Archives for posts with tag: mob films

You know all those movies where the bad guy looks at the good guy and says, “we’re not so different, you and I?” That concept is the poignant, underlying theme of “Donnie Brasco” (1997). Johnny Depp is the young, family man, undercover FBI agent and Al Pacino is the world-weary mob wiseguy, but they’re not so different. They’re both mid-level grinders, bound together, trying to do their best while their bosses take advantage of them. The allure of being someone he’s not has Depp turning away from his own life of quiet desperation, but is the alternative that different? Fuggedaboutit.

Some people are into unusual flavor combinations, like french fries and ice cream. I once put vanilla soft-serve on a chicken sandwich. Delicious. But what about movies? Do you like a romantic tale of a man haunted by a lost love (who may not be lost after all) dipped in a bloody story of mobster revenge? “Last Moment of Clarity” (2020) hopes you do. It (sort of) works. I especially liked Carly Chaikin (imagine Kat Dennings on heroin, but in a good way) in a supporting role as neither a haunted man, a lost love, or a Russian mafia killer.

“The Drop” (2014) is the story of a man and his dog. And Chechen mobsters. And Brooklyn. And Tony Soprano (except he’s not Tony Soprano). And murders. And money. And a communion that will never be shared. Tom Hardy offers one of the most authentically unplaceable New York accents I’ve ever heard. It’s a beautiful thing. The story is a classic mob double-cross with a twist that reminded me of “The Usual Suspects.” I was, literally, on the edge of my seat for the last 30 minutes. When the final scene faded to black, I smiled. That’s a good movie.