Wait for The Drop: Hardy and Gandolfini shine in this Boston crime drama (RIP, James Gandolfini)

4 Stars (4 / 5)

 

Crime dramas are a dime a dozen.

It’s a popular genre with plenty of easily recyclable tropes: the discount bins runneth over with Lock, Stock ripoffs and Danny Dyer Mockney crime capers. Then again, if you’re with Dennis Lehane, foremost authority on the seedy underbelly of Boston, and MichaĆ«l R.…

Dead Man Down is promising but falls back on genre trappings

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

Genre can be a double-edged sword for even the most talented and versatile filmmaker: hew too close to convention and you risk falling into cliche, stray too far and you risk alienating your core audience.

I think it’s revealing that two of my favorite genre films of recent years – Shane Black’s vaguely satirical crime thriller Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Drew Goddard’s postmodern slasher horror The Cabin in the Woods – both deconstruct their respective genres.…