After being released from prison, drug-lord Frank White (Christopher Walken) faces a fight to keep his empire together. He decides to go for the jugular and employ the most brutal tactics to retain his prominence. But his unstable approach to business management threatens to take down the whole venture.
An enfant terrible of the video-nasty era (Driller Killer, Ms. 45) who seemed to quieten as the '80s progressed, Ferrara returned to prominence with this convincingly budgeted crime saga as the nineties began. Following it up with his legendary Bad Lieutenant, Ferrarra firmly re-established himself as NYC's grittiest filmmaker. The film also marked something of a turning point for Christopher Walken. Having carved a niche as a character actor largely confined to oddball supporting turns, his lead role here also showcased his suitability for playing psychotic criminals with a certain glint-eyed glee. Walken is himself supported here by a superb cast including Laurence Fishburne, David Caruso, Victor Argo, Wesley Snipes and Steve Buscemi.
Crime 1950 88 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.
Action and Adventure 2018 93 mins Director: Jimmy Henderson
An innocent man sentenced to rot in a Cambodian jail is released for the sadistic pleasure of twisted trophy hunters and forced to fight – or die.
Crime 2009 77 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve’s profound dramatisation of the tragic Montreal Massacre.
Crime 2011 97 mins Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Ryan Gosling plays the stunt double leading another life as a getaway driver in Nicolas Winding Refn's timeless cult thriller.
Crime 2001 138 mins Director: Robert Altman
Robert Altman’s foray into the world of the British aristocracy of the early 1930s combines social comment, satirical comedy and a murder mystery to dazzling effect.
Crime 1996 105 mins Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
The debut film of both Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) and Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) is a ferociously gritty crime thriller about a drug dealer's dizzying descent into self-destruction.
Shaka King Selects
Crime 2009 156 mins Director: Jacques Audiard
Jacques Audiard’s award-winning crime drama chronicles the rites of passage and eventual rise to power of a young French Arab. Tough, taut, truthful.
Drama 2009 93 mins Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos' scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is original, ingenious and sadly relevant as a study of parent-child relationships
Thriller 2009 129 mins Director: Bong Joon-ho
Cult Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host, Snowpiercer) fourth feature is a startlingly original and thrilling account of the limits of maternal devotion.
Drama 2013 97 mins Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
A care-worker is confronted by a troubled teen whose case history provokes an unwelcome reminder of her own concealed and traumatic past.
Drama 1966 121 mins Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece about the last years of French colonial rule in Algeria, seen from the perspective of both the revolutionaries and the French authorities.
Drama 1972 103 mins Director: Perry Henzell
The cult classic, acknowledged as the catalyst for the popularisation of reggae in the US, sees Jimmy Cliff traversing the underbelly of Jamaican shanty-town life.
Featuring Christopher Walken
Drama 2011 86 mins Director: Todd Solondz
Todd Solondz directs Selma Blair and Jordan Gelber in this delightfully dark satire as romance blooms between a toy collector and a depressed woman.
Directed by Abel Ferrara
Drama 2020 91 mins Director: Abel Ferrara
Abel Ferrara returns with an extraordinarily vivid, visually dazzling and characteristically strange rumination on sex, dreams and death.
Drama 1998 119 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda's lyrical fantasy challenges the viewer to reflect on the experiences that most make life worth living.
Drama 1995 109 mins Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Koreeda’s first fiction feature is an exquisite meditation on loss, loneliness, uncertainty, and coming to terms with the past.
Documentary 2016 80 mins Director: Steven Okazaki
The on and off-screen character of Toshiro Mifune, Japan’s first international movie star, is explored in this illuminating documentary exploring the life and legacy of this mercurial icon.
Drama 1964 140 mins Director: Mikhail Kalatozov
Mikhail Kalatozov’s epic about the Cuban Revolution is breathtaking both for its scope and the audacity.
Drama 2008 115 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s subtle, moving account of the tensions within a family is his most Ozu-like film.
Drama 2003 141 mins Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
Koreeda’s drama about four children left to fend for themselves is a heartbreaking study of childhood neglect.