but I have to confess to being, in my own tiny way, responsible having seen the last two in the cinema. In my defence, I was being a good friend & accompanying someone who loves Transformers (though not these films). We keep going in the hope that one day one of these films will turn out to be amazing.

What we get in this brief trailer is essentially a checklist of things you’d expect to see in a Michael Bay film – explosions, helicopters flying in formation, super slow motion, a glimpse of the US flag, soldiers. It all looks good – all of these films look good – but films need to do more than look good and that is where the Transformers films fall down. This trailer isn’t giving much away in terms of the plot – in fact it doesn’t really give us anything more than the last trailer, which seems a bit pointless to me.

Being a good friend I will probably end up seeing this at the cinema, so blame me when the inevitable sixth film arrives!

Written by Emma Ditchburn

Transformers: The Last Knight Teaser Trailer

The first teaser trailer for the fifth installment of Michael Bay’s ‘Transformers’ films has landed and, as you probably guessed, there are more explosions than you can shake a stick at!

Whilst the actual plot is still firmly under wraps at this point, from the trailer we can deduce that Optimus Prime is left in a bad way after the ending of the last film, ‘Age of Extinction’, as we see him floating around in space. The film looks set to show us how the Transformers have played a part in the Earth’s history as we see shots of wars across the years, and Antony Hopkin’s voice over talks about “two species at war. One flesh, one metal” and teases he knows the real reason the Transformers are on Earth. Amongst all the explosions, there’s a short shot of Optimus Prime fighting Bumblebee where he asks for forgiveness as he’s about to land a fatal looking blow. Is Prime set to be the villain of the film? Or is this just an out of context shot to get rumours circulating? We’ll have to wait and see…

The latest outing for Mark Wahlberg and the Autobots looks set to be bigger than ever, but does that necessarily equal better? I’ll admit that I lost my faith in the Transformers films after the first one, which was released in 2007 and is the only one I actually enjoyed. Since then, Michael Bay keeps trying to one-up himself and go bigger and better than the last, but this seems to come at the sacrifice of storylines true Transformers fans are begging to see.

I won’t lie, despite my reservations I will more than likely be going to see this in IMAX when it’s released (thank you cinema card!), because I know Bay likes to push his films visually and whilst the actual plot of the film may not grab my attention, the CGI and IMAX will. 

What are your thoughts on the first trailer? Are you a fan of the Transformers films?

‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ rolls out into UK theatres 23rd June 2017

Written by Tom Sheffield

Top 10 Boxing Movies

Written by Patrick Alexander

Sports play a major part in the way the world works; from Superbowl Sunday to the World Cup final, pretty much everyone follows one sport or another. The problem is, the popularity of sports in general dictates that Hollywood tries and tries to churn out successful sporting movies, but sporting movies are notoriously hard to get right. That said, boxing seems to be one of the few sports that does work on film, and I’m here to prove it with 10 great boxing movies. Before we crack on with this list, I have to give some honorable mentions to a few films that didn’t quite make it into the top 10. 


Rocky III (1982): When you think of boxing movies, you naturally think of the ‘Rocky’ franchise, but we can’t have seven ‘Rocky’ films in here can we? In this third film, the villain Clubber Lang (played by Mr. T) makes a strong case for himself and this is a great film, but not quite as good as some of the others in the series.

Cinderella Man (2005): One of Russell Crowe’s finest works, with a fantastic Paul Giamatti supporting role, but this film’s old-old-old school mentality lulls a hair too much to sneak into the top ten.

The Boxer (1997): Keeping it simple with the title, ‘The Boxer’ stars Daniel Day Lewis as a killer. But ‘The Boxer’ is not even his best film about being an Irish Revolutionary. I mean, come on Daniel; what kind of warped sequel to ‘In the Name of the Father’ is this? 

Okay, on with the real winners…


fatcity

10. Fat City (1972); Directed by John Huston; Starring Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges

Synopsis: Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Verdict: A real old school boxing flick and the godfather of all boxing movies, pre-dating both ‘Rocky’ and ‘Raging Bull’. Stacy Keach, as Tully, carries the film’s focus in his showdown with a young Jeff Bridges. ‘Fat City’ is everything you want it to be; non-formulaic, aware of its angle, full of classic 70s dialogue, and a rip-roaring bout that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Had the story aged better over time, ‘Fat City’ would, indubitably, deserve to be ranked higher.


the-fighter-7

9. The Fighter (2010); Directed by David O. Russell; Starring: Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg

Synopsis: A look at the early years of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward, and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

Verdict: Micky Ward sure does come off as a prick, but with Bale and Wahlberg in tow, the director Russell actually makes you want to root for Ward by the end. Dysfunctional in nature, Dicky Eklund’s portrayal absolutely ties together what would have been a rather bland stint without him. Docked points for sub-par boxing scenes by Marky Mark, ‘The Fighter’ has a candor and a degree of authenticity which allows it to keep it’s head above water among the all-time boxing greats.


ali

8. Ali (2001); Directed by Michael Mann; Starring Will Smith, Jamie Foxx

Synopsis: A biography of sports legend, Muhammad Ali, from his early days to his time in the ring.

