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Shin Godzilla (Resurgence) Review
The following review contains spoilers for Shin Godzilla
Toho Strikes Back
Though not without its faults, Shin Godzilla (also known as Godzilla Resurgence) delivers on all fronts. As any good and entertaining Godzilla film should do, Shin gives you a full serving of humor (both intentional and not), great visuals and destruction, music that adds to the experience rather than serve as just background noise, and a human plot that stacks up well against the best the series has offered in the previous 28 Toho productions.
But of course, there aren’t only 28 Godzilla films. A pair of others were made in the West, the first of which was a failed attempt by summer blockbuster connoisseur Roland Emmerich. The film was such an afront to the Godzilla name that Toho immediately responded with Godzilla 2000. Not only that, but Toho eventually dubbed Emmerich's version of their legendary monster 'Zilla' because, as Toho put it, "They took the God out of Godzilla". Despite the fan backlash, Zilla is a part of Toho's official canon and it later appeared in Godzilla: Final Wars where it showed up just to be promptly obliterated by the real deal. It's
. After Final Wars, Godzilla would go into hibernation for over a decade until the West tried again.
That second attempt was Legendary's Godzilla 2014 and it didn’t take long for Toho to repeat history and announce that they were bringing big G back in response. They boasted that this new Godzilla would be the biggest yet, reclaiming the title from Legendary’s Godzilla which had just taken it months prior.
It felt as though Toho might have had a bruised ego. While Emmerich’s film was a disaster, director Gareth Edwards made a solid attempt at bringing Godzilla to a Western audience with Godzilla 2014. Despite having plenty of flaws, the movie did justice to the source material and respected Toho’s pride and joy. It was also a huge box office success, prompting Legendary to quickly announce that two more Godzilla films would be on their way. Despite my worries that Toho was rushing out a new movie for petty reasons, I remained optimistic.
We could be in the early days of a Godzilla golden age. It's possible there will be two concurrent Godzilla series with Japan and America trading blows, movie by movie. What a time to be alive!
A Godzilla Unlike Any Other
When it was announced that Hideaki Anno would be directing Toho's newest film, many eyebrows surely were raised in response. Known for his background in anime and as the director of the Evangelion series, his hiring turned Shin Godzilla into a big wildcard. It was easy to think blending the style of an anime with a live action monster flick could backfire badly. Ultimately, however, it worked out pretty well.
What Anno gives us is one of the most unique Godzilla designs we've seen yet. While mostly done in mostly good CG, there still seemed to be a bit of animatronics at work as well. While Anno claimed he wasn't satisfied with their efforts to keep up the Toho tradition of using a man in a rubber suit, they did end up using motion capture on a suit, as well as a puppet touched up with CG, and the end result is a deceptively classic feeling Godzilla.
By using a lot of low angles looking up at Godzilla and distance shots showing the legendary kaiju in beautiful wide landscape shots, Anno is able to effectively communicate his monster's immense size and terrifying features.
I use the word terrifying only half truly, for Godzilla's introduction is anything but. When we get our first look at Anno's creation...well, just look for yourself.
Wait...that's not Godzilla!
Oh, how the theater laughed. It's probably the googly eyes that most effectively derail this serious moment into one of utter hilarity but regardless, this version of Godzilla is simultaneously the worst and best thing my eyes have ever witnessed. I could see how a diehard Godzilla fan would see this and be offended but honestly, it's just freaking funny.
What really caught me off guard was how unsettling this Godzilla actually was when we got to see more of it. As it shimmy shimmied its way through town (there's really no other way to explain how this thing moves), a jiggly fat neck wobbles to and fro opening gills that drench the ground in blood. Gross! At one point, Godzilla attempts to stand on its two hind legs, revealing not a strong, healthy looking creature ready to bring the destruction but instead a tortured abomination. This is a freak that probably wants to be annihilated and it's unsettling to watch. The whole thing is funny, disturbing, and depressing all at once. It's a mix of emotions quite unlike anything Godzilla has evoked in me before.
And just when you think this introduction can't get any more bizzare, Godzilla evolves.
Like a Pokemon.
Oh God, someone hit B and stop this! It's starting to actually look intimidating!
What we're left with is something that's starting to look like the Godzilla we know and love, minus the goofy googly eyes that still remain. Due to civilians still being in the area, Japan holds off on an attack allowing Godzilla to return to the sea to rest and when he returns, he's evolved a second time. This is when Godzilla starts to look very familiar. But don't think you know this Godzilla, its packing a few interesting surprises.
Pictured: Godzilla bringing the disco back
Instead of rebooting the series as a sequel to the original Gojira, Toho and Anno decided to start from scratch. Shin Godzilla features a brand new Godzilla with a brand new origin story. I already touched on one major change, the fact that Godzilla looks very different and then evolves into a more familiar monster, but his looks and origin aren't the only things revamped.
Godzilla's got some tricks up his sleeves, tricks we haven't seen before. The biggest of which is the monster's atomic breath, now a crazy sort of napalm breath/energy beam/disco show combo. And it's deadly. Godzilla ends up turning Tokyo into an infernal hellscape in minutes flat, one of the most powerful and destructive moments in Godzilla's long and storied history. It's the highlight of the movie and seeing it unfold in theaters was like a Godzilla sized dream come true. Unfortunately, this climax happens somewhere around the midpoint of the movie, the final act falls short of topping this spectacle.
Some fans are saying these changes go too far, that it's too different and ridiculous! Well, to them I say see
, exhibit C....
The biggest issue I have with this new Godzilla is its demeanor. The monster barely shows any emotion outside of its anger induced rage fest. It moves very slowly and often looks like a statue. In fact, the movie basically ends with just that; a frozen statue Godzilla plastered right in the middle of Tokyo. I feel this all was a creative decision by Anno, perhaps wanting to use Godzilla as a stagnant but ever present threat to Tokyo. It fits with the commentary on the 3/11 disasters and makes sense, it's just a preference to want a more lively and emotive Godzilla.
All in all, Anno has given us a very unique Godzilla, from a drastic departure in appearance, to evolutions and new atomic abilities, to humanzilla things emerging from his being. You read that right. Humanoid Godzilla beings trying to escape the monstrosity that is Shin Godzilla. Anno's monster makes us laugh, makes us cheer, and even manages to make us feel some of that authentic Toho terror and dread. Despite the googly eyes.
Seriously. Humanoid Godzilla beings. Good luck sleeping ever again.
The Human Element
For me personally, the human plots usually end up being a Godzilla film's weakest link. Sure, some zany time traveling plots with aliens might entertain more than others but for the most part, Godzilla is usually bogged down by characters we don't care about giving dialogue that feels like pure filler. To me, this is not the case with Shin Godzilla, though I can see the possibility of people getting lost in the dialogue or bored during some longer plot heavy sequences.
A Deeper Meaning
This film operates like a behind-the-scenes documentary following the Japanese government as they deal with a surprise Godzilla attack. This means there's no human sub plots, no love story, no crazy sci fi. You're getting a rather realistic look at a natural disaster and a nation's response. While some might not like this, it's clear that Anno had a plan and knew exactly what approach he wanted to take and why.
Shin Godzilla has a lot to say. It draws on the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami as well as the Fukushima meltdown that followed to provide a humorous satire on the response of the Japanese government. It becomes obvious when the Prime Minister goes on live TV, deceptively dressed in an emergency rescue suit (we as viewers know the man has spent all his time in conference rooms and meetings, not out surveying damages), telling the people that they need not worry about the monster making landfall. As soon as he says this, he’s interrupted with the news that Godzilla has already done so.
It did what now?
Subtle digs at government operations appear throughout the film, from constantly needing to change board rooms to an exhausting chain of command that must patiently be navigated to approve each order. Can we fire, can we fire, can we fire? Yes, fire. We can fire, we can fire. Fire away. But on top of the satire, there are several more serious topics Anno wants us to ponder as we watch:
Japan's deep respect for Article 9, the part of their constitution that renounces war and the use of weapons. The Japanese Special Defense Force mentions several times that they are better suited for helping the citizens evacuate instead of fighting Godzilla.Japan's inability to defend itself and needing to rely on the United States to help with Godzilla. Japan does try to use force against the monster but they throw everything they have at Godzilla without even leaving a scratch on him. It's the Americans that eventually wound Godzilla when they come to help.Japan's role in the worldwide community and the older generation's passive ways, going along with the decisions being made for them. This even applies to the ridiculous notion of dropping a nuke on Tokyo to destroy Godzilla.
Anno challenges us to come up with our own thoughts on these issues, to wonder if Japan should be given more autonomy and break with tradition to build a strong military that can defend themselves. We watch a sort of changing of the guard as an older generation gets replaced by a younger one and with them comes a shift in thinking. It's up to us to compare these two leadership styles and come to our own conclusions, though the character Yaguchi makes a pretty bold statement late in the movie basically yelling at the audience that Japan's Special Defense Force is the only hope for Japan's future.
While we're given a deep and intriguing story, it does tend to drag at times as we get a couple of long dialogue heavy sequences. The most notable occurs after Godzilla's attack on Tokyo when Japan's new leadership studies Godzilla and finalizes their plan to stop not only the monster, but the nuke the world wants to drop on Tokyo. While they come up with an ingenious plot that they successfully execute, the explanation is overwhelming and difficult to follow. Dialogue in this movie comes fast and furiously, there's more characters than Game of Thrones, and whenever a new character or location appears, we get extra subs to tell us the information the movie thinks we need to know. At times I was reading as fast as I could and still couldn't get through everything. And if the screen wasn't crowded enough, sometimes English speaking characters would pop up adding Japanese subs to the hilarious mess.
This wasn't so hilarious in the movie's final act however. The part of the film that digs most deeply into Godzilla's origin story was the hardest to follow. A man named Goro Maki had been studying mutations due to nuclear contamination, he knew about Godzilla and apparently so did the United States. Something happened to his wife, he commits suicide, and leaves behind all his research on an abandoned yacht. His research forms a sort of puzzle for the Japanese government to solve, which they eventually do by realizing they could fold his data printouts like oragami, unlocking everything they need to put their plan into motion.
Yeah, I don't know. I'm not sure why Maki would make his research so cryptic if it could help stop a monster he knows very well. I'll have to wait for the Blu-ray release to see exactly what was going on with this part of the plot.
Maki is sort of the most interesting character in this movie because of the mystery surrounding him, yet he never appears on screen. As for the others, I'm personally ok with Anno deciding to make his story driven by satire and political commentary instead of giving us a personal connection to any individuals. It's fitting that a large group of characters come together to defeat Godzilla, with no special emphasis on any one person. It would sort of contradict the film's message to have a single hero. Japan needs to decide if they want independence, if they want to be able to take care of themselves as a country. They decide yes and defend themselves, as a country not a person.
In truth, none of the characters seem like they'd be all that interesting if we dove further into their lives anyways. This is something that can sadly be said about most Godzilla movies which is a shame. While most of the characters don't really stand out, one character in particular does. And not in a good way.
"I'm Kayoco Ann Patterson and I'm totally spunky and a little funny. I want to be YOUR president." -Kayoco Ann Patterson 2028
The problem with Kayoco is that in a story where you can reasonably buy into what is happening, all the political maneuvering and the messy chain of command present within the government, I just can't buy into her ever becoming president. She's a stereotyped character and no amount of suspended disbelief can make her aspirations seem plausible. Her English speaking scenes stick out like sore thumbs as well, especially her meeting with the US Ambassador to Japan. The man is portrayed like a cartoon villain, he's just a voice coming from a shadowy seat. Despite just needing to read a few lines, the voice acting is rather bad. The whole scene could have just been tossed. There's a few other American characters that have the same problem in their brief roles.
And So It Ends
As mentioned earlier, the Japanese government comes up with a pretty clever plan to defeat Godzilla, inspired by their findings in Maki's work. Essentially, they want to inject a blood coagulant into Godzilla cooling him down. The plan works, Godzilla is frozen, no nuke is dropped on Tokyo. At least not when the film ends.
I've been thinking about this ending since I left the theater, it leaves a lot open to speculation. We're told that if Godzilla were to wake up, the countdown to drop the nuke would resume. That would give them roughly an hour to...do something, whatever they could do before Tokyo is wiped off the map. This combined with the humanoid Godzilla creatures I referenced earlier creates an ending that maybe needed just a bit more. Open ended is good but, unless there's a direct sequel, I think Shin Godzilla leaves too much on the table.
Despite the flaws, Shin Godzilla's human plot rides its thought provoking nature to success. I may change my opinion a bit over time as I reflect back on this movie and watch it again, but right now I'm feeling pretty confident in saying it's one of the best human plots from any Godzilla movie. I can certainly see why someone might disagree, mostly because of the lack of personal character development, but the 1954 original Gojira is the only film in the series I can think of that delivers a comparably powerful plot and strong message about the world that inspired it.
A few scattered thoughts I have on other aspects of Shin Godzilla:
The soundtrack is fantastic. The classic theme and sound cues are present, making sure we know that we're watching an authentic Toho Godzilla, filling us with feelings only Toho can provide. I found it interesting how the soundtrack seemed to evolve with Godzilla and the Japanese Government. The music was more orchestrated and string driven when the old and passive leadership was in charge. When the younger generation took over, the music became more modern, lead by electric guitar and drums. The middle sections had a sort of blend between the two with strings, piano, and drums making for some great original tracks.The biggest blunder of this film was truly the googly eyes. There were other problems I saw in Godzilla's design based on the promo pictures and trailers, mainly the stubby arms and the incredibly long cat-like tail, but after seeing the film, those worked well. The googly eyes on the other hand...Though the effects were mostly great, there were some instances where the CG looked particularly bad. They serve as examples why the smaller budgets of Eastern films can't do full CGI like Western movies can.When Godzilla is injured by the American Air Force, I wondered if that was the cause of Godzilla's back lazers. Perhaps atomic energy was leaking through his wounds, similar to the gaping neck hole Godzilla has in GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack.I'd rather not compare this movie to Godzilla 2014 but let's face it, everyone is going to. If Toho turns Shin Godzilla into a series, it'll be Toho and Legendary going toe to toe for several years. I'd say Toho wins round one, the main difference being that Shin Godzilla is a lot more effective at accomplishing what it sets out to do. Legendary's film decided to make Godzilla a third string player behind nameless soldier #645327 and the Mutos. The problem was that Brody wasn't interesting enough to carry the movie like they wanted him and his plot to do and no other element in the film made up for it. Director Gareth Edwards also wanted to tease his monsters, evoking the slow burn style of classic films like Jaws and Alien, but it just didn't work. The cuts were unnatural and it felt obvious that they were intended to mess with us. I do enjoy Legendary's film. I've seen it several times and will see it several more I'm sure. There's just no contest here with regards to which movie executed its intent better.
I personally love Shin Godzilla, I feel it could very well end up being one of my favorites but I can see why others might feel differently. The poor pacing, long sequences of information overload, Godzilla sleeping for half the movie while the Japanese government studies and plans, and the kaiju's incredibly goofy and hilarious first form are all enough to give someone pause. Throw that on top of a very topical and heavy commentary that is tough to follow if you're not familiar with the 3/11 disaster and subsequent Fukushima meltdown, and you've got a movie that requires a lot from its viewers. It could take several rewatches to really grasp what is going on, I know it will for me. While I love the depth and feel Anno gives us a very thought provoking story, it might not click for others. It all comes down to what the viewer prefers, in respect to both storytelling and how they would like Godzilla to be used.
In the end, there's no doubt that this a Japanese movie made for a Japanese audience. The fact that we get to see it in US theaters is a treat. If you're curious about what an authentic Toho Godzilla film is like or you're a big fan of their work already, Shin Godzilla is absolutely a must see movie. You just might want to do some light reading first.
The true King is back and no one does it quite like Toho.
By Sirius_Amory33 - - 0 commentsRead more...
