Miller’s Crossing (1990)

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Tom Regan, an advisor to a Prohibition-era crime boss, tries to keep the peace between warring mobs but gets caught in divided loyalties. (IMDb)
A really cool classic film noir feel saturates this cohesive slow burn of a crime drama, with its drab 40s sets and suits, niche dialogue (“What’s the rumpus?”), fiery character melodrama (see the climax of Tom’s arc: “Look in your heart!” “What heart?”), and twisting plot (see Dane’s rise to prominence). It’s maybe a touch hard to follow at points, but it’s so solidly acted (Turturro might be the highlight; see his pleading in the forest) and directed that that can be easily forgiven.
8/10 (Great)

 

Erin Brockovich (2000)

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An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply. (IMDb)
A satisfying (the glass of water scene!) and inspirational underdog legal tale smartly built upon an endearing protagonist set-up to begin the film, and blended with just the right amount of continuing tumultuous character/family drama to keep it grounded throughout. Roberts’ sharp-tongued and self-sufficient Erin and Finney’s weary and wary Ed have great chemistry and add just the right amount of charming humour (“They’re called boobs, Ed”) on top of the engaging investigation plot line.
7.5/10 (Really Good)