Director: Martin Scorsese
Year Released: 2006
Marty does Shakespeare and Samuel Fuller! For the first time in his career - that I can tell - Scorsese has successfully aligned his love of black comedy (After Hours, Bringing Out the Dead) with his penchant for male-dominated, woman-subjugated violent action pictures: it's like he finally gave up and tried directing a Fuller film (I'm thinking the mock-bravado of The Big Red One) with touches of Shakespearean fatalism. Without going through recounting the complex plot, which involves characters double-crossing each other (and double-crossers searching for double-crossers), it could be said to be a film about trust and loyalty, and lack thereof - it plays out with intensity, helped along by strong performances (Jack Nicholson is the stand-out, though Alec Baldwin shows what he can do with Mametian dialogue) and a sense, on the part of the director, of being slightly self-effacing (or at least self-aware). It's bloody and gruesome, but it's also quite funny and quick-witted - this late-period Scorsese is proving to be just as impressive as the other Scorseses. Sir, you have my undying respect.