Verdict: Will Smith brings to life the childhood hero of many, Muhammad Ali. We’ve all got posters on our walls of the man who could truly float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. From his “Thrilla in Manila” to his personal journeys stateside, Ali fought more powers than just Sonny Liston and Joe Frazier. Smith’s wily persona of the world-class champion lands a devastating blow on this list amongst the great boxing flicks of old.


southpaw

7. Southpaw (2015); Directed by Antoine Fuqua; Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker

Synopsis: Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Wills to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.

Verdict: A vociferously flashy, most glamorous, Eminem-infused battle blast, ‘Southpaw’ attacks both fast and strong. Gyllenhaal is so unbelievably ripped and his surreal training sequences totally make this film. Fighting Miguel ‘Magic’ Escobar, the fiery Colombian antagonist only makes you root for Billy Hope and his lost hope even more. Some may call ‘Southpaw’ formulaic and chalk this one up to bias based on its recent release, but Antoine Fuqua gets everything right from tight boxing sequences, to max-level grandeur, to a hard-hitting lefty landing a wonderful wallop into this top ten.


rocky 4

6. Rocky IV (1985); Directed by Sylvester Stallone; Starring Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren

Synopsis: After iron man Ivan Drago, a highly intimidating 6-foot-5, 261-pound Soviet athlete, kills Apollo Creed in an exhibition match, Rocky comes to the heart of Russia for 15 pile-driving boxing rounds of revenge.

Verdict: In the fight that single-handedly ended the Cold War, Rocky goes toe-to-toe with the juiced-up Russian cyborg machine, Ivan Drago, who inexplicably felled the great Apollo Creed. Rocky lights our hearts on fire by selecting the hard way out in defeating his Russian nemesis. Through snow-clogged sprints and intense cabin training, Rocky once again shows us that there are no demons out there incapable of being defeated. A 15-round packed-punch of emotion, passion, and defeating the Soviets lands ‘Rocky IV’ a place in the throes of greatness.


undisputed

5. Undisputed (2002); Directed by Walter Hill; Starring Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames

Synopsis: When heavyweight champion George ‘Iceman’ Chambers lands himself in prison, the resident gangster arranges a boxing match with the reigning prison champ.

Verdict: Outside of having, pound-for-pound, the greatest boxing sequence of all time in film history (and you can take that to the bank), ‘Undisputed’ brings the unique concept of prison boxing to the table, an advantage unbeknownst to any other of its contemporaries. Iceman Chambers vs. Monroe Hutchens is right up there with Balboa vs. Creed, in terms of strength of fighting skills plus high class drama. The total underdog of the list, ‘Undisputed’ will wow you with its technical, authentic feeling final round. A must-see for boxing fans everywhere.


creed

4. Creed (2015); Directed by Ryan Coogler; Starring Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone

Synopsis: Everyone’s favourite former World Heavyweight Champion, Rocky Balboa, serves as trainer and mentor to Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Verdict: After the abomination that was ‘Rocky Balboa’, ‘Creed’ gets the franchise right back in line with technically savvy, intense boxing, led by magnificently deft camera work throwing us into all angles of the ring. Throw in real life boxer, Tony Bellow, playing the indomitable ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlon across the ring from Adonis Johnson (Creed), and the authenticity levels are unparalleled. With great training montages, including a dirt bike sidled run up the steps to victory, ‘Creed’ supplants not only Southpaw as the best boxing flick of 2015, but perhaps may be the #1 boxing picture of the past decade.


the-hurricane_000

3. The Hurricane (1999); Directed by Norman Jewison; Starring Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber

Synopsis: The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

Verdict: One of the better “outside the ring” stories of the bunch, elevated by a Mt. Rushmore performance by Washington. Washington, as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter fights not only his weary opponents in the ring, but the racism and hate that imprisoned an innocent man, until love overflows to bust him out. A real knockout punch right into the sixteenth round, ‘The Hurricane’ will box a hole right into the throws of your heart.


rocky

2. Rocky (1976); Directed by John G. Avildsen; Starring Sylvester Stallone, Carl Stone

Synopsis: Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Verdict: The ultimate underdog story. The picture that made you believe you could conquer any obstacle in life by running up a few steps in front of a local museum. Bill Conti’s epic soundtrack, Rocky Balboa’s finest clash with Apollo Creed, and the city of Philadelphia’s soul combine to make ‘Rocky’ an all-timer. With Burgess Meredith, a world class stick man, and the darling Talia Shire along for the ride, Rocky conquers every mountain, both real and metaphorical on its climb to the top (well, nearly the top).


Raging.Bull.04

1. Raging Bull (1980); Directed by Martin Scorsese; Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

Synopsis: An emotionally self-destructive boxer’s journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it.

Verdict: A legendary, poetic performance by the menace of a boxer, Robert De Niro playing Jack La Motta. This it the film that makes any young kid want to be a boxer and perhaps evokes a raging bull inside all of us. ‘Raging Bull’ is filled with demons, relief, and a pleasantly insane narrative. Viciously brutal boxing sequences mixing slow beating and frenetic flurries of blows, plus a heart of gold, mean Scorsese’s finest work tops this list.