Published on July 26th, 2019
Dark comedy movies portray the futility of life by juxtaposing the most cruel elements with comical ones.
A good dark comedy movie shows the funniest scene when you least expect, at the same it also takes you through scenes where it is hard to find laughs.
Here is the list of 35 unforgettable dark comedy movies you must watch.
1. In Bruges
London based hit men Ray and Ken are told by their boss Harry Waters to lie low in Bruges, Belgium for up to two weeks following their latest hit, which resulted in the death of an innocent bystander. Harry will be in touch with further instructions. While they wait for Harry’s call, Ken, following Harry’s advice, takes in the sights of the medieval city with great appreciation.
But the charms of Bruges are lost on the simpler Ray, who is already despondent over the innocent death, especially as it was his first job. Things change for Ray when he meets Chloe, part of a film crew shooting a movie starring an American dwarf named Jimmy. When Harry’s instructions arrive, Ken, for whom the job is directed, isn’t sure if he can carry out the new job, especially as he has gained a new appreciation of life from his stay in the fairytale Bruges.
McDonagh — the two-time Olivier Award-winning, four-time Tony-nominated playwright (“The Beauty Queen of Leenane”) making his first feature film — succeeds with a dry, wine-dark comedy, powered by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, two wry Irishmen who have seldom had the opportunity to be as hilariously clueless as their characters, Ray and Ken.
2. Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Paranoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, believing that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the U.S. populace, is able to deploy through a back door mechanism a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union without the knowledge of his superiors, including the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Buck Turgidson, and President Merkin Muffley.
Only Ripper knows the code to recall the B-52 bombers and he has shut down communication in and out of Burpelson as a measure to protect this attack. Ripper’s executive officer, RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (on exchange from Britain), who is being held at Burpelson by Ripper, believes he knows the recall codes if he can only get a message to the outside world.
Strangelove was released in 1964, two years after the Cuban missile crisis, and 31 years before a real-life Strangelove scenario, when Russia’s President Boris Yeltsin came close to pressing the red button after a US meteorological rocket investigating the northern lights off Norway had been interpreted by the Russian military as a hostile gesture. A Kubrickian movie about that blood-chilling event is in order, although it has been discussed in Lucy Walker’s nuclear documentary Countdown to Zero.
A woman breaks up with her boyfriend, he thinks it’s because he’s fat. A man is unable to tell her next door neighbor he finds her sexually attractive. An old couple wants to split up, but they don’t want to get a divorce. A therapist masturbates to teen magazines.
An 11-year-old kid is insecure about the fact that he hasn’t cum yet. Office workers try to recall the face of a coworker who recently died. A woman is sure she has everything she could ever want. The lives of these individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection.
“Happiness” is a pitch-black comedy about an “average” group of New Jersey-ites (including three sisters, a psychiatrist husband, an obese woman, and a sexually frustrated loner) sweating and cringing their way to personal zeniths of sexual dysfunction. Solondz is playing the sick puppy game these days, raising the ante on bottom-feeding charlatans like David Lynch by actually daring to empathize with the sexual misfits he has created.
4. American Beauty
After his death sometime in his forty-third year, suburbanite Lester Burnham tells of the last few weeks of his life, during which he had no idea of his imminent passing. He is a husband to real estate agent Carolyn Burnham and father to high school student Janie Burnham. Although Lester and Carolyn