Manga Corner: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 Review
The Legend of Zelda is one of the greatest video game series of all time. It also happens to be one of my favorite. When I first discovered that there was manga series based off the franchise I have played since I was a child, I had a bit of a meltdown. The series is by Akira Himekawa and every book is a treasure, including the latest based on final Zelda game on the Gamecube and the first for the Wii. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 debuted on February 8th, 2016 - it was translated and released in the States on March 15th, 2017, published by Viz Media.
At first, it wasn't likely that the book would be published at all due to the game's rating and how it was received. Like the previous entries in this manga series, the Twilight Princess manga is based off the video game of the same name. This graphic novel is the first of four planned for the series.
There is a Legend...
Our hero, Link, is doing his best to settle down in the peaceful Ordon Village. Little does he know, his world of light is about to turn dark. Shadows have begun to stir. An ancient evil long forgotten has taken hold of the land of Hyrule. Can Link face the darkness of his former life and rise to meet his destiny? Or will he be swallowed forever by the demons lurking in his past?
Entering The Shadow Realm
While Twilight Princess is based off the video game, there are quite a few changes to the story. It goes further into the origins of Zant and Midna and provides Link with a backstory prior to his arrival in Ordon Village. While this added information fills in the narrative, I'm eager to see how they develop it in each volume. Focusing on our main hero, this personification of Link is different than others up to this point. He's a little rough around the edges and less eager to please. He acts like an actual teenager, which is refreshing, but he still has those familiar heroic qualities.
The theme is much darker and the visuals complement that vision. Some of the scenes are pretty gruesome, but then again, this was one of the more somber entries in the game franchise. As a starter, Vol. 1 does a good job drawing in the readers, leaving many unanswered questions. It also provides enough change for veterans of the series to be intrigued. While the novel does captivate its audience, I feel like it ended far too soon. This book only covers the very beginning - and though the creators have always done well adapting the games, I can't help but worry a bit. Or maybe I just want the next volume to be out.
I can't get over the artistry; the artwork is just outstanding. Hyrule and its inhabitants leap off the page. Each character depiction is very true to the video game. The panels are fluid, easy to follow, and they read quickly. Overall, this is a pretty good start to a series.
Twilight Princess, Vol. 1: Final Thoughts
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 doesn't shy away from the darker themes explored in its console counterpart.Though the tone is more mature than other franchise adaptations, it is visually inspired and true to the source material. It introduces a fair amount of previously unexplored backstory and sets up its audience for the next dramatic entry; and I am excited for it!
What do you all think? Have you read The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1? Did you know Vol. 2 is out? Want to have a copy of your very own? Click here!
Or maybe you're more interested in the source material...click here for the HD remake on the Wii U, or here for the Wii version. Good luck finding a copy for the Game Cube!
Final Fantasy IX Review - The Evolution of Final Fantasy
We’ve come to the final franchise entry for the PS1 era. The series developed from the 8-bit medieval fantasy into a more realistic and futuristic game, each with a twist on game mechanics and story-telling. Though the past three main Final Fantasy games ascended into a more ‘technological era,’ this last entry was a nod back to the originals that started the epic journey. Set against a medieval background with a cast of quirky and unforgettable characters, it would be easy to believe that Final Fantasy IX is a light-hearted adventure; but don’t be fooled. While the look is more cartoon-ish, the story-line is incredibly dark as well as charming. There are many pros and cons to this fantastic entry, and it is definitely a fitting swan song for the PS1 era.
Back to the Classics and New Additions
Final Fantasy IX is quite the turn after Final Fantasy VII and VIII. Seeped in past lore, we leave the materia and GF-Junction systems behind as we return to the single class character design and buying upgrades. The game has several nods to past franchise entries including character inspirations, musical throw-backs, and collectible items. This lends a lovely touch of nostalgia without completely relying on the past. Of course, since this is a Final Fantasy game, the music is master piece by the wonderful Nobuo Uematsu in one of his greatest scores ever. All of these cherished aspects combine into one of the most well-balanced and visually stunning games in the series.
While the game returned to its roots, it’s not without innovations. One in particular is the addition of ‘Active Time Events.’ These cut-away scenes were added to provide additional insight and character development for a richer narrative. Other new developments involve a new way to learn abilities, an option to forge new weapons and armor, and a series of mini-games to form a truly enjoyable game. Regardless of the changes or throw-backs, the greatest part of Final Fantasy IX lies within its story.
Welcome to Gaia
Our story begins in the world of Gaia on the onset of war between two of the great nations. Players join Zidane Tribal, a plucky thief in a traveling band of misfits called
. He and his crew are attempting to capture the princess of Alexandria, Garnet Til Alexandros XVII. What begins as a high-stakes kidnapping turns into a game of cat and mouse. It catches not only the princess and her protector, Adelbert Steiner, in a daring escape, but also poor Vivi, a
and innocent bystander. As our plot thickens and the cast of characters grow, tension between the nations of Alexandria, Lindblum, Cleyra, and Burmecia rises. War rages against the power hungry Queen of Alexandria and Garnet's mother, Queen Brahne.
While Zidane and the others face the threat of Alexandria, a third player is pulling the strings. With the mysterious introduction of Kuja, a mysterious arms dealer, our heroes soon discover that not everything as it seems. It is a twisted story of war, self-discovery, and other-worldly surprises.
A Fine Line between Comedy and Tragedy
Final Fantasy IX has one of the most intricate stories of the series. On the surface it begins as a war story, but the narrative sinks into a dark allegory concerning our own existence. Unlike previous heroes who jump into the fray because they are 'the chosen ones,' we have characters who press on out of obligation, love, or self-discovery. While the powerful arc pushes each character to his or her limit, they exponentially grow by the conclusion. The lines of good and evil are so blurred that it's hard not to show sympathy for characters on both sides. Even the all-powerful villains seem to have some redeeming qualities that can alter our perception.
The world of Gaia is covered in shades of grey - while some moments are clearly black and white, the narrative touches on the aspects that make us all human, while using both human and non-human characters. Filled with silly moments and downright bone-chilling scenes, Final Fantasy IX tells a powerful story that players will want to revisit. It is incredibly well-balanced; the heavy moments are complemented by charming comedic scenes that allow for a rounded narrative.
Change isn't Always Good
That being said, there are some issues. The main story becomes a little muddy and difficult to follow. While all of the characters are very interesting, some of their development doesn't reach full potential, including the main villain. At points, the pacing is a little slow, but the worst error is a mandatory section that requires players to play Tetra Master. Rather than having a mini-game add extra fun, this card game is forced on the players and it does not play as well as it's predecessor, Triple Triad. There is no worthy reward for playing the game, and it really doesn't fit in. That being said, these aspects are not overwhelming enough to destroy the game experience. The game mechanics and the wonderful characters are enough to keep gamers wanting more.
Getting Ready for Battle
Final Fantasy IX has game-play very similar to its predecessors. Players have access to a main party that consists of eight playable characters: Zidane, Dagger, Vivi, Steiner, Freya, Quina, Eiko, and Amarant. There are other NPC characters that gamers can control for a determined amount of time. Players can explore the world map, towns, and dungeons like previous entries; however, rather than using a save point, Final Fantasy IX utilizes moogles for that function. When players encounter a moogle, they can talk with it, buy basic items, and take part in the mini-game ‘Mognet’ which is an on-going letter exchange between all the moogles in the game.
In addition to the save point change, Final Fantasy IX includes a field icon to assist in finding exits and treasure on screen – which is a huge help considering the intricate graphics. There is also a new approach to puzzle solving and story-telling through the ATE – or active time events. These events can allow for slight differentiation in game play, character development, and navigating dungeons – almost like Final Fantasy VI.
Also, like previous entries, players navigate the world map by foot, chocobo, boat or airship and can run into random battles.
Customization and Equipment
Final Fantasy IX returns to a single character system; each character has a specific skill set and equipment they can equip, and that never changes. On the other hand, players get to choose which abilities their characters learn by equipping them with the proper equipment. Of course, a thief (Zidane) can’t learn Cure – that’s a skill outside his class. However, gamers can acquire many different items with learn-able abilities. These abilities depend on the equipment characters wear and use. After gaining enough ability points, characters can use the skill without the item. As characters level, so do their stats, attributes, and skill points. The higher level, the more skills your characters can equip.
Another fun customization for characters comes from forging new items. Players can collect equipment and use it to form stronger weapons and accessories with rare skills. It becomes imperative to horde equipment in order to make new items because there are so many options. Of course, it's easy to find a guide in the age of the internet - but it's important to hold on to at least one of everything.
You Used TRANCE! It's not very effective…
Final Fantasy IX uses a similar battle system to its predecessors, and returns to the original four character battle formation. Each encounter runs on the Active Time Battle system (ATB) that has players waiting for the gauge to fill in order to perform an action. Each character has special abilities based on their class, such as steal, black magic, or casting summons/eidolons. However, unlike previous entries, the battle speed is incredibly slow. While the animation of the enemies and characters is quite incredible, the action drops to a crawl which makes battles last much too long.
Another change comes in the addition of the ‘Trance’ mode limit break. As characters take damage, a secondary gauge fills, much like Final Fantasy VII’s limit breaks. When the gauge is full, characters go into ‘Trance’ mode and unleash powerful attacks for a short period of time. Though it sounds great, the biggest flaw with the Trance model was the inability to store or save it. Whenever a character’s gauge is full, he or she will automatically go into Trance mode – like after an enemy has died or a battle has concluded. The game will even pause to allow a character to enter Trance mode before the victory music plays. Also, the Trance abilities aren't always the greatest.
Regardless, Final Fantasy IX’s battles are still fun and with fair amount of challenge.
Mini Games and More
By this point, Final Fantasy fans know that each new entry is going to have some interesting mini-games. Final Fantasy IX is no exception. There are plenty of side missions: the Mognet quest, a chocobo item-hunting game, and the terrible Tetra Master. After the success of Final Fantasy VIII’s card game, Triple Triad, the developers included something 'similar' and made it part of the story. Unfortunately, Tetra Master is not as easy to follow, and could be down-right frustrating. After a brief explanation and a few test runs, the card game is still confusing. Gamers must manage to get through it.
Another point of contention involved Final Fantasy IX’s strategy guide. While this didn’t affect the game directly, instead of doing its job, the guide was full of links asking players to log into the PlayOnline website. Most of these links no longer work, but thankfully, the internet has plenty of noteworthy guides for anyone looking for a helping hand. Understandably, if someone shelled out the cash for the guide, it would hardly be worth it.
Final Fantasy IX does a wonderful job of capturing the heart of the Final Fantasy series. The game is truly an example of a wonderful narrative and it captures spirit of the beginnings of the franchise. It marries some of the greatest aspects of the series into one beautiful game with an incredible story and soundtrack. This final entry for the PS1 era says good-bye to the designs of the past and forges on into a future of innovation.
Overcooked Review: Taste of Victory
You know what's more fun than cooking in an actual kitchen? Being a master chef of the video game world! And what better way is there to spend time screaming at your friends or loved ones than sitting on the couch with Overcooked. Team 17 created a fun and fast-paced cooking based game that everyone can enjoy. Whether you are prepping the kitchen for four or going solo, this game is a great way to pass the time.
Setting Up The Kitchen
Our culinary quest starts like any other adventure; King Onion and his dog, Kevin, plead with us to save the world by satisfying the hunger of The Beast. Unfortunately, as players are cooking newbs, the only items they can serve up is salad. Let's face it; the Beast's hunger cannot be satisfied by salad alone.
King Onion takes it upon himself to send the players back in time to travel about and sharpen their cooking skills for a rematch. In order to prepare, the future master chefs (not to be confused with Master Chief...that's another game) must head through cities, go on the road, and venture into outer space to conjure delicious dishes to satisfy the Beast.
Overcooked Recipe Book
Overcooked has several different modes: Campaign, Versus, and DLC in the Lost Morsel, and Festive Seasoning. Regardless of the mode you choose, the game has the same focus.
The object of Overcooked is to prepare and serve food while avoiding obstacles and beating the clock. The quicker players put out orders, the more tip money and points they receive. Each level usually has a particular recipe to prepare, such as soup, burgers, fish and chips, or pizza. Orders will consist of various ingredients that must be chopped, cooked, assembled, plated and sent out. In some cases, players are responsible for cleaning dishes, while in others they must avoid kitchen hazards like moving counter tops and jumping between food trucks.
In the campaign mode, players tackle a series of levels that require a mastery of 1-3 stars to advance to the next section. Each level has a particular score that needs to be hit to earn a rank, and players must cooperate in order to master the kitchen. Versus mode pits players against each other in an all-out cook out. Overcooked's DLC options offer would-be chefs more levels and more avatar options.
Next Top Chef?
When I purchased this game during XBOX ONE's Black Friday deals, I was reminded fondly of an Atari game called
. My nostalgia factor took over, and I sat down to play this game. First off, the graphics are pretty great. The game has an old school feel with smooth, modern graphics. The music is catchy, though forgettable - but that's not really what matters in a game like this.
This game is addictive, especially as a co-op game. It's not enough to get one or two stars. I had to have them all, and each stage had a fair amount of difficulty. While not the hardest game on the shelf, some of the levels could prove to be pretty challenging depending on how well your team works together, or how many players you have.
The controls are simple enough, and when it comes time for Versus mode, there is a fair amount of challenge swapping between avatars to beat your opponent - unless of course, you have more players.
I found myself saying pretty often, "There's no way you could do this with one player." That being said, it really isn't as fun with just one person. I'm not sure it's meant to be played solo.
Overcooked: Final Cook Off
If you are looking for some good, competitive fun, this is the perfect game to pick up. It's a great game to play with a couple of friends or family members, provided you work as a team. Of course, if cooperation isn't your thing, you could find yourself screaming "CHOP THAT ONION" at someone you thought was your friend, but clearly doesn't know his or her way around a kitchen.
Regardless, it's a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, and with the added DLC, players can keep coming back to the kitchen for another round.
So what do you think? Have you played Overcooked before? Which avatar is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to try Overcooked?
Buy it here on XBOX ONE, PS4, or Steam!
Nostalgia Train: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV - Turtles in Time
Bury my shell at wounded knee after you jump back onto the Nostalgia Train. Our next trip takes us back to one the greatest times in video game history! The Super Nintendo truly was a golden era of video games, and this month's entry is no exception. Was there a better way to spend time with your siblings or friends than punching out foot soldiers in different time periods? The answer is always no. That's when I usually pull out my cartridge of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time.
Cowabunga! Big Apple (3 Am)
TMNT: IV is such a popular game that most enthusiasts call it merely 'Turtles in Time.' It's a 'beat'em up' with a simple premise and easy game play. Players join our heroes as they track down Krang and Shredder after the villains steal the Statue of Liberty during a televised tribute. Of course, this mission isn't so simple; Shredder has his own plan to banish the turtles into a time warp. Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello must bash their way through legions of baddies in the past, present, and future in order to find and return the American symbol to its rightful place and time.
Turtle Power! Turtles in Time
While the plot is nothing really to write home about, it's perfect in its simplicity. You'd be hard-pressed to find a deep plot in any game focused on beating your enemies to a pulp. Of course, the focus of this game is the addicting game play. To start, players select their favorite turtle; each has particular strengths and weaknesses. The object is to fight through each level and conquer the end boss, ultimately reaching Super Shredder and retrieve the Statue of Liberty.
Each stage has different hazards and obstacles to overcome, such as moving platforms, falling rocks, and spaces that freeze a player dead in his/her tracks. At one point, players must throw foot soldiers at the screen in order to continue on. At the stage's end, the turtles must face the likes of the Baxter Stockman, Leatherhead, Beebop, Rocksteady and many other familiar TMNT enemies. While the game provides a fair amount of challenge with limited amount of lives and continues, it's not overly complicated and it's an easy game for just about anyone to play.
The Co-op Game of Champions
The past has given us plenty of fun and frustrating co-op games: Contra, Battletoads, Super Mario Brothers. Time has also given us some pretty interesting TMNT games - like the impossible one for the NES. Put those together, with
, and you have a co-op game for the ages.
The cooperative play in Turtles in Time is seamless; players can fight alongside one another without attacking each other, but the game does require a bit a strategy. Health - or pizza- is limited, as are special attack hazards located in particular levels. Also, there are quite a few levels that throw out two bosses at the same time. It's times like these that it helps to have your best friend ready to punch out a mutated warthog.
Technodrome: The Final Shell Shock
After 25 years of awesome, this game is still one of the best ways to kill an afternoon. (Or an hour...depending on how good your teamwork is!) While there are certainly other amazing games out there, TMNT IV: Turtles in Time is the perfect game for endless amounts of beat'em up fun. In fact, I think it's about time I picked it up for another play-through. So what do you all think? What's your favorite co-op game? Have you picked up Turtles in Time lately? Let us know in the comments below!
Nostalgia Train: Heretic - Shadow of the Serpent Riders Review
Welcome back to the Nostagia Train – the series that brings you back in time to enjoy the beloved or not-so-beloved games of our past. This time, we are headed back to 1994 when FPS shooters involved tricky mazes, creatures from another world, and mild motion-sickness. Following the success of Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders was a dark, medieval take on the first-person shooter.
A twisted atmosphere of ambient noise and uncertainty around every corner, Heretic is more than just a Doom clone. While most of the game takes cues from its predecessor, Heretic manages to stand on its own as a pretty solid game. There are a few functional changes and a different theme bundled with a little online multi-player option that makes this game worth checking out.
Heretic: War of the Serpent Riders
Three devious Serpent Riders with powerful magic have sought to control the kings of the world and wage war. However, the Sidhe elves resisted the riders. They sacrificed their own power to stop the kings from tearing each other a part at the cost of their own magic. Thus, the elves were rendered helpless before the Serpent Riders and forced to go into hiding. One remaining warrior, Corvus, seeks vengeance against the Serpent Riders and sets out to defeat the weakest first – D’Sparil. Will his vengeance be realized and can he make it home alive?
Navigating the City of the Damned
Heretic is your basic first-person shooter, but with a few perks. Unlike previous games, you can actually look up and down in this game! It’s a little change, but it really helps when you’re trying to find out what’s shooting you. A less helpful tidbit is the introduction of gibs – that way you are pleasantly reminded of the fact that you died a horrible, skin-melting lava death. Oh yes! And you can fly. So, there’s that.
Aside from these small changes, game play is very similar to other FP shooters of the era. Players must navigate through a level-based structure with varying degrees of difficulty. Find weapons, find keys, find treasure and murder the bad guys. Part of the fun of these games is figuring out the puzzles and unlocking the door forward to the next, more difficult level of the dungeon. That, and the abusive cheat codes.
Trying to cheat, eh? Now you die!
One of the best parts of Heretic and games like it is throwing on the cheat codes and slaughtering your foes. There are several codes for “god mode” or “all weapons” – but don’t go typing in IDKFA of IDDQD just yet. The game actually punishes players that try to use the secret codes from Doom. If you don’t believe me, give it a try! You can download the game on steam!
Overall, Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders is one of those games that slipped through the cracks. While the story isn't much to write home about, the actual game play is where Heretic shines. It was released at a time where Doom was king, and the release date had it competing with the next level of gaming. It had missed its mark, but it really is a solid game. If you are into old school first-person shooters, Heretic is really worth spending the time and money on. If you end up liking it, there are two sequels!
So, what do you think? Want to head back into the past? Where should we go next? Let us know in the comments below!
Manga Corner: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 Review
Finally! August 8th has come (and gone) and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 manga series has arrived! I anxiously awaited the UPS delivery notification, and couldn't wait to dive into the next part. I had high expectations following the strong start of Vol. 1 from Viz Media - and the second didn't disappoint. The story continues with the base story line from the video game, but with slight changes to translate the action and give our hero, Link, a voice.
While the first was an introduction to Link and the whirlwind of twilight that had ripped through Hyrule, this second entry tackles his awakening as the hero. Let's take an in-depth look at the second part of the four part series. Before reading further, if you are interested in the Vol. 1 review, you can find it here.
Caged in Twilight
In the second installment in the series, Link awakens chained and in the form of a majestic wolf. A twilight imp by the name of Midna appears and offers him freedom, but only if he agrees to assist her on her quest. During their escape, Link discovers that he is being kept in Hyrule Castle and that the world has been flooded in Twilight. Before he can meet with destiny, Midna returns him to Ordon Village where the monkeys of the Faron Woods have become violent. What foul demons wait in the depths of the forest? Can Link trust Midna and will he ever return to his human form?
The Light of Hyrule
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 keeps with the overall tone of Vol. 1. There are a few interesting twists to the original story involving Princess Zelda's backstory and a glimpse of Link's grizzly rival, King Bulbin. I appreciate the various perspectives presented, and it's those little details that round out the narrative. Link and Midna have met and their dynamic is perfect. While their relationship is born out of a mutual need for one another to start, the foundation for their partnership is well established.
Link, however, is conflicted with his duty as a hero. Though he is a reluctant champion, he manages to navigate the Twilight in his new wolf form and rises to the occasion in order to protect his home. The darker images and violence can prove to be a bit much for very young readers, but it stays true to the original game. The stakes are raising and it displays how the most noble creatures can be corrupted by the darkness. At the end, we are once again left with a defiant Link and an uncertain future for Hyrule. (Unless, of course, you've played the game.) While Vol. 2 did a decent job capturing the important points by weaving in some extra backstory, there is just so much to cover in four volumes. I'm concerned about how much might be left out as the series continues.
The artistry for Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 brings out the dark theme of the Twilight realm. There is a distinct difference between the World of Light and the Twilight, and it makes the experience more immersive. The panels contain stunning images that really push the story forward, almost too quickly. However, it's a little disappointing at the end- simply because Vol. 3 is too far away. Is it March, 13th yet?
Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 : Final Thoughts
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 is a great continuation of the darker video game in the franchise. The tone keeps the mature feel and has a good balance between the World of Light and Twilight artwork. The story is more character driven and provides some intriguing new details. It is a fitting continuation, and I cannot wait for the next one.
What do you all think? Have you read The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 ? Want to have a copy of your very own? Click here!
Or maybe you're more interested in the source material...click here for the HD remake on the Wii U, or here for the Wii version. Good luck finding a copy for the Game Cube!
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Manga Corner: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 1 Review
Final Fantasy IX Review - The Evolution of Final Fantasy
Overcooked Review: Taste of Victory
Nostalgia Train: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV - Turtles in Time
Nostalgia Train: Heretic - Shadow of the Serpent Riders Review
Manga Corner: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Vol. 2 Review
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11 Movies To Watch Next If You Liked War DogsWhile director Todd Phillips' comedic efforts are well known at this point (see The Hangover, Old School etc), War Dogs is funny in an entirely different way. Retelling the incredible true story of David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, this crime/dark-comedy hit is breathtakingly exhilarating and hilarious right from the start. Whether you like the shady characters involved, the illegal-arms for sale or just the pure audacity needed to follow through, we've got 11 other movies that will provide another big dose of entertainment for you to binge on next.
Check out our handpicked list / video below for the 11 best movies like War Dogs.
The Top 11 movies like War Dogs:
Lord of War American Made The Wolf of Wall Street American Hustle Blow The Big Short Goodfellas Catch Me If You Can Pain and Gain Kid Cannabis Molly's Game 1. Lord Of War
Straight in with our number 1 recommendation, we've got Lord of War. If you like War Dogs then you'll absolutely love Lord of War. From arms dealing and smuggling to chasing the love of his life, Yuri Orlov (Nicholas Cage) is a man who always wants more. While it didn't break any records at the box office, this is a must-watch movie if you've never seen it before.
2. American Made
Still looking for more smuggling, drugs, and arms dealings? Well, American Made may well be the perfect movie to quench your thirst. Another one on the list inspired by a true story, it stars Tom Cruise as Barry Seal - an ordinary pilot who was initially recruited by the CIA. With the Medellin Cartel searching for a man to help fly their drugs without detection, Seal quickly catches their eye and finds himself becoming a large part of their operation. With the authorities never far behind, he must find a way to outrun them and stay one step ahead. Get comfortable and take a deep breath before watching this blockbuster hit.
3. The Wolf Of Wall Street
Moving along, we've included the Martin Scorsese movie - The Wolf of Wall Street. While it deals in financial crime instead of arms and munitions, it's no less exciting. With Leonardo DiCaprio portraying the real life account of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, this movie is a hyper-energized and exuberant riot. We know, you've probably already seen it a couple of times before, but there are some movies where you just can't go wrong.
RELATED: Check out the best Wolf of Wall Street quotes
4. American Hustle
David O. Russell’s American Hustle is a black comedy that's part romantic hustle, part business hustle and part aspirational hustle.
This nerve-jangling, brazen and irresistible movie is loosely derived from a real story about how FBI agents in the late 1970s coerced a notorious conman into helping them entrap corrupt politicians. With a star-studded cast including Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams, you'll have an amazing time watching it.
Next up on the list is the movie Blow. With Johnny Depp starring, he uses every ounce of his talent to captivate audiences in what many consider to be one of his finest performances. Similar to American Made, it chronicles the rise of the drug trade and in this case, how an American named George Jung built up an empire. Trust us on this one - if you've never seen it before, settle in and relax for a wild ride.
6. The Big Short
On pretty much any occasion you can’t go wrong with The Big Short. Who would have thought that finance could be so exciting? Based on the book by Michael Lewis which chronicles the 2008 financial crash, this movie manages to make the mundane exceptionally entertaining. With a star studded cast including Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and more - it's a very different type of comedy crime movie.
A true crime masterpiece. A legend in its own right, Goodfellas may well be the pinnacle of Martin Scorsese's career. DeNiro, Liotta, Pesci, there is simply too much talent on display. If you’ve never seen it before then it's simply a must watch. Take a quick look at the trailer, it should be more than enough to get you interested.
8. Catch Me If You Can
Continuing on, we've got Catch Me If You Can. If you liked the audacious criminality of War Dogs, then Catch Me If You Can will not fail to keep you entertained. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Frank Abagnale Jr, a 19 year old who successfully impersonates a doctor, a lawyer, and an airline pilot. Enthralling and yet somehow also a true story, this is one of our all time favorites.
9. Pain & Gain
Pretty much all of us would like instant wealth. However, none of us would go to extremes such as killing and robbing to fulfill our dreams like the protagonists of the movie Pain & Gain do.
Based on a true story, Michael Bay successfully navigates this brazen-action comedy about 3 bodybuilders from Florida who royally screw-up their own masterplan. Wired on an explosive cocktail of cocaine, steroids, and “personal growth" rhetoric, the characters take us on an adrenaline-charged journey through the world of crime.
10. Kid Cannabis
Next up on our list of gripping movies is the true-crime movie, Kid Cannabis, directed by John Stockwell. This is a story of a teenage dropout, Nate Norman, who becomes an unlikely drug kingpin as he builds a multi-million dollar business by smuggling marijuana from Canada to Idaho.
Successfully managing the tonal shift from a dark comedy to a true-crime thriller, John Stockwell delivers a movie that is wild, witty, dark, and humorous all at the same time. This rags-to-riches movie will leave you speechless!
11. Molly's Game
And finally, wrapping up our list of movies like War Dogs, we have Molly's Game. Substitute out illegal gunrunning for underground gambling and you'll get a movie that feels quite similar to War Dogs. Fast paced, intriguing and extremely enjoyable, we've got no doubt that you'll enjoy this one.
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11 Great Movies Like Crazy Stupid LoveCrazy Stupid Love was filled with some great performances from Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. It was charming, funny and had everything else that's needed for a perfect romantic-comedy.
If you’re on the lookout for more of the same, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our handpicked movies that are quite similar.
11 Great Movies Like Crazy Stupid Love:
Hitch Forgetting Sarah Marshall The 40-Year-Old Virgin Friends With Benefits No Strings Attached Focus The Big Sick What Happens In Vegas Love & Other Drugs How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days The Proposal 1. Hitch
Kick starting our list of movies like Crazy Stupid Love, we've got Hitch. You've probably already seen it a couple of times before, but don't forget the reason why - it's pretty damn good! As far as rom-coms go, you can't go wrong with Hitch.
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Moving along, we've included the Nicholas Stoller movie - Forgetting Sarah Marshall. If you're looking for another Ryan Gosling-esque, smooth-talking ladies man who falls in love, well.. this isn't that. In fact, Jason Segel's character is pretty much the complete opposite. But that's why its so fun! If you haven't seen it before, check it out. You'll definitely enjoy this one.
3. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
We've got another entry on our list featuring Steve Carrell. While it's not the textbook example of a rom-com, we couldn't resist including it. From start to finish, it won't fail to keep you laughing, and there's plenty of hopeless romance thrown in for good measure too. Hilariously entertaining and one of our all-time favorites, definitely consider The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
4. Friends With Benefits
Next up we’ve got Friends With Benefits. Who would have thought that Justin Timberlake could be so funny? Not only that, but his on-screen chemistry with Mila Kunis was straight fire. It's witty, it pulls on your heartstrings and it has everything else that's needed for an A+ rom-com.
5. No Strings Attached
We've listed No Strings Attached immediately after Friends With Benefits because they're pretty much the same movie. No we're serious, just check out the trailers. If you're more of an Ashton Kutcher fan over JT then go with this one instead! Not every movie needs to reinvent the wheel and we're fine with that. This is a true rom-com that will give you every bit of your money's worth.
One of the more recently released movies on our list, we've got Focus. Featuring Will Smith and Margo Robbie, just when you think you know where it's headed, it zig-zags off in the other direction. If you're looking for something that will keep you guessing then Focus is definitely worth a watch.
7. The Big Sick
Loosely based on some real life romance (between the writers, Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani), we're huge fans of The Big Sick. If you like Crazy Stupid Love then we're confident you'll love this as well. Take a look at the trailer, it should definitely get you interested.
8. What Happens In Vegas
Moving on to number 8, we've included What Happens In Vegas. While it doesn't have the best critic reviews in the world, that doesn't matter one bit to us. Not all movies need to be artistic masterpieces and while this one isn't, that's okay - because it's pretty entertaining throughout. If you don't catch it now, add it to your list for another time.
9. Love & Other Drugs
The first 30 minutes of Love & Other Drugs feels very similar to Crazy Stupid Love. This time it's Jake Gyllnehall who takes on the leading role and he doesn't disappoint. Matching Ryan Gosling's effortless appeal, he's no slouch when it comes to picking up the ladies as well. If you've never seen it, there's more than enough to like about Love & Other Drugs.
10. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
In what comes as surely no surprise, we've included a Matthew McConaughey movie. In this case - How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Is it ridiculously cheesy at times? Absolutely! But that's exactly why we like it. It comes with the territory of watching any rom-com, and this one is no different. Although it came out in 2003, it hasn't lost any of his magic and doesn't feel too dated.
11. The Proposal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2lYA7L7PZYAnd rounding off our list, we’ve got The Proposal. Featuring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, these two make an amazing on-screen pair. We've seen it a handful of times and will definitely watch it again. If you made it this far, maybe this is the movie for you.
5 Movies To Watch If You Liked Lord Of WarOne of the best movies from the class of 2005 and among Nicholas Cage's finest performances in a long and uneven career, Lord of War, is an authentic and thrilling window into the murky world of illegal gun-running and the larger international arms industry. If you enjoyed this iconic addition to the war/crime-drama genre, we've got 5 others that you should definitely consider watching next.
