Category: In the Dark

Home In the Dark

A Good Hitman Is Not So Hard to Find

Assassination Tango 
Produced by American Zoetrope and Butchers’ Run Films
Written and directed by Robert Duvall
Distributed by MGM and United Artists

Phone Booth
Produced by Fox 2000 Pictures
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Screenplay by Larry Cohen
Distributed by 20th


Justice Blinded

Dark Blue
Produced by Alphaville Films and Cosmic Pictures
Directed by Ron Shelton
Screenplay by David Ayer and James Ellroy
Distributed by United Artists

Produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox
Written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson



Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf

The Hours
Produced by Scott Rudin and Miramax Films 
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Screenplay by David Hare from Michael Cunningham’s novel
Distributed by Paramount Pictures 

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Produced by Andrew Lazar and Miramax Films 
Directed by George


The Sorrows of Solipsism

Produced by James Cameron and 20th Century Fox
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Screenplay by Steven Soderbergh from Stanislaw Lem’s novel
Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Produced by Propaganda Films
Directed by Spike Jonze
Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and


Plymouth Rocked

Far From Heaven
Produced by Clear Blue Sky Productions
Written and Directed by Todd Haynes
Distributed by Focus Features and USA Films

Auto Focus
Produced by Propaganda Films
Directed by Paul Schrader
Screenplay by Michael Gerbosi from Robert Graysmith’s book


Cinematic Imagination Under Siege

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Produced and Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation and Walter Wanger Productions
Directed by Don Siegel
Screenplay by Jack Finney and Daniel Mainwaring

I recently proposed Don Siegel’s 1956 science-fiction film Invasion of the


Unutterable Visions, Perishable Breath

Produced and Distributed by New Line Cinema
Written and directed by Andrew Niccol

One Hour Photo
Produced by Catch 23 Entertainment, Laughlin Park Pictures, and Madjak Films
Written and directed by Mark Romanek
Distributed by 20th Century Fox



Signs and Wonders

Produced by Blinding Edge and Touchstone Pictures
Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures

In his third commercial feature, Signs, M. Night Shyamalan seems to be delivering a belated riposte to those who


Fateful Choices

Minority Report
Produced by 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks and Cruise-Wagner Productions
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Scott Frank from a short story by Philip K. Dick
Distributed by DreamWorks

Men in Black II
Produced by Amblin Entertainment and Columbia

Artless Imitations

Artless Imitations

The Importance of Being Earnest
Produced and distributed by Miramax Films
Directed by Oliver Parker
Screenplay by Oliver Parker from Oscar Wilde’s play

The Sum of All Fears
Produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Phil Alden Robinson

Bitten and Smitten

Bitten and Smitten

Produced and distributed by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Sam Raimi
Screenplay by David Koepp

Y Tu Mamá También
Produced by Besame Mucho Productions
Directed by Alfonso Cuarón
Screenplay by Alfonso and Carlos Cuarón
Released by Twentieth Century Fox



Beat the Clock

The Rookie
Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and 98 MPH Productions 
Directed by John Lee Hancock 
Screenplay by Mike Rich 
Released by Buena Vista and Walt Disney Pictures 

Produced by Nickelodeon Movies
Directed by Jonathan Frakes
Screenplay by Rob


Belief Suspended

The Time Machine
Produced and distributed by DreamWorks and Warner Bros.
Directed by Simon Wells
Screenplay by John Logan from a novel by H.G. Wells

Monster’s Ball
Produced by Lee Daniels and Mark Urman
Directed by Marc Forster
Screenplay by


Love, War, and Other Misunderstandings

In the Bedroom
Produced by Good Machine and GreeneStreet Films Inc.
Directed by Todd Field
Screenplay by Robert Festinger from a story by Andre Dubus
Released by Good Machine and Miramax Films

Blackhawk Down
Produced by Columbia Pictures Corporation and


Moral Impressionism

Vanilla Sky
Produced by Cruise-Wagner Productions
Directed by Cameron Crowe
Screenplay by Cameron Crowe, based on Abre Los Ojos
Released by Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures

In Vanilla Sky, director Cameron Crowe and producer/actor Tom Cruise have created an American

Transcendence, Anyone?

Transcendence, Anyone?

The Man Who Wasn’t There
Produced by Working Title Films
Directed by Joel Coen
Screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen
Released by USA Films

2001: A Space Odyssey
Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Screenplay by Arthur C. Clarke

False Redeemers

False Redeemers

The Last Castle
Produced and distributed by DreamWorks
Directed by Rod Lurie
Screenplay by David Scarpa

Training Day
Produced by Outlaw Productions
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Screenplay by David Ayer
Released by Warner Bros.

American film would be poorer without


Something Both Brighter and Darker

Doing Hearts in Atlantis
Produced by Castle Rock Entertainment
Directed by Scott Hicks
Screenplay by William Goldman from Stephen King’s novel
Released by Warner Brothers

I went to see director Scott Hicks’ Hearts in Atlantis not having read the Stephen


A Voice in the Darkness

Apocalypse Now Redux
Produced by Producer Zoetrope Studios
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
Re-released by Miramax Films and United Artists

I was finishing the original draft of this column early on the

The School of Savagery

The School of Savagery

Planet of the Apes
Produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Tim Burton
Screenplay by William Broyles, Jr., from Pierre Boulle’s novel

Ghost World
Produced by Capitol Films, United Artists, and John Malkovich
Directed by Terry Zwigoff

So What’s a Metaphor?

So What’s a Metaphor?

A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Produced by DreamWorks and Warner Bros.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Ian Watson, based on a story by Brian Aldiss Released by Warner Bros.

Sexy Beast
Produced by Channel Four Films and Recorded Pictures Company


History Lite

Pearl Harbor
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Touchstone Pictures
Directed by Michael Bay
Screenplay by Randall Wallace
Released by Buena Vista Pictures

A Knight’s Tale
Produced by Columbia Pictures Corporation and Escape Artists
Written and Directed by Brian Helgeland


Resurrecting the Third Man

The Third Man
Produced by Alexander Korda and David O. Selznick
Directed by Carol Reed
Screenplay by Graham Greene
Released by London Films
Re-released by Rialto Pictures

Forget the Dark Side. Darth Sidious? No more convincing than Bela Lugosi flitting


Fearful Symmetry

The Tailor of Panama
Produced by John le Carré, John Boorman, and Kevan Barker with Columbia Pictures
Directed by John Boorman
Screenplay by John le Carré, John Boorman, and Andrew Davies
Released by Columbia Pictures

One of my favorite films


Dinner Is Served

Produced and Distributed by Dino De Laurentiis and MGM Studios
Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by David Mamet and Steven Zaillian from the novel by Thomas Harris

Last Resort
Produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation
Directed by Paul Pavlikovsky


Moments, Redeeming and Otherwise

Produced by Columbia Pictures
Directed and Written by Guy Ritchie
Released by Sony Pictures

Shadow of the Vampire
Produced by Saturn Films
Directed by E. Elias Merhige
Screenplay by Steven Katz
Released by Lion Gate Films

Thirteen Days



O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Produced by Buena Vista Pictures and Touchstone Pictures
Directed by Joel Coen
Screenplay by Ethan Coen with help from Homer
Released by Buena Vista Pictures

All the Pretty Horses
Produced by Columbia Pictures and Miramax

Accidental Heroes, Ordinary Tragedies

Accidental Heroes, Ordinary Tragedies

Produced by Touchstone and Blinding Edge Pictures
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Released by Buena Vista Pictures

You Can Count on Me
Produced by Cappa Production and The Shooting Gallery
Written and Directed by Ken Lonergan


Details, Details

Dancer in the Dark
Produced by AV-Fund Norway, Arte France Cinéma,
and the Danish Film Institute
Directed and written by Lars von Frier
Distributed by Fine Line Features

The Contender
Produced by Battleground Productions
Directed and written by Rod Lurie


Sentiment and Sentimentality

Nurse Betty
Produced by Gramercy Pictures and Propaganda Films
Directed by Neil LaBute
Screenplay by John C. Richards and James Flamberg
Distributed by USA Films

Almost Famous
Produced by DreamWorks and Vinyl Films
Directed and written by Cameron Crowe


Making Choices, Taking Chances

The Girl on the Bridge (La Fille sur le pont)
Produced by Films Christian Fechner and France 2 Cinéma
Directed by Patrice Leconte
Screenplay by Serge Frydman
Released by Paramount Pictures

Saving Grace
Produced by Homerun Productions and


The Best Reality Money Can Buy?

The Perfect Storm
Produced by Baltimore Spring Creek and Warner Bros.
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen
Screenplay by William D. Wittliff, based on Sebastian Junger’s book
Released by Warner Bros.

The Patriot
Produced by Centropolis Entertainment and Mutual Film Company


Season Your Admiration

Mission: Impossible 2
Produced by Cruise-Wagner Productions and Paramount Pictures
Directed by John Woo
Screenplay by Robert Towne
Released by Paramount Pictures

Produced by Double A Films
Directed by Michael Almereyda
Screenplay by Michael Almereyda, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet