High and Low
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
High and Low is a police procedural crime drama that is loosely based on Ed McBain’s 1959 novel, King’s Ransom. High and Low is a masterpiece. Expertly controlled pacing and cinematography paint vivid picture of class divisions. High and Low is an entertaining film and an incisive social commentary.
Directed by Fritz Lang
M is a German movie about a serial killer. Fritz Lang’s first sound film, M is expertly plotted with near-flawless acting, music, and cinematography. M is a technical masterpiece and an insightful comment on the 1930s German environment that Lang would leave in few years’ time.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Directed by Werner Herzog
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is a black comedy that shares a title, a producer (Edward R. Pressman), a corrupt police officer as the central character, and nothing else with Abel Ferrara’s 1992 film Bad Lieutenant. The film, though not the greatest movie ever, is a nearly sublime subversion of action movies and police procedurals. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is as weird as its ungainly title suggests (and as fantastic as a movie directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicolas Cage promises to be). Herzog’s direction and Cage’s acting are fearless and original, and the film easily transcends its genre.