Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips

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The Sting Review


Extraordinary
It's one of cinema's most beloved heist movies, and for good reason: The Sting is balls-out fun from start to finish, a showstopper work for both Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and alternately funny and thrilling.

The plot must have been devilishly complex at the time. In more recent years we've had films like House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner that make The Sting's intricacies look like a story in a first-grader's textbook. It's the Depression, and Johnny Hooker (Redford) makes a living running quickie cons on the street. When he scams several thousand dollars off of a mob guy, the heat comes down from both the mafiosos looking for their money and the crooked cops, culminating in Hooker's partner getting killed and Hooker escaping the city for hopefully better climes.

Continue reading: The Sting Review

The Sting Review


Extraordinary
It's one of cinema's most beloved heist movies, and for good reason: The Sting is balls-out fun from start to finish, a showstopper work for both Robert Redford and Paul Newman, and alternately funny and thrilling.

The plot must have been devilishly complex at the time. In more recent years we've had films like House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner that make The Sting's intricacies look like a story in a first-grader's textbook. It's the Depression, and Johnny Hooker (Redford) makes a living running quickie cons on the street. When he scams several thousand dollars off of a mob guy, the heat comes down from both the mafiosos looking for their money and the crooked cops, culminating in Hooker's partner getting killed and Hooker escaping the city for hopefully better climes.

Continue reading: The Sting Review

Taxi Driver Review


Essential
A masterpiece of Cold War-era cinema, with De Niro in the role that would define his career and spawn a catchphrase that still endures, but never with the same power. Probably did for cab drivers what Psycho did for showers.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Review


Excellent
Around a quarter century ago, a nerdy little kid fresh off the success of some shark movie decided he wanted to turn his focus to little green men. And somehow he turned out one of those rare films that imprints itself into the cultural psyche so far as to be able to be referenced by just about anyone (whether they've seen it or not).

But just in case you really are from another planet and have no clue just what the hell I'm talking about, the year was 1977, the director was Steven Spielberg, and the movie was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Per the film, there are three kinds of alien contact, two of which nobody really cares about. The third kind is the close, personal relationship forged between man and alien when a person gets abducted... and, well, that's the focus of most of this film.

Continue reading: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind Review

Michael Phillips

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