Here are our recommended picks for movies similar to Lord of War:
1. Three Kings
While Nicholas Cage's Yuri Orlov made his fortune pilfering munitions and arms from the breakup of the Soviet Union and selling them into war-torn Liberia and Sierra Leone - Three Kings is a similar account following the fallout from the Gulf War. George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube star as a trio of U.S. soldiers who find a map containing the location of stolen Kuwaiti gold. Deeming it a well-earned reward from their participation in the war, they endeavor to secretly retrieve the gold with no one else the wiser.
Much like Lord of War serves to point out the hypocrisy of the United Nations Security Council also being the world's largest suppliers of arms, David O Russell's 1999 hit also manages to pull of a brilliant action / heist movie while subtly critiquing the forever wars of the U.S. Watch if you like: Stylish war movies.
2. War Dogs
Next up we have Todd Phillips' superb, biographical dark comedy - War Dogs. This movie is as close as you can get to the story of Lord of War without re-watching it. Based on the real life memoir 'Once A Gun Runner', it involves two arms dealers who manage to secure highly lucrative U.S contracts totaling over $250million, to supply the Afghan National Army.
RELATED: 11 Movies To Watch If You Liked War Dogs
While it feels very different in style and tone to Lord of War, if you're set on more gun-running and illegal arms dealing then look no further. With blistering action and some capable performances from Jonah Hill, Miles Teller and Bradley Cooper there's plenty to like about War Dogs. Watch if you like: Movies based on real-life events.
3. The Hurt Locker
Moving along we have Kathryn Bigelow's critically acclaimed, action war thriller - The Hurt Locker. Departing from the theme of illegal arms dealing, it instead focuses on an elite Explosive Ordinance Disposal team who must combat the massive psychological stresses of defusing improvised explosive devices while on the front line.
If you're looking for something that will give you a pure shot of adrenaline and have you on the edge of your seat then this is the one for you. Jeremy Renner's visceral performance will send your heart rate rocketing and leave you exhausted when it's all said and done. Watch if you like: Modern must-see movies.
4. 13 Hours
Continuing with another movie based on a real-life event (in this instance – the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi), we have Michael Bay's 2016 action-war thriller 13 hours. It involves the heroic actions of the 6 Annex Security Team members as they fought to repel wave after wave of Islamic militant attacks.
Surprisingly one of the most overlooked movies of the year, we’re confident you’ll find more than enough entertainment in Michael Bay's famed action-sequences and the ensemble cast featuring John Krasinski, James Badge Dale and David Costabile. Watch if you like: Michael Bay action sets.
And last but not least we have Steven Soderbergh's crime-drama release - Traffic. As Lord of War explores the illegal sale of arms from the manufacturers to arms dealers to Governments, Traffic looks at the illegal drug-trade and the various parties involved.
Much like Lord of War, it is a suspenseful and gripping thriller that builds up to a satisfying payoff at the end. If you've never seen this one before we highly recommend you add it to your list of movies to watch next. Watch if you like: Inter-connecting storylines.
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10 Hilarious Movies Like Wedding CrashersRule Number 1 - Never leave a fellow crasher behind.
And we don't intend to! If you're in the mood for something similar, say no more - we've got you covered. Check out our list below for the 10 best movies like Wedding Crashers.
1. Old School
Kick starting our list, we've got a movie with some very familiar faces. Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell star once again but this time it's Luke Wilson in place of his older brother Owen. If it's been a while or you've never seen it, sit back and relax - there's plenty to enjoy about Old School.
Old School Movie Description
As three friends struggle with the monotony of middle aged life, they devise a plan to recapture their youth by starting a fraternity. Under the watchful gaze of the College Dean, they must pass a series of tests which will decide the Frat's official campus status.
2. The Hangover
Would it have been a proper list without The Hangover? Ignoring the ill-fated decision to make a second and third, there's no doubt that this one ticks all the boxes for us. It's got Mike Tyson, Wolf-packs and everything else in between to ensure a good time.
The Hangover Movie Description
After waking up from a bachelors party in Las Vegas, events begin to unfold as three friends realize that the groom is missing. With no recollection of the previous night, they must race against the clock, following clues around the city to find their friend in time for his wedding.
3. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Next up we've got Forgetting Sarah Marshall. While it isn't quite the same one, two punch as Wedding Crashers, Jason Segel and Mila Kunis do a brilliant job supplying the comedy. A sleeper hit that gained popularity over time, this is a must watch in our eyes.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall Movie Description
Looking for a way to get over the painful breakup with his celebrity girlfriend, Peter (Segel) decides to put as much distance between them as possible. After arriving at a resort in Hawaii, much to his dismay, he learns that his ex, Sarah, has also booked the same trip. Separated by only a hotel room, things began to unravel for Peter as he's forced to meet Sarah's new boyfriend.
4. 21 Jump Street
We're moving right along with the inclusion of 21 Jump Street. Trade out the weddings for a high school prom, and this is another cracker. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum do their best to roll back the years and give us the very best version of their 17 year old selves.
21 Jump Street Movie Description
With the streets flooded by a new synthetic drug and the only promising lead to follow coming from a high school - two rookie cops must step back in time and go undercover. Doing the best they can to blend in among the students, they must gain their peers trust and find the drug dealers before the casualties spiral out of control.
5. The Internship
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdnoqCViqUoBack with another go round, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn team up yet again in what many people consider to be the spiritual successor to Wedding Crashers. Although this came out over 8 years later, their on screen magic remains and it's a great watch. We're confident in saying you can't go wrong with this one.
The Internship Movie Description
With the Internet crushing any remnants of their outdated business model, two businessmen must adapt to the times and find a place in the increasingly, digital first world. Thrown into the lions den with an internship at Google, they must get up to speed quickly, fending off the hungry, younger professionals who are also vying for the full time positions.
6. I Love You, Man
If you're looking to stay with the wedding theme and watch more outrageous shenanigans, then you can't go wrong with I Love You, Man. It's charming, lighted hearted and packs plenty of comedic punch. We'd bump this one up even higher if you've never seen it before.
I Love You, Man - Movie Description
Content and successful in both his personal and professional life, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) seemingly has it all. However, due to his drive to be the best real-estate agent and devoted partner to his girlfriend, there is one crucial factor he has overlooked - he has no close friends. With wedding bells ringing in the near future, he must move quickly to hunt down a best man.
We're going a bit more 90's with this one. If you take the boring 30 minutes of Wedding Crashers where Owen Wilson's character becomes despondent after getting heartbroken, that's pretty much where we start off with Swingers. Don't worry! It gets past this very quickly, once again, thanks to Vince Vaughn's character who makes it a personal mission to get his friend over his heartbreak. Ignore it at your own peril, this movie is a cult-classic for a reason!
Swingers Movie Description
Dealing with a constant stream of professional rejection and the pain of a failed relationship, Mike Peters (Jon Favreau) leans on his friends to pull him from the depths of his depression. Forced to play wing-man to his best friend Trent, Mike slowly remembers what it's like to have fun and regains some badly needed confidence to help him succeed in all aspects of his life.
Okay, so *technically* this is more of a coming of age story but we wouldn't feel right leaving it off. You've probably already seen it a decent amount but what's one more time? Another tale of two best friends going up against the world, (well high school), Superbad is a barrel of laughs from the beginning.
Superbad Movie Description
With college beckoning, two best friends are determined to end high school with a bang. With plans to attend the ultimate end of year party, they volunteer to supply the booze, finding any way they can to deliver what's needed.
9. Hot Fuzz
Dropping in at number 9, we've got the very under rated Hot Fuzz. An entry from across the pond, there is so much to like (and laugh) about this movie. We're tempted to say don't even watch the trailer if you haven't seen this movie. It simply doesn't do it justice. Sit back, relax and trust us, Simon Pegg will have you in fits of laughter all the way through.
10. Step Brothers
If you liked the outlandish charades and stunts used in Wedding Crashers to seduce the numerous bridesmaids then Step Brothers could be the choice for you. While the comedy is more direct and in your face at times, it features Will Ferrell at his very best. Stick on your tv, settle in and relax for the good times.
Step Brothers Movie Description
Two middle aged men overly dependent on their parents must find a way to adjust to the new reality of their situation. After Brennan's mum marries Dale's dad, a unifying of the household means that they are forced to live under the same roof, and what's worse; also share the same bedroom.
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7 Movies To Watch If You Liked American MadeDoug Liman might not be a household name to many but he’s been quietly going about his business making movies like The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow, two of the best action movies from the last few decades. He re-teamed Tom Cruise for American Made, the real-life story of Barry Seal, a pilot employed by the CIA to fly recon missions in Central America. He ends up playing one side against the other when he also starts running drugs for the Medellin cartel.
American Made is a super-slick comedy thriller that breezes along on the megastar charisma of Cruise, who is obviously enjoying the hell out of the role. Seal's exploits are the dark side of the American Dream, and if you like movies like this, you should definitely check out the following:
1. Lord of War
Switch out drugs for guns and you basically have Lord of War, Andrew Niccol’s flashy examination of the global trade in deadly weapons. Nicolas Cage is surprisingly restrained as Yuri Orlov, an opportunist who starts a career in gunrunning to make his fortune. His exploits take him on a globe-trotting adventure, pursued by an intrepid Interpol agent played by Ethan Hawke.
Lord of War pulls off a delicate balancing act, condemning the illegal arms trade while also offering riotous entertainment. Niccol serves up a fine cocktail of guns, explosions, fast planes and deadly situations for our amoral protagonist.
2. Catch Me If You Can
Steven Spielberg's bubbly jet-setting caper is another true crime story, charting the exploits of Frank Abagnale, the teenager who pulled off a variety of scams while posing as a doctor, a lawyer and an airline pilot in the '60s.
Leonardo DiCaprio is superb as the likeable young conman, matched by Tom Hanks as the devoted FBI agent trying to track him down. Christopher Walken received only the second Oscar nomination of his career for his terrific performance as Abagnale’s hard-working father.
Spielberg directs this light-hearted tale with a real spring in his step, almost as if it were a palate-cleanser after several darker, more serious works. With Spielberg’s craft, impeccable period detail and John Williams’ jazzy score, Catch Me if You Can is effortlessly entertaining.
3. American Animals
Bart Layton takes a darker, grittier approach to a true-crime tale in American Animals. It is the story of four students who hatch a plan to steal a collection of rare books from their university library. Despite their carefully laid plans, the unlikely heist predictably goes awry.
Layton takes the unusual approach of intercutting the action with interviews with the real people involved, giving the film a documentary feel. Of his young cast, fearless up-and-comer Barry Keoghan stands out as the instigator of the botched robbery.
It's a bold and impressive sophomore effort from British filmmaker Layton, who brings a clear-eyed outsider perspective to the story. He's also concerned with social issues such as peer pressure and toxic masculinity, which makes American Animals richer in texture than your average crime flick.
4. The Mule
There is more drug smuggling going on in The Mule, Clint Eastwood’s low-key yet charming crime drama based on the real-life story of “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-year-old Drug Mule".
Eastwood stars as Earl Stone a cantankerous eighty-something horticulturist. Estranged from his family and fallen on hard times, he starts running packages for a Mexican cartel to make some extra cash. They think he is the perfect candidate for the job due to his advanced age and spotless driving record, but the DEA is closing in..
The Mule is an entertaining, old-fashioned film directed with Eastwood's usual efficient style, mixing mild danger with a few gentle chuckles as we follow Earl's journey. Eastwood the actor brings his familiar crotchety charisma to the lead part. He isn't really playing Earl, he's playing Clint Eastwood, just as he has with every role for the past sixty years - and we're totally OK with that. Bradley Cooper also stars as the sympathetic DEA agent on his tail.
5. The Wolf Of Wall Street
Much like American Made, Martin Scorsese takes a glamorous approach to criminality in his epic biography of Jordan Belfort. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the unscrupulous broker who took on Wall Street and made millions through corrupt practices, all on a hard diet of drugs, booze and hookers.
Nothing exceeds like excess, and The Wolf of Wall Street is a whole lot of movie. Scorsese matches the hedonism of the story with a three-hour blow-out of master filmmaking, great tunes, debauched set pieces, massive performances and midget abuse.
DiCaprio gives a performance of scenery-chewing prowess, forming a demented duo with Jonah Hill, while Margot Robbie and Kyle Chandler bring some normality to the proceedings. Matthew McConaughey shows up for about 10 minutes, beats his chest and almost walks off with the whole movie. Some may suspect that Scorsese is a little too in awe of Belfort and his accomplices for comfort, but there is no denying this is the director working close to his best.
If there is a recurring theme on this list, it's that anyone can go a long way if they are prepared to combine American go-getting spirit with breaking a few laws. The same goes for Ted Demme’s Blow, the true story of George Jung, the man who established America’s cocaine market in the ‘70s with a little help from a guy called Pablo Escobar.
Take a little Goodfellas and add a lot of Boogie Nights and you have the style of this rise-and-fall story, which intoxicates us with luxury, thrills and excess in the first half before putting us through the wringer in the second.
Johnny Depp in his prime stars as Jung, matched for gorgeousness by Penelope Cruz. The colourful cast also includes Paul "Pee Wee" Reubens and Ray Liotta, who completes the Goodfellas connection. Demme does his best Scorsese impression, ladling on the style and packing the soundtrack with wall-to-wall rock classics.
7. The Infiltrator
We wrap up this list with The Infiltrator, another movie about drug cartels and the men who get involved with them, with often deadly results. This time we are on the side of law and order, following a U.S customs agent going undercover to expose a massive money-laundering operation run by Pablo Escobar.
A post-Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston brings his usual craggy intensity to the role of Robert Mazur, the man who infiltrated the cartel and lived to tell the tale. He teams up with John Leguizamo at the head of a strong cast that also includes Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt and Jason Isaacs.
Brad Furman competently directs this compelling true-life crime thriller. It is pretty routine stuff with few surprises, but the strength of the story still makes it a gripping watch.
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The 7 Best Movies Like Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyWho doesn’t love a good espionage thriller? Released back in 2011, Swedish director Tomas Alfredson’s Cold War-set Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy quickly established itself as one of the very best of the genre. Boasting a killer cast of Britain’s top leading men, a dense, riveting screenplay adapted from a John le Carré novel filled with intrigue and depth, and a virtuosic sense of pacing and narrative control, this movie really epitomizes sophisticated espionage thrillers.
If you're looking for more of the same, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Check out these 7 movies like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Kicking things off, we have John Frankenheimer’s spy-heist epic, Ronin. Like the best of the genre, this movie keeps you guessing throughout whether the nature of what—or who—you’re seeing on screen is truly all that it—or they—really purport to be.
For fans of the genre who relish in its more frenetic, high-wire aspects like gunfights, car-chases, etc., it’s here in spades. But much like Tinker Tailor’s Cold War context, there’s also a strong but subtle socio-political undertone to the film that gives it its heft and makes for a truly impressive voilà moment at the end.
2. Spy Game
Second on our list, we have Tony Scott’s ultra-suave action-spy-thriller, Spy Game. One of the best action movie directors in history was firmly in his groove when he took on this flashback heavy, race-against-the-clock espionage thriller starring two icons of their respective generations, Robert Redford and Brad Pitt.
If you are a fan of the trope of the master-spy who is just about to retire (or in the case of Tinker Tailor, already has retired) but then finds himself compelled to return out of moral obligation or unfinished business, then this one is for you. To boot, it’s an impeccably crafted action movie with a chemistry between its two leads that is so strong and magnetic it could override any electrical circuit.
3. The Good Shepherd
Next up, we have Robert De Niro’s second outing as director, a semi-fictionalized take on the beginnings of the CIA, The Good Shepherd. Focusing on Matt Damon’s Edward Wilson, and spanning over decades and locales, this film takes a hard look at the agency and the men who went on to form it, revealing the details and human flaws of what has become such a mythical institution.
If you’re into spy films like this and Tinker Tailor that are not too preoccupied with the more extravagant or action-heavy set-pieces commonly found in the genre and are more concerned with debunking the mystique of the shadowy world of spies and counterintelligence officers, then look no further.
4. The Lives of Others
Coming in fourth on our list, we have Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Oscar-winning, brooding Cold War surveillance-drama, The Lives of Others. This film out of Germany is a complex moral tale that involves a spy for East Germany’s communist regime slowly renouncing his ties to the state as he spies on a dissenting playwright and his wife.
If you loved the bleak atmosphere and chilly aesthetic of Cold War-era London in Tinker Tailor, along with the focus on a more authentic, deglamorized depiction of spies at work, then we highly recommend this one.
Next on our list, Hollywood screenwriter-extraordinaire Billy Ray returned to the director’s chair with this thrilling, true-to-life story about a high-ranking FBI officer accused of spying for Russia. This is a taut, suspenseful story told from the perspective of an underdog trying to take down an intellectually superior and formidable double-agent.
Just as with Tinker Tailor, this one is perfect for those of you who are into procedurals of spies and intelligence officers doing their best to take down or expose a member of their own rank suspected of being a mole.
6. A Most Wanted Man
Danish director Anton Corbijn’s timely, darkly engrossing spy thriller is next on our list. Sadly, this was the last leading role of Philip Seymour Hoffman before his death in early 2014. His portrayal of a disgruntled leader of a ring of spies hunting Islamist extremists in Hamburg is one of the finest of his storied career and a true testament to his range and capacities as an actor.
It’s hard to overcome the legacy of being the film with the last leading role of such an iconic figure gone too soon, but this film serves as an exceptional swansong. Its final sting operation—reminiscent of the one that takes place toward the end of Tinker Tailor—is so expertly paced and crafted, you might find yourself inadvertently holding your breath.
7. Bridge of Spies
The final spot on our list goes to Steven Spielberg’s Cold War legal-drama epic Bridge of Spies. Scripted by British writer Matt Charman, along with help from none other than the Coen Brothers, this film explores in great detail the real-life negotiation between the U.S. and Soviet Union who agreed to exchange prisoners belonging to one another at the height of the Cold War.
Fans of both legal-dramas and spy films will be delighted by this one. If you were taken away by the procedural nature of Tinker Tailor, the in-depth, extremely poured-over details of its composite elements and characters, along with the chess-match stratagems of the central conflict, then this one is a do not miss.
8 Great Movies To Watch If You Like Training DayAfter its release in 2001, Training Day quickly became one of the most talked about films of the decade. The blockbuster hit echoed many cop dramas that came before it, but no other film of this nature has captured the LA crime scene as well since. Combine the spectacular performances of Hawke and Washington with Antoine Fuqua’s gritty direction and David Ayer’s intense screenplay, it is no wonder fans are still raving about the movie today.
If King Kong ain’t got SH&% on Alonzo, let’s check out some movies that compare to Training Day. Here are eight films to watch next —
Joe Carnahan takes us into the depths of the narcotic underworld with his compelling characters and intense conflict in this dark mystery thriller.
Narc centers around a suspended narcotics officer (Jason Patric) who returns to the police force to investigate a fellow officer's murder. He teams up with the slain officer’s partner, played by none other than Ray Liotta.
This one flew under the radar, but it has the performances and intense plotline to match Training Day. And yes, we know what you’re thinking, Ray Liotta in another dirty cop role?… But trust us when we say Narc is worth the watch.
STREAM IT HEREStreet Kings
After the death of his wife has left him vulnerable and disillusioned, Detective Tom Ludlow starts to question the dignity of his colleagues, but things turn from bad to worse when Ludlow is wrongly accused of killing a fellow officer. Street Kings is that kinda action packed cop against the world thriller that hardcore fans of the genre will love. With Keanu Reeves starring as the lead, who could be better at fighting his way out of corruption and heartbreak?
Reeves doesn’t carry the load by himself, Street Kings is stacked with an exciting supporting cast, hosting the likes of Forest Whitaker, Chris Evans, Cedric the Entertainer, the Game, Common, and more. And yes, it’s classic David Ayer. We are talking bitter rivalries, bad blood, shootouts, gang violence, and vigilant justice… Sound familiar?
STREAM IT HEREBrooklyn’s Finest
Like Training Day, this one is directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Ethan Hawke. No, no Denzel this time. I know, we’re sad too, but Brooklyn’s Finest makes up for Washington’s absence with the additions of Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes, and Don Cheadle.
It is a bit more nuanced than the above films on our list, though equally dark. The film weaves the complications and struggles of three cops at different junctions in their respective careers.
One is ready to retire, one is in need of cash, and the other is deep undercover. As you could guess, their paths intersect in a way that is both emotional and violent, but you’ll have to watch Brooklyn’s Finest to find out how.
STREAM IT HEREEnd of Watch
Filmed mostly with a handheld camera, End of Watch explores the story of two partnering police officers who patrol the streets of LA and the horrific discovery that leads to their downfall. It will make you laugh, it will make you smile, it will make you cry, just don’t watch it with your grandparents.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Micheal Peña, End of Watch might be the defining buddy cop drama of our era. These two have as much chemistry as Washington and Hawke, but the key difference is their characters are best buds from start to finish.
STREAM IT HEREThe Departed
Where Alonzo is the one plotting and scheming in Training Day, The Departed has infiltrators on both sides, with DiCaprio playing a cop who is trying to infiltrate an Irish Gang and Matt Damon playing a gang member trying to infiltrate the police force. Oh yeah, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Jack Nicholson star in this Martin Scorsese masterpiece as well…
Can we say anything that hasn’t been said about The Departed? The script, adapted from Infernal Affairs, mirrors the flaws of cops and criminals beautifully. It’s violent, it is witty, it’s fun, and has earned enough acclaim to solidify its spot as one of the best ranked films of the century.
STREAM IT HERETriple 9
Triple 9 follows a crooked cop (Anthony Mackie) who tries to set up his straight-edged partner (Casey Affleck) as the fall guy for an upcoming heist. Things don’t go quite as planned thanks to a few other beguiling characters played by Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, and Woody Harrelson.
Even with its stellar cast, Triple 9 underachieved at the American box office. Still, its plot has a whole lot of Training Day in it, and a hint of Reservoir Dogs too. If you want to check out movies like Training Day but with a western twist, look into Triple 9 Director John Hillcoat’s earlier films such as Lawless or The Proposition, they won’t disappoint.
STREAM IT HEREDark Blue
One of the older movies on the list, Dark Blue features Kurt Russell in a classic chase to get the bad guy. To do so, Russel’s character has to overcome various obstacles that challenge his rough and tumble ways, including his Chief Officer and a new partner.
Set during the Rodney King Riots, Dark Blue showcases intense action from start to finish. Kurt Russel’s lead character mirrors Alonzo from Training Day in more ways than one, and like a lot of David Ayer’s work, this cop drama has been subject to criticism. Whether you love it or hate it, one thing is certain, Dark Blue doesn’t pull any punches.
STREAM IT HEREGoodfellas
Where the rest of the list is filled with cop-gangsters and gangster-cops. Goodfellas is a classic film about plan old fashioned… Gangsters.
Scorsese directs his signature tale of Henry Hill, highlighting Hill’s lifetime rise and fall through the ranks of the Italian mafia. Goodfellas wonderfully displays the do’s and don’t of the mafia all the while posing one simple question throughout the film — is it ever okay to snitch?
I wonder what the characters on this list would say to that? You’ll have to watch these 8 movies like Training Day to find out.
STREAM IT HEREThanks for tuning in, and if you like 8 Movies Like Training Day, check out a few of our links below.
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7 Feel Good Movies Like The Secret Life of Walter MittyWhen it comes to heartwarming and motivating movies, they don't come much better than The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Although it was modestly received in 2013, fans all over have continued to be hypnotized by its stunning cinematography and wholesome feeling. If you're in between viewings and looking for something else to fill the void, don't worry - we've got you covered.
Here are our top choices for movies similar to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:
1. Hector and the Search for Happiness
Starting off our list, we have Peter Chelsom's charming and endearing comedy drama - Hector and the Search for Happiness. Simon Pegg plays a psychiatrist who decides to embark upon a far-reaching journey to discover true inner happiness.
Much like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it is filled with adventure, small moments to warm your heart and incredible visuals that will induce a strong sense of wanderlust. If you've never seen it before then this could be the perfect choice for you. Watch if you like: Feel-good comedies
2. Yes Man
Moving along we have Peyton Reed's loose comedy - Yes Man. Sharing the same themes of living in the moment, it includes a vintage Jim Carrey performance reminiscent of his heyday in the 90's.
While it doesn't revel in the same stunning backdrops found in The Secret Life, it leaves just as much of a lasting impression. Don't be surprised if you hear your subconscious ringing "yes" any time new opportunities come knocking around in your life. Watch if you like: Uplifting movies
3. The Darjeeling Limited
Staying very much with movies that light a fire within and fuel you to take on the world, we have Wes Anderson's underrated comedy drama - The Darjeeling Limited. It involves three brothers who reconnect on a spiritual journey one year after the death of their father.
While it's definitely more somber than The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, it's also carefree and extremely funny in the most unexpected places. Watch if you like: Breathtaking visuals
4. The Bucket List
Next up we have Rob Reiner's buddy-comedy - The Bucket List. This self-deprecating and chucklesome story of two terminally ill men set on doing all the things they never got around to doing is well-led through Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson
If you're specifically looking more elements of adventure and carpe diem then this feature warrants a viewing. Watch if you like: Buddy-comedies
And for our top recommendation, we have Jon Favreau's self-written and directed comedy drama - Chef. While it's not exactly like for like with The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - if what you're looking for most is something that will lift your spirits and put you in a good mood then look no further. It's a delicious serving of optimism and positive energy that will have you smiling throughout.
Be sure to stack up on snacks beforehand because the mouthwatering creations on display will definitely get your appetite up. Watch if you like: Jon Favreau
6. Stranger than Fiction
If you enjoyed the roaming imagination and fantasy aspects found in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, then Stranger than Fiction is a fantastic option. Will Ferrell plays an IRS agent who begins to hear an unknown voice narrating over his life - in which it is later revealed that he will die shortly. Apparently a central character in an author's upcoming novel - he must race to find the narrator and change the outcome of the ending.
This gem of a Will Ferrell movie often goes under the radar but it's well worth watching. Watch if you like: personal transformations
7. Big Fish
And last but not least we have Tim Burton's critically acclaimed - Big Fish. Ewan McGregor plays Edward Bloom, a young man who chooses to live life outside of the mundane expectations of those around him.
Much like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - it's a fantastic mixture of fantasy with a pinch of family drama thrown in for good measure. If you're still unsure of the previous choices up until now, Big Fish could be the one for you. Watch if you like: Stirring cinematography
14 Terrific Movies Like The TownThis year marks the 10th anniversary of Ben Affleck’s Boston crime-opus The Town. In honor of its release, we bring you 14 other movies that you should add to your watchlist if you enjoyed this iconic addition to the Irish-American crime-drama. While not all these movies are centered around Bostonians, or even take place there, they all share strong thematic and stylistic ties that can be grouped under the loose umbrella terms of “heist” or “crime movie”. Now, without further ado:
Easily one of the most quotable and hilariously over-acted movies of the ‘90s, Point Break stars Keanu Reeves as FBI rookie Johnny Utah, who goes undercover amongst a group of surfers suspected of a series of bank robberies in Southern California. Utah finds himself enthralled by the pseudo-philosophy espoused and practiced by the surf-crew’s de facto leader, Bodhi, played with irrepressible glee by Patrick Swayze. This is one of Kathryn Bigelow’s earliest showcases as a master of fast-paced action, tense, stunt-heavy set-pieces, and slightly insufferable yet compelling male archetypes who are constantly searching for the next thrill, no matter how dangerous it may be.
STREAM IT HEREHeat
Next up, we have one of the most influential and iconic movies of the ‘90s. If you’ve seen The Town and are serious about crime-thrillers and heist movies, it’s almost certain you’ve already seen Heat a handful of times. But this film is truly one-of-a-kind, namely because even to this day, its influence is felt in a vast number of movies and TV shows (has any one sequence—the botched bank heist—been referenced more in staging shoot-out sequences?). Absolutely nothing in this film has lost any of its fundamental power; it feels as fresh, thrilling, and ground-breaking as it did 25 years ago.
Perhaps its biggest selling point would be that it served as the first time two of Hollywood’s most decorated leading men went toe-to-toe on-screen, as Robert De Niro, who plays master thief Neil McCauly, is chased by LAPD Detective Vincent Hanna, played by Al Pacino. In the hands of crime-movie auteur, Michael Mann, however, this seemingly by-the-books cops-and-robbers tale transforms into a sprawling, austere, high-octane—yet disarmingly intimate, moody, and atmospheric—movie about the interconnectedness of people and the psychological consequences their life-choices have on one another. The core of the film resides in these two men who, despite occupying different sides of the law, find themselves tethered by some intangible force, which can only really be defined as mutual respect.
STREAM IT HEREL.A. Confidential
Next on our list is a classic period-piece from the ‘90s. L.A. Confidential is an episodic look at crime in mid-century Los Angeles—and namely, the intersecting avenues of police, crime, celebrity culture, and the media that were beginning to take shape. Working with a masterful script, Curtis Hanson delivers a knotty tale of corruption, lust, violence, and the burgeoning of the American media-industrial-complex’s obsession with true crime and police work.
The film picks up with clean-cut LAPD sergeant Edmund Exley (Guy Pearce), agreeing to testify against his fellow cops (who have been hit with a case of police brutality) in exchange for a promotion. This puts him directly at odds with his department and especially hard-nosed, roughhouse cop Bud White (Russel Crowe). White later develops a relationship with Kim Bassinger’s Lynn Bracken, a high-end prostitute and potential key witness in a mysterious café massacre, which has left White’s ex-partner murdered. Opposite them is Kevin Spacey’s smarmy sergeant Jack Vincennes, a narcotics officer who serves as an insider for TV networks and tabloid magazines to frame and bust high-profile public figures engaging in scandalous acts. Based on a James Ellroy novel, the film balances these multiple storylines in mesmerizing fashion, delivering a tense, tightly wound neo-noir thriller that explores the underworld of 1950’s Los Angeles in all its seedy glory.
STREAM IT HEREMystic River
Moving into the 2000’s, our first entry from the new millennium is Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River. This is one of the bleakest entries on this list and perhaps one of the bleakest mainstream Hollywood films of the century thus far, dealing with themes of childhood trauma, sexual abuse, murder, betrayal, and vengeance.
The story opens with three childhood friends, Jimmy, Sean, and Dave, playing street hockey in Boston, when suddenly a car arrives with two men who take Dave away. Years later, Dave (played to perfection by a fractured, insular Tim Robbins) is revealed to have been sexually abused by the men who abducted him and is still struggling to cope with his trauma when he is implicated in the murder of Jimmy’s teenage daughter, Katie. Jimmy (Sean Penn), a former con who has stepped away from his criminal life, pursues his own form of an investigation into the murder, while Sean (Kevin Bacon), now a detective with the Massachusetts State Police, closes in on the truth. The film’s dark subject matter is matched by Clint Eastwood’s cold, eerie visual palette— a seemingly interminable overcast Northeastern climate, all muted blue-gray tones, and hard, shadowy night exteriors. This film further cemented Clint’s place among the top of the world’s filmmaking ranks and proved him to be a studio-filmmaker unafraid of exploring the darker corners of human nature.
STREAM IT HERELayer Cake
Hopping across the pond for this next entry comes Matthew Vaughn’s energetic take on the British gangster film, Layer Cake. Vaughn cut his teeth producing fellow Brit Guy Ritchie’s smash-hits Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels and Snatch, before turning over to directing his debut.
With Layer Cake, Vaughn proved himself as a worthy successor to Guy Ritchie’s hyper-kinetic, comedic, rough-and-tumble style with a slightly more polished, less tongue-in-cheek London-set action-crime movie. Daniel Craig, in his first major leading role, plays an unnamed cocaine trafficker who runs a tight ship and refrains from partaking in any of the industry’s dirty business. We find him just as he has one foot out the door ready for retirement, when suddenly he is summoned by his boss, Jimmy, who informs him he must oversee the sale of one million ecstasy tablets from a lowlife criminal—which he soon discovers had stolen the ecstasy from a gang of Serbian war criminals. He is also to search for an associate of Jimmy’s daughter, the drug-addicted Charlie, who has disappeared. As Craig’s character has no choice but to adhere, he finds himself slipping further and further into the areas of the drug business he had painstakingly worked his whole career to avoid. The movie trades in efficient storytelling, wise-cracking dialogue, brutal violence, and a star-making turn from a pre-Bond Daniel Craig.
STREAM IT HEREThe Departed
One of Scorsese’s very finest in his astonishing back-catalog, our next entry, The Departed, would make for a perfect double-feature with The Town. Despite the chorus of folks who dispute the Oscars for awarding Scorsese the Best Directing statue as a belated cop-out for past oversights (*ahem* Goodfellas *ahem*), this film is an absolute masterclass in big-budget, star-powered gangster movies.
Speaking of stars, this movie will go down as the final, truly great Jack Nicholson performance, whose turn as Irish Mob boss, Frank Costello, is one of the most memorable in movie history. Costello’s criminal enterprise extends to the Boston police department, as Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), serves as a mole, while Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), an informant for the police, has slowly been making his way up in Costello’s ranks. As Costello becomes convinced there is a mole in his gang, he urges Sullivan to dig him out, as Costigan becomes more and more suspicious that the police have their own double-crossing agent. This dual narrative structure (based upon acclaimed Hong Kong film Internal Affairs) is rightfully considered one of the great feats of screenwriting of the 21st century, but it’s truly the performances across the A-list ensemble—who collectively exude Boston grittiness and snarky-ness with such panache—that cements this film as the ne plus ultra of the Boston crime-drama.
STREAM IT HEREInside Man
Next on our list, Spike Lee’s grandiose take on the heist-movie. Another great pairing with The Town, this movie may be fleet-footed and lighter in tone, but it is no less hard-hitting and invigorating in execution. This is Spike at the absolute peak of his powers, masterfully orchestrating different tones and storylines into a unified, cohesive work of pop-entertainment.
Inspired by canonical bank-robbery movies like Dog Day Afternoon, but unlike that iconic film insofar that it is told mostly from the perspective of the police, who in this case is NYPD hostage negotiator, Keith Frazier, portrayed with ultra-suave bravado by Denzel Washington. The film picks up as a group of bank robbers—led by Clive Owen’s cryptic, cunning Dalton Russell—stick-up and take hostage the workers of a Manhattan bank owned by Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), a domineering, stoic man trying his best to keep hidden a shady past. Always three steps ahead of the viewer, the film manages to do the near-impossible: provide laughs, thrills, twists, and a high-stakes moral-quandary at its core, without ever giving the impression that it even broke a sweat.
STREAM IT HERELucky Number Slevin
Our third entry from 2006 (what a year!), Paul McGuigan’s underrated gem is often overshadowed by other slick-talking, fast-paced crime movies like Pulp Fiction, Snatch, or The Departed, but is no less worthy of your attention if you are a true crime movie aficionado.
In the early-mid-2000’s, Josh Hartnett showed promise as one of Hollywood’s major leading actors, and it’s a shame that he never truly capitalized on this (hopefully things will change as he’s slated to appear in two major upcoming productions, most notably Guy Ritchie’s next effort, Wrath of God). As the titular Slevin, Hartnett showed a rare combination of effortless poise, charm, and charisma. In a case of apparent mistaken identity and being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Slevin is found in the empty apartment of his missing friend Nick by a couple of henchman working for The Boss (Morgan Freeman), who, mistaking Slevin for Nick, informs him he must pay back a huge gambling debt. Alternatively, Slevin’s debt will be relieved if he agrees to kill the son of The Boss’ rival, The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley), who he believes had his son murdered. Upon being freed, Slevin is then kidnapped by the Rabbi’s henchman, and informed he also has to repay him a large gambling sum. What ensues is a carefully plotted, tightly scripted thriller with big-time movie stars perfectly cast in their roles, and more than a few tricks up its sleeve that will keep you guessing at every turn.
STREAM IT HEREGone Baby Gone
Next, we have Ben Affleck’s predecessor to The Town and his directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. A seminal entry in the Boston crime-drama movie canon—and adapted from a book of the same name by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote the Mystic River novel which the movie was based on—this is a similarly bleak, unforgiving mystery thriller/portrait of people in crisis.
This story centres around the disappearance of a three-year-old girl, who Private Investigators Patrick (Casey Affleck, Ben’s brother), and his partner/lover, Angie (Michelle Monaghan) are hired to find. The girl’s mother (Amy Ryan, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance), Helene, is a drug-addict who is revealed to have been involved in some shady dealings with her drug supplier. In similar narrative style to Mystic River, the plot leads you in one direction before completely upending your expectations. The movie ultimately serves as a morally ambiguous, emotionally charged, devastating and unwaveringly honest depiction of people struggling to do the right thing while at the most extreme cross-roads.
STREAM IT HERETakers
Released the same year as The Town, Takers takes the first spot on the 2010’s selection of our list. Trading The Town’s urban Bostonian grit for swanky Los Angeles glamour and high-wire set-pieces, Takers is the perfect movie for those who prefer their heist movies to be on the glitzier side and with a LOT of explosions, shootouts, and chase sequences.
Seasoned professional Gordon Cozier (Idris Elba), the leader of a highly well-orchestrated group of bank robbers, agrees to carry out one last job when a former member of his crew, Ghost (rapper T.I.), proposes a job that would set them all up for life; robbing an armored car carrying $12 million. On their tail are cops Jack Welles (Matt Dillon) and his partner Eddie Hatcher (Jay Hernandez). As the heist plays out and the cops zero-in, it becomes clear that Ghost’s motives for the heist might not be exactly all that they appear to be. If you’re looking for some exciting, easy-to-digest, standard Hollywood action fare, then this will be right up your alley.
STREAM IT HEREKilling Them Softly
Next on the list, we have Andrew Dominik’s follow-up to his widely hailed yet underseen masterpiece, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which also saw the director reteaming with Brad Pitt. Here, they trade the American frontier setting and mythos for a modern tale of American idealism running its course.
Pitt stars as Jackie Cogan, a jaded, unusually talkative hitman hired to find three low-level crooks who stage a robbery during a mob-run illegal poker game in Boston. Before locating the three goons on the run in Florida, he enlists the help of a former colleague, Mickey (James Gandolfini), a New York hitman who is a shell of his former self and has taken up a life of heavy drinking and indulging in prostitutes while serving parole. Taking the source material (crime writer George V Higgin’s 1974 novel Cogan’s Trade) and updating it to 2008 recession-hit America, this film is a sardonic, violently chaotic cautionary tale that uses the backdrop of an America in financial crisis—while simultaneously under the impression that a new beginning is on the horizon with the election of Barack Obama—as a frame for a story of two hitmen whose cynicism and disillusionment only becomes stronger and stronger.
STREAM IT HEREThe Drop
The next addition to our list is the screenwriting debut of Dennis Lehane, Boston crime’s poet laureate, as he updates one of his short stories from 2009, Animal Rescue, and relocates his usual playing field of Boston to Brooklyn. The Drop is a smartly written, authentic-to-the-bone tale of blue-collar workers who are unwittingly tangled in a criminal underworld of mobsters and murderers.
The lead character, Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy), is a quiet, soft-spoken bartender with a mysterious past, working for his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) at a dive bar in Brooklyn. Some time ago, Marv forfeited ownership of his bar to a family of Chechen mobsters who use it as “the drop”— a safe-house for their illegal money to be collected. While working one night, the two of them are stuck-up and the bar is robbed by two masked assailants, which the Chechen mobsters threaten must be recompensed. This film is a solidly crafted thriller with unexpected warmth and heart beneath its thick layers of gruffness and machismo. Moreover, it’s an absolutely essential showcase for the brilliant Gandolfini’s talents, as this was sadly his swansong.
STREAM IT HEREHell or High Water
Next up is Scottish director David Mackenzie’s Texan-sun-scorched Hell or High Water. What easily could have been a mere simulacrum of No Country for Old Men instead turned out to be an undeniable sleeper hit and one of the best films of 2016.
Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers, Toby and Tanner, respectively, who rob banks across small towns in Western Texas. Their robberies are reserved purely for branches of Texas Midlands Bank, as this bank threatens foreclosure on their ranch property following their mother’s passing from illness and the debt she took on for the property through a reverse mortgage. On their trail is aging Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton (portrayed with true aplomb by Jeff Bridges) and his close partner, Alberto Parker (played by underrated character actor Gil Birmingham). Despite trading in run-of-the-mill Western tropes, the film pumps new life into the genre with its soundly structured script, taut pacing, engaging characters, and elegiac, wistful tone.
STREAM IT HEREWidows
Underseen upon release, the final movie on our list is Steve McQueen’s all-female heist movie, Widows. Penned by best-selling author Gillian Flynn, directed by Academy-Award winning filmmaker McQueen, and featuring an all-star cast of both seasoned veterans and up-and-coming talents, this film had all the makings for a global smash-hit. Despite its underwhelming box office returns, however, this film succeeds on almost all other fronts.
After a botched robbery of $2 million ends in Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his crew being gunned down by police, Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis), Harry’s widow, receives a threatening visit from Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), the crime boss that Harry’s crew attempted to rob, and whose eyes are set on a local Southside Chicago political campaign. After discovering a set of detailed instructions laid out by her husband to rob the home of racist politician, Tom Mulligan (Robert Duvall), whose son, Jake Mulligan (Colin Farrell) is running against Jamal in the municipal race, Veronica enlists two other widows from Harry’s crew, Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), along with Linda’s babysitter, Bell (Cynthia Erivo) to carry out the heist themselves. McQueen’s concerns, however, extend beyond the heist itself; he gives us a view of life in southside Chicago and the socioeconomic discrepancies that result in characters like Jamal and his menacing, electric brother/enforcer, Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya). Jettisoning one of the genre’s common tropes for a more sociopolitical and personal bend, this film focuses on a heist that is not really about money or power, but rather a way for these women to reclaim their identity and integrity.
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9 Movies To Watch If You Liked Layer CakeStarring as an enterprising cocaine dealer who has one last job to take care of before getting out of the game - Daniel Craig's superb performance as the unnamed Mr X catapulted his career into the limelight, and all but secured the role for him to become the next James Bond. The rest as they say is history.
While there's certainly a lot to love about Craig's influence in Layer Cake, it's also an incredibly stylish, and well-rounded crime-caper that dazzles in all the right places.
If you’re looking for more of the same, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Check out these 9 movies like Layer Cake.
Staying firmly within the British crime-comedy genre, we're kicking things off with Guy Richie's - Snatch. Released in 2000, the ensemble cast of Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, Stephen Graham and co. weren't quite considered the titans of film as they are now. But that's all the better, because with Ritchie's bold direction and fast-paced storyline, there's an undeniable element of these actors honing their craft on screen while having great fun doing so.
2. The Guard
In the first of several worthy nods to Brendan Gleeson, next up - we've got the wildly entertaining buddy-cop movie, The Guard. Gleeson and Don Cheadle star as two contrasting police officers for the National Police Service of Ireland and the FBI. While assigned on a joint drug smuggling case, they uncover corruption deep within the upper-echelons of the Irish police.
The Guard was released in 2011 to critical acclaim and became a major hit at the box-office. If you've never seen it before, then we highly recommend you check this one out.
3. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Guy Ritchie's directorial debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is similar to Layer Cake in many ways, whether it be the London backdrop, the frantic plot or the gritty action. Nick Moran stars as a card shark who loses out in a rigged, high stakes card game that puts him and his friends £100,000 in the hole. In big debt to the local mob boss and with little time to spare, they must do whatever it takes to repay the sum.
Lock, Stock makes for an enthralling ride that will be sure to have you in fits of laughter throughout.
John Michael McDonagh followed up his sensational hit, The Guard, with an even funnier black-comedy, Cavalry. Brendan Gleeson teams up with McDonagh again, this time around playing a Priest who is told in confession that he will be murdered. In response to being abused as a child, the mysterious parishioner says that Father James has been chosen to pay for the sins of the Church.
This extremely well-done Whodunnit will have you on the edge of your seat and casting your vote for who you believe is the dangerous assailant.
5. The Gentlemen
One of the more recent entries on our list, we have Guy Ritchie's long awaited return to the crime-comedy genre with 2019's The Gentlemen. Much like Daniel Craig's Mr X in Layer Cake, Matthew McConaughey's character Mickey Pearson is also looking to cash out and sell his thriving drug business, albeit this time it's Marijuana in place of cocaine. A host of potential suitors line up to make offers, while simultaneously trying to undermine Pearson's business/negotiating position at the same.
This return to form by Ritchie should definitely be on your list if you haven't yet got an opportunity to watch it.
6. In Bruges
Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell play two wayward hitmen who have been sent to Bruges in response to a job that goes horribly wrong. A masterpiece of black-comedy, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, it's packed full of hilarious jokes that will have you rolling around with laughter in between the bursts of serious events that unfold.
In Bruges is a witty, funny and exhilarating ride that plays to Farrell's strengths allowing him to shine in one of his very best performances. Getting a top rating from us - this movie ticks off all the boxes if you still aren't set on anything up to this point.
Revolver added to an already burgeoning reputation for Jason Statham in the action-crime genre. Playing a recently released convict who served time for a crime he didn't commit, this high-octane ride sees him hell bent on revenge against his former employer, Dorothy Macha.
While it has an enormous amount of action that pleases the eye, Statham also gets plenty of opportunity to shine displaying some deft comedic timing. The story might not be groundbreaking but the execution makes it well worth watching.
8. Lucky Number Slevin
Swapping the streets of London for New York, our penultimate entry is Paul McGuigan's 2006 crime-thriller - Lucky Number Slevin. This energetic and thrilling ride centers around an ordinary man who mistakenly gets caught up in the middle of two warring mob bosses.
Josh Hartnett is compelling as the lead and there's also the stacked cast of Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley and Bruce Willis to enjoy.
And last but not least, we have Guy Richie's epic action-crime story - RocknRolla. Featuring an ensemble cast of Gerard Butler, Idris Elba and Layer Cake's Tom Hardy, this movie somehow went under the radar despite offering an abundance of thrills and cleverly written dialogue.
Involving two small time crooks who lose their investment in a crooked real estate deal, they enter dangerous territory when stealing from the Russian mob in an effort to recoup their funds.
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7 Incredible Movies Like Bad Times At The El RoyaleIn a time where we're all easily distracted, Bad Times at the El Royale effortlessly manages to capture our full and very undivided attention. With no shortage of mystery, secrets and dangerous deceit - it has everything and more that's required for a great thriller.
If you're here, we're guessing you enjoyed it quite a bit! Whether you liked the chest pounding suspense, the setting of one location or its fantastic plot - don't worry we've got you covered. Check out our handpicked list below for 7 incredible movies like Bad Times at the El Royale.
Our 7 recommended movies like Bad Times at the El Royale:
The Hateful Eight The Cabin in the Woods Murder on the Orient Express Identity Reservoir Dogs Knives Out The Usual Suspects 1. The Hateful Eight
Kicking off our list of movies just like Bad Times at the El Royale (Bad Times), we have Quentin Tarantino's - The Hateful Eight. Call it a homage, imitation or pure inspiration - there's no doubt that Bad Times feels incredibly like The Hateful Eight.
With the same undertones of violence threatening to shatter through the surface, we're confident that if you liked Bad Times then you'll love The Hateful Eight. Similarly situated under the setting of one location, there's more than enough twists and turns to get your blood pumping. If you haven't seen it already then look no further, you're in for a treat!
2. The Cabin in the Woods
Next up on our list we have The Cabin in the Woods. If you're looking for more murder, mystery and intrigue then this could be the perfect choice for you. With the added bonus of another Chris Hemsworth performance to admire, Cabin in the Woods will give you flashes of Bad Times but with a little more humor sprinkled in. While there are a number of worthy movies on this list, we'd definitely recommend you to find time at some point to dig into this one.
3. Murder on the Orient Express
Moving along, we've included the Kenneth Branagh movie - Murder on the Orient Express (2017). We're tempted to say ignore the trailer on this one because it really doesn't do the movie justice.
Although it has a much different style than Bad Times, it shares the same elements of strangers who randomly come together only to find something that connects them all. Featuring the legendary fictional detective, Poirot, if you're a huge fan of murder mysteries then we're sure this has plenty on offer for you to enjoy.
Perhaps the most underrated movie on our list, we have Identity. While it didn't set any box office records, it's become something of a cult classic for a reason - it's incredibly good. If you're particularly looking for something that offers an abundance of spine tingling moments and more twists and turns than you can keep up with then look no further. Settle in, turn off the lights and prepare yourself for some serious goosebumps.
5. Reservoir Dogs
While we have already have one Tarantino movie on our list, we simply couldn't resist adding another. Featuring at number 5 - we have Reservoir Dogs. You've most likely already seen it before, but that doesn't change how irresistibly good it is!
Another great pairing with Bad Times, this movie may seem more frenetic at times but its jarring violence and rigorous plot will feel very familiar. Our personal favorite Tarantino movie, it only gets better every time you watch it.
6. Knives Out
Continuing on, we have Rhian Johnson's - Knives Out. Perhaps the wildcard entry on our list, this Whodunit movie is immensely entertaining. While it doesn't provide the same level of thrills as Bad Royale, this rollercoaster ride will definitely have you on the edge of your seat. If you made it this far and still haven't settled upon anything you fancy, you'll be hard pressed to ignore this fantastic movie. Check out the trailer, it has more than enough to pull you in and wanting more.
7. The Usual Suspects
And wrapping up our list with a masterpiece, we have The Usual Suspects. Bad Times definitely reminded us of this one at times. Another thriller - this Oscar winner really needs no introduction! Clever, ambiguous and with plenty of twists and turns to try to keep up with, there's never a bad time to sit down and watch The Usual Suspects.
And that's all we have! Hopefully you found something on this list to enjoy next! Check out some of our other articles if you're looking for more, handpicked, great movie recommendations.
9 Thrilling Movies Like Den Of ThievesIf you enjoyed Christian Gudegast's 2018 action-heist movie Den of Thieves you're not alone. With plenty of high-wire action sequences, some very unexpected twists and turns and a great ensemble cast, it was an exhilarating ride from start to finish. While there are no shortage of cops v robbers / thrilling heist flicks out there, we've provided 9 of the best options for you to binge on next.
Here are our recommended picks for movies similar to Den of Thieves:
1. The Town
Swapping out the streets of L.A. for Boston, we have Ben Affleck's self-written and directed crime thriller - The Town. Much like Den of Thieves, this is a heist movie that holds absolutely nothing back. Whether it's the high-caliber rounds of ammunition fizzing by, the clever and meticulous planning involved or the screeching police sirens always a couple of seconds away - there's more than enough scintillating action on display to get your heart rate pounding and have you on the edge of your seat throughout.
2. American Animals
Moving along we have perhaps one of the most underseen movies on our list - Bart Layton's 2018 heist thriller - American Animals. As the trailer duly notes, this movie isn't based on real life events, they actually happened. It chronicles the story of four friends who set out to steal an extremely rare book from the Transylvania University library. Interspersed with interviews from people who were involved, this larger than life retelling will have you gasping for breath at the sheer audacity of the heist and the inevitable consequences that follow.
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3. Inside Man
Next up we have Spike Lee's fabulous 2006 heist thriller Inside Man. A worthy addition to the genre, this is a must-watch if you're serious about well-done heist movies. As with Den of Thieves, it features a star-studded cast with Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Denzel Washington all bringing their A-game. If you don't mind a pinch less action and more brilliant planning and execution then look no further - you can't go wrong with this one.
4. The Bank Job
Continuing along we have another heist movie inspired by true events, Roger Donaldson's slick heist caper, The Bank Job. If you like watching all of the preparation and planning for the heist then you'll definitely enjoy this one. As with Den of Thieves, there's blistering action interwoven with a precise build up that leaves the payoff at the end all the more satisfying. If you've never seen it before then this could be a great option for you.
Now you you might be thinking you came here looking for heist movies and we've given you Chris Nolan's epic sci-fi thriller Inception - but stay with us. While it delves deep into dreams within dreams (and more dreams), in between those fascinating layers are of course the makings of a brilliant plot to steal top secret information (along with implanting ideas too). With Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page all on form fine along with the mesmerizing visuals, if you're okay with stepping a little outside the box then Inception is a terrific option.
6. Triple 9
Moving back into the territory of frenetic action flicks involving cops and robbers, we have John Hillcoat's gripping Triple 9. If you enjoyed Gerard Butler's band of corrupt and ruthless cops in Den of Thieves then you'll no doubt love Triple 9 play out with its own version. It involves a group of cops and former Navy SEALs who carry out a brazen wave of heists before things start to go very wrong. As the stakes build and a massive manhunt ensues, this electrifying tale zigs and zigs in all directions setting up a finale that you definitely won't expect.
Scott Mann's underrated action-thriller, Heist, is the first of two entries on our list to include Robert DeNiro. It involves him playing a casino boss who becomes the target of a heist after ruthlessly firing an employee. With capable performances from DeNiro alongside Jefrrey Dean Morgan, it’s a well-executed heist movie that makes for a great pairing with Den of Thieves.
8. Hell Or High Water
For our penultimate entry, we have David Mackenzie's captivating Hell or High Water. With Chris Pine and Benn Foster playing two brothers who decide to commit a string of robberies in order to save their family ranch, this sizzling and tense thriller is light on gunfights but more than makes up for it with a superb storyline. Like Den of Thieves, the local authorities are never far behind and a dangerous cat and mouse game plays out in ways you won't expect.
And if you haven't found anything you like by this point - why not go with Michael Mann's seminal masterpiece - Heat. Bringing together two iconic actors for the very first time, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, it's got everything and more that's required for a truly great action-thriller. With groundbreaking cinematography, its visceral action sequences will make you feel like you're right next to the blistering rounds of ammo as they fire off in all directions. If it's been a while since you rewatched this classic then settle yourself in for close to 3 hours of breathtaking entertainment.
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Greta Van Fleet Takes On The WorldInterview and Show Review
***Re-edited and posted from an interview of August 2017.
Blood is thicker than water and talent is greater than trend. I arrived in time to hear some of the warm-up and was immediately immersed into the nu-retro sounds, though they weren’t quite happy with the technical aspects just yet. It was clear that the live show was going to be a real experience. So, this is Greta Van Fleet. Touted as the next big name in rock music and (more recently) even familiar to the likes of Robert Plant and Tom Hanks, I see a stage of talented youth who might know what they want more than they know who they are, but with the world willing to wait and see, they have it all the the palm of their blistered hands.
The instrumentalists left the stage, while Josh stays behind to finalize some details, and I get my first face-to-face with the band members.
Danny and Sam, these neo-flower children, with a peace sign necklace on the former and hippie-long locks all around, are the first that I meet. A couple of handshakes later, we’re immersed in a conversation about Abbey Road, which is a just delightful conversational topic at any time, but it’s especially nice with musicians. They apologize for the warm-up running late and I assure them that it’s all fine, glad to see their meteoric shoot to rock stardom have left them still as polite as you’d expect some guys from the Polka capital of Michigan to be.
Jake, guitar in hand, walks over, “This was all Sam’s fault. I don’t know how yet, but it was.” He also apologizes for running late, because we’re working with gentlemen here. Long-haired freaky people need not worry about applying themselves; we’re a lot more accepting these days. Picking up on the Beatles conversation, he begins to strum a bit of Blackbird, stylized. We joke about how I’m going to title the article “It Was All Sam’s Fault” [Editor’s Note: We’re not doing that.] and we get back into our love and respect of the Beatles and other musicians. There’s a greenness to this experience. They still have that enthusiasm of the newness of being interviewed as band members that makes the excitement infectious, even though we’re just shooting the breeze at this point.
Midconversation with the instrumentalists and I hear someone try to introduce themselves to me with my own name. The lead singer, Josh, joined our little cohort. My sarcastometer was not ready for this. I quickly learned that while every member of Greta Van Fleet has a personality that could fill a room, Josh has something to say about everything and he usually does it in an unexpected way.
After failing to complete the joke and introduce myself as him, we had a laugh, then were told that we would need to relocate for the interview.
We chit-chat in an over-full elevator to the basement. There are worse ways to break the ice as we already establish a humor to the situation at hand. Soon enough, seated in a rough circle, we are ready to begin.
“It’s like a Breakfast Club,” begins Josh. If you had any doubts about the authenticity of the retro feel this band exudes, you lose it within 10-seconds of being around them. References to years far past are commonplace among them, especially outspoken Josh. At one point, he even refers to me as “Baba Wawa” in a Gilda Radner throwback voice. They come as close to having an understanding of the era that made the music theirs echoes popular as they can for people born years after it ended, but there’s still an edge that reminds you that they are in or barely out of their teenage years in this modern era as the time passes. This edge gives a hope for their future music, it says they will grow into themselves and their sound, even more than how well they own it now.
The pre-show energy is evident, as they tend to answer questions as a unit. This interview has been edited and condensed in an attempt to provide some sense of order and because there aren’t enough letters in the Latin alphabet for all of the sounds and noises they made.
As a background, if you are unaware, Greta Van Fleet is made up of twins Jake (lead guitar, 21) & Josh (lead vocals, 21), their brother, Sam (bass & keyboard, 18), and their friend Danny (drums, 18). They’ve all been playing most of their lives. That, along with some natural talent and creativity, accounts for the amazing skill they have at a remarkable age. Their sound is often compared to Led Zeppelin, particularly due to the lead singer’s wailing vocals and penchant for hitting high pitches, so that’s what I start with in...
Interviewer (to Josh): So how do you feel about the Robert Plant comparisons?
Josh: I’m alright with that, you know? He’s probably one of the better singers.
Interviewer: It didn’t get old yet?
Josh: No, no. I mean, anything can get old, but I get it, because it sounds a lot alike. Probably because when I was listening to Led Zeppelin, I was like, “There’s a lot of power behind that, how does he do that?” and a lot of those soul singers do that, where they can just belt that stuff. So it was like that is the best way to sing to get that power behind it. He’s one of my favorite singers, too, one of my heroes.
Interviewer (to all): How has your experience been with fans so far?
They all answered in a jumble of grateful comments, so I asked a more direct question.
Interviewer: You already have a decent following, is there anything you’d like your fans to know about how to interact at signings or meet-and-greets?
Jake: I like when they’re not as, you know, overbearing, because it’s easier to connect.
Josh: Ultimately, it’s like, they love what we do and it’s the appreciation of our art and our work, so it’s kind of a huge compliment- the fact that they appreciate that, so I think that we’re all super grateful for it, we like to talk to them.
Interviewer: You’ve talked about having a very organic song-writing process. How would things change if a member of the band took over as a dictator of the creative lead?
Josh: Well, it wouldn’t be art anymore. It would be SHIT!
Interviewer: How do you balance shows and being on the road with life and sleep?
Jake: We don’t. We arrived at our hotel at 4 in the morning. It’s good that we’re young. We have to do all of this while we’re young, when we can kind of bounce back from it.
Josh: Just get as much sleep as you can and just deal with it.
Danny: It was hard at first, but it’s so fun. It’s so overwhelming and fun, you don’t even think about the sleep. Until after the tour, that’s when you crash, but during it all, it’s just *clap, clap* you get a momentum going. It’s fun. It’s not as hard as you think.
Josh: Not when you’re in it. I mean, if you’re thinking about it, the process itself, then it becomes intimidating, or it can be, but then when you’re surrounded by it all the time and it becomes your world, you accept it. If you fought it, you’d burn yourself out.
Interviewer (to Danny): I’ve read in other interviews that the Kiszca’s father was in the music scene and “gets” the band lifestyle. How have your parents taken to you being on the road?
Danny: Rather well.
Josh: Your mother plays the guitar
Danny: My mom plays the guitar. That’s kind of how I started. I started playing the guitar. She had an old 12-stringer she had since the ‘70s and she took lessons as a kid. Her dad, my grandfather, he got her into lessons. I feel like the music part of me comes from my mom’s side of the family.
Sam: His dad actually told me one time, he said, “I always thought it would be so cool if Daniel was in a band.”
S: Yeah, and he was like, “and not only a band now, but now it’s really going somewhere.” He always thought that, I always thought that that was funny.
Danny: I never heard that; that’s cool.
Interviewer: That’s awesome. Okay, guys, this one is important. Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?
Danny: One horse sized duck. Definitely. Then you’d only have one thing to worry about.
Jake: I’d feel bad. Horses are beautiful. Ducks aren’t as beautiful.
Jake: Well, what’s our weapon?
Interviewer: What weapon would you like?
Jake: If I was fighting a duck the size of a horse, I would want a 12-gauge.
Danny: How about a fencing sword. I would fence the duck.
Josh: *funny voice* It would bite your leg off.
Jake: It would swallow you whole.
Danny: It could try.
Josh: *focusing again* That’s the answer we’ve got for ya.
Interviewer: Do any of you have any secret talents?
[i can not account for how much of the following is accurate and how much was sarcastic or joking. You have been warned.]
Sam: I can play the fiddle… with my feet.
Interviewer: Can you really?
Jake: I’m accurate with a bottle cap.
Interviewer: Why don’t you use that to take out the horse-sized duck?
Danny: I was just thinking about the horse sized duck.
Josh: Yeah, flaming bottle caps! *machine gun noises*
Jake: I’m the tortilla tossing champion of Michigan.
Interviewer: Of all of Michigan?
Josh: Yeah. Digest that!
Danny: Sam plays the swinette.
Sam: I do play the swinette. I can also eat 12 hot dogs in a minute.
Danny: Are you kidding?
Sam: No. I’m dead serious.
Josh: I won the first place for the dugout shelter of Michigan … championship. Basically, if there was a fallout, I’d be the one you’d want to go to.
Interviewer: Does Michigan just have a bunch of random championships as a state?
Jake: Yeah, I guess. There’s not much… I mean, you can just chop wood up there. You’ve got that.
They begin talking faster and over each other.
Danny: Sam can tie the most knots in a minute.
Sam: That’s true. (pause) I was a boy scout. I know my knots.
Josh: Danny, were you a boy scout?
Jake: We were all boy scouts.
Josh: And I was the dugout shelter champion.
Danny: You guys were cub scouts.
Josh: The, uh, tri-city regional champion.
The conversation begins to get weird, which can be fun, but I attempt to get us back on track, due to time constraints.
Interviewer: What about Weird habits.
Sam: I bit my toenails.
Interviewer: That means you can reach your foot to your face.
Sam: (pause) Yeah.
Jake: So, that’s a good one.
Josh: Weird habits, weird habits. Not any strange ones. Like I think too much, that’s a habit, right?
Interviewer: I think that counts. That’s pretty common among musicians.
Jake: We all do that. I have a habit of sleepwalking at night, so whoever’s room I’m in, I’ll be standing above them with a bow and arrow stretched out. *laughing* Actually, as a real one, when I’ve been asleep before, I have a habit of playing.
Josh: Actually, yeah, I’ve seen that, like maybe once or twice, I’ve seen him doing this *air guitar*. He’s playing the guitar in his sleep.
Dan: Josh, you’ll hum melodies in your sleep.
Josh: Really? We all make music in our sleep!
Danny: Remember that one time you walked in and you said I was drumming?
Josh: Your foot was moving, too. Sam’s the only one I don’t think I ever saw doing it.
Sam: ‘Cause I’m too focused when I sleep.
Josh: Sam’s the only one out of all of us that can just lay down on a pillow and be out.
Interviewer: That is definitely a talent to me.
Danny: I just fall asleep randomly. *laughs*
Interviewer: That’s called narcolepsy.
Josh: You should probably get that checked out.
Danny: Yeah, before I just fall asleep onstage. *laughs*
Interviewer (to Sam): What about the not wearing shoes, is that a habit?
Sam: It’s not really a habit, it just kind of happens.
Danny: We probably have 50 pictures of him like that.
Sam: My feet were really hot.
Jake: We would have mentioned it earlier, but it’s just so… we're immune to it. We don’t really notice it.
S: My feet were really hot, so I just took my shoes off. That’s how that really happens.
Interviewer: Do you think that learning to play in a more organic setting affected your technique?
Sam: When you’re taught something by a music teacher, they’re teaching you, basically, how to play, and I think that when you're given the ability to try to learn something on your own that you basically have a moredirect connection to some of your influences.
Josh: I think a good analogy is when Orson Welles was asked, “How is it you could make Citizen Kane?” something like that, and he said “Ignorance, sheer ignorance.” Not knowing how to make a movie is the reason he made those choices he made.
Jake: I think when you learn things by ear, they’re more instilled in your soul, rather than just knowing it in your brain, when somebody shows you how to do something. It wasn’t really a choice, that we said, “Oh, I’m going to learn to play bass, you know, on my own.” My dad had one sitting around and I started playing with it a little bit.
Sam: Then Daniel started to play drums last week.
Interviewer: Which is weird, because the tour was longer than that.
Daniel: Yeah, it’s a weird thing where I just tend to forget and relearn all of it.
Interviewer: If you had an unlimited budget and resources, what would your dream video be for any of your songs?
Josh: Anywhere that we would be able to travel outside of the United States.
Jake: I think going through a Safari in Africa. Thick jungle.
Josh Maybe shooting with some of the ancient tribes.
Danny: Maybe South America, in the rainforest.
Josh: Discovering ancient societies. Could be f***in’ dangerous.
Jake: *Nods to me.* We’ll take her, too, she’s a journalist. She knows what she’s doing.
Interviewer: I’m game. Let’s go, haha.
Jake: That’s all you need.
Josh: You just need a journalist and a film crew.
Jake: I’d like to film a video in space.
Danny: No one’s ever done that.
Interviewer: That would be fantastic.
We get the 5 minute signal, so I move on to my last question.
Interviewer: What message or advice would you give to young musicians working towards making a career out of music?
Josh: Don’t do it. Don’t do it! Nah, I think persistence, really. I think if you have great passion and great truth in what you’re doing, if it means that much to you, then persistence and never stopping is probably the most important thing that you can do.
Danny: Don’t ever let anyone tell you how to do what you do good.
Jake: Play, play, play, play, and never stop playing.
Josh: If it feels right, follow it, and never stop. If you do, the whole universe will conspire to your advantage.
With that hopeful end and overhearing that this was “definitely the most entertaining interview we’ve ever gotten” (*pats self on the back*), we parted ways and I went back upstairs to wait for the show to begin.
Catch some bonus facts at the end of the article that were discussed apart from the main interview questions.
The opening bands were far from what you’d expect to open for a band that is being touted as the next Led Zeppelin. The first opener, Rahway, was like late nineties garage metal trickled into the present.
The second opener was another complete change in direction. Goodbye June is another band that, while undeniably now, have that heavy, classic, Southern rock sound. I later found out that the lead singer and guitarists are cousins, so they have more in common with GVF than just having a lot of talent and energy playing a throwback sound.
The Headliner: Greta Van Fleet
Then our headliner took to the stage. In vintage-style outfits that they looked surprisingly natural in, the four of them were ready to play.
They began with the energetic “Talk on the Street”, showing off a barrage of guitar and drum beats that almost fight with the vocals for attention. Though the song is not on the EP and not as well known, it got everyone’s attention and set the mood for the rest of the performance. Their EP’s namesake, “Black Smoke Rising”, rose out of that energy. The crowd really got into it then, singing along with every word.
The subsequent songs, “Edge of Darkness”, where Jake skillfully plays his guitar behind his head, and “When the Cold Wind Blows” kept the energy up, even though being lesser known. The thing is, these songs speak for themselves. You don’t need to know the words, you don’t need to know the melody, you don’t need to have heard them before. They are infectious. They are what live music is supposed to be- youthful, classic, rock. Could they be more refined? Sure. Should they be? No. Not yet. Let these kids be young and play music that possesses the energy of their predecessors. The room to grow is one of the most exciting parts for a new band, but even if this is to be all the music they ever release (knock on wood), it’s amazing for what it is. Skillful, raw rock and roll. I don’t need anything more than that.
Another EP hit, “Flower Power”, induced a total light and airy feeling in the room. A love ballad may seem premature for such a young band, but you have to remember that they have been playing together for four years (the Kiszca brothers, even longer than that) and grew up on the classics- literally using the classics to learn and hone their craft. Besides, the phrase “out of sight” is used effortlessly and you can not find fault in that. I’ll be openly biased here. I’m a huge proponent for bringing back certain phrases to common vernacular and “outta sight” is fairly high on that list, but Flower Power is amazing even aside from those words.
They played another lovey song, “You’re the One”, before a rendition of Willie Dixon’s’ “Evil”. The Dixon song choice, considering that he was also a known inspiration of Led Zeppelin, was nicely meta. As Josh’s vocals are far from the only comparable quality to Zep, the next song, Mountain of the Sun, played on some of those classic, transcendental lyrics that they were so known for, which was followed by dreamy “Watching Over”, which has a stop/start quality that goes right through your whole being.
They played another one of my favorites, Lover Leaver Taker Believer, before ending with the final two songs from their EP, “Highway Tune” and “Safari Song”. “Safari Song” may not have the deepest or most original song, but the way Josh enunciates “your heart” while shrieking the chorus is one of the most head-bangable parts of any song in their line up.
These guys are born performers.
Josh, who demands control of the stage, has an innate character quality that he is sure of himself in. Almost snarling between verses and smiling in what must be an almost unconscious reverie at times, exposing enviably nice teeth, he clearly enjoys what he does. His twin, Jake, has an obvious comfort in his practiced playing and has an equally powerful, if not quite as overt, stage presence. He chooses his moments to shine to meld with the music naturally. Their little brother, Sam, has a quiet quality that reminded me of a young George Harrison, which is no minor quality in my book. Watch out for this one, especially if he ever takes a spiritual journey. He might take his effortless exchange from bass to keys (and swinette?) over to the sitar next and I’ll look forward to hearing all of the music that comes out of it. Finally, Danny, their band-brother. This kid makes a drum solo worth paying attention to. His energy adds to the energy that penetrates the performance and is definitely not one to follow the drummer stereotype of just sitting in the background. I can’t speak for the entire room of fans, but the girls next to me were very vocal about their adoration for the drummer.
Led Zeppelin is the obvious comparison, but there are notes of many other bands here, as well as their own style. You have a replacement drummer, the potential for more complex songwriting skills, and a fabulous number of band members, which is very Beatles.
At the end of the day, you have to remember that this is GVF’s first foray into rock stardom. So the melodies and lyrics are very reminiscent of bands that could feature easily in Woodstock with a heavier, almost metal, aspect mixed in, but that gives them room to grow from their roots. There has been a lot of noise surrounding these dudes and it is worthwhile, but as we could really use a good rock music renaissance, let’s not let this one burn out. I, for one, am going to keep my eye out for what comes next and I more than hope, I expect that their music and performances will get more intense, more unique, and more themselves as time goes on. They have their whole future ahead of them and they really have every opportunity to grab hold of it and take it for all that it’s worth. It would be easy for them to rest on their laurels and comparisons to an idyllic time past, but if they want to make it or grow as musicians, they wouldn’t do that and I don’t see it happening. That’s exciting. Anything could be coming next.
Let’s all give them the support and hope that they will take it and run, because we will all be better off for it.
Rock on, my dreamers, and give these kittens another listen.
You’ll be glad you did. I am.
Josh is the older twin, beating Jake out by about 5 minutes. The band has a goal to sell out Madison Square Garden. Jake rewired some of his wrist muscles by continuing to play guitar after a wrestling-related injury Despite the protest of his mother, it ended up being pretty therapeutic. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin knows who they are and talked about them in a recent Rolling Stones article. Their song writing style is organic and usually happens quickly. Danny is the only band member who isn’t related by blood, but he is essentially a brother to the rest at this point. They have many inspirations for lyrics, including some “nerdy” ones, such as Nietzsche.
Sam is most comfortable playing without shoes on. A true hero.
Since the initial writing of this article, the band’s music has been featured on Spotify, in various TV shows, from Shameless to Lucifer and even The Tonight Show, played dozens of sold out shows and festivals, including Coachella, where they won the approval of Tom Hanks (what more do you really need in life?), and released their second EP, From the Fires.
Their highly anticipated first album comes out tomorrow!
Go and listen.
8 Movies Like Olympus Has Fallen You Need To SeeThe box office battle for the White House delivered two action-packed blockbusters in the summer of 2013. While Olympus Has Fallen may have lagged behind its crosstown rival, it remains our preferred pick of the duo. If you're looking for another serving of big explosions, epic gunfights and of course - one man wrecking bands hell bent on taking down the bad guys, you're in luck.
Check out our list or video below for the best movies like Olympus Has Fallen:
1. Die Hard
While it's one of the most obvious choices, it's also only right that we start our list with Bruce Willis' wisecracking cop John McClane in Die Hard. As the 1988 hit that forever changed the landscape of action-movies, this classic has inspired countless imitations since.
A big building that gets overrun by terrorists? Check. An unknown man on the inside with the skills to bring them down? Check. Sharing more than a handful of details with Olympus Has Fallen, why not pay homage to the movie that perfected the craft.
Olympus Has Fallen is not the only movie that managed to successfully recreate the Die-Hard formula. Starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, Speed is another high-wire action spectacle that doesn't take it's foot off the gas (literally). It involves a bitter ex-police officer who outfits a bus with a custom C4 tune-up job that's wired to go off if the vehicle drops below 50 miles per hour.
While you may think the story doesn't have many places to go, it delights in defying all expectations. This 1994 action-thriller is filled with more than enough pulsating sequences to keep you engaged.
3. Mile 22
Next up we have Mark Wahlberg leading the line in the heavy hitting - Mile 22. While Gerard Butler muscled his way from the inside, this story focuses on an elite CIA group who must get an asset outside of a target hotspot and ready for extraction. They have to travel 22 miles as an assortment of petty criminals, corrupt cops and lethal hit men close in on their ranks.
With gritty fight scenes and some very unexpected twists and turns, there's a very good chance you'll enjoy this one.
4. The Mechanic
The Mechanic is a rip-roaring action-thriller that's high on adrenaline and low on the finer plot points. And that's okay, because it's not trying to be anything else. Here we have Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) who may just be the most feared hit man in the field. When his friend and mentor Harry is killed, he makes a choice to bring the orphan son into the trade while seeking out revenge.
The action genre has been graced with a select group of leading men over the years. And Jason Statham has proved by now that he's got the chops to be included among them. His excellent performance here in The Mechanic certaintly bolsters his claim.
5. Air Force One
Talking of leading men, next up we have Harrison Ford in the immensely entertaining - Air Force One. This time around, the bulk of the action takes place in the sky as the President's own plane gets compromised (prior to takeoff) by an armed group of terrorists. While there is another vigilante who's there to take them on one by one, in this instance, it happens to be the President himself who racks up the body count and rattles off the one-liners.
6. Mission: Impossible -Rogue Nation
While we could have included a couple of Mission Impossible movies on this list, in the end we've gone with Rogue Nation. This spy-thriller was responsible for breathing fresh wind into the sails of the franchise and it makes for an especially great pairing with Olympus Has Fallen. Like Gerard Butler, Tom Cruise doesn't take a backward step as he smashes through buildings, cars and just about anything else in an attempt to get to the bad guys.
7. The November Man
Moving along with another one-man army who defies all the odds and expectations, albeit a little more stylishly than the others up to now, we have Pierce Brosnan in The November Man. He plays a retired CIA operative who's pulled back into the game after his former protege crosses the line and thus sets off a deadly chain of events.
It's a well-worn look for Brosnan and one we're used to see him pull of with effortless charm and appeal. He doesn't disappoint here either.
8. White House Down
And last but not least, we'll round off our list with the movie twin of Olympus Has Fallen - the Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum led hit - White House Down. It's pretty much as like for like as you can get without rewatching Olympus Has Fallen. So if you're not set on anything up to this point, then maybe it's the one you were looking for all along!
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5 Of The Best Movies Like Dead Poets SocietyWatching Dead Poets Society feels like a rite of passage that everyone needs to go through at least once. Inspiring, captivating and extremely emotional - it remains one of our favorite movies of all time. It captured a true masterpiece performance from Robin Williams that made us all want to be better and to do better with our lives.
While no other movie will ever truly compare, if you're looking for that same kick, the same coming of age story, check out our recommendations below. These are our top 5 movies like Dead Poets Society.
1. Good Will Hunting
Right off the bat, we've gone with Good Will Hunting which shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. But hey, there's a reason why we love it and pretty much everyone else does too. It's mesmerizing from start to finish, with another incredibly powerful performance by Robin Williams which will definitely give you those Dead Poet Society feels. If it's been a while since you last saw it, then look no further, you'll be in good hands with this one.
Good Will Hunting Movie Description
Will Hunting is a prodigiously talented young man who chooses to embrace a simpler life instead of exploring his enormous potential. However, after anonymously solving a complex mathematical problem at MIT, his life begins to change. Trading off the comforts and security of home, he begins to open up, becoming more vulnerable on a personal and professional level.
2. Mona Lisa Smile
We're moving right along with Mona Lisa Smile. As a movie that many consider the female led version of Dead Poets Society, Julia Robert does a great job of playing the inspirational teacher. While it doesn't reach quite the same heights, we're big fans of this one nonetheless!
A Mona Lisa Smile Movie Description
Recently graduated from UCLA in 1953, free spirited Katherine Watson (Roberts) steps straight into a teaching role at the affluent, all-female Wellesley College. Underwhelmed by her students lack of aspirations, she challenges them to strive for more.
3. Billy Elliott
We simply had to include Billy Elliott on this list. A huge hit when it came out, at times it feels a lot like Dead Poets Society. If you're in the mood for another outstanding drama, then this one is perfect for you.
Billy Elliott Movie Description
Billy Elliott is a story of a young boy who remains true to himself despite the expectations of all those around him. Set during the 1984 coal miners strike in Britain, Billy discovers a passion for ballet instead of boxing. Possessing an abundance of natural talent and hard work, his fiery dance instructor pushes him to follow his dreams much to the objection of his family.
4. The Breakfast Club
You knew it was coming, right? A classic in its own right, we had to include The Breakfast Club. Revered as one of John Hughes' greatest accomplishments along with launching the Brat Pack, we will never stop marveling at its brilliance.
5. School Ties
And rounding off the list finally, we have School Ties. Although it wasn't the biggest hit at the box office, there is plenty to like all round with this one. Filled with a lot of familiar faces - Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Brendan Fraser star in this underrated sports drama. The trailer doesn't do it justice but we think it's well worth a watch.
School Ties Movie Description
After receiving a full scholarship to a prestigious prep school, David Green (Fraser) worries that he will become an outsider once people learn he is Jewish. Initially hiding the fact from his new friends, his worst fears are later confirmed as they subject him to widespread ridicule after finding out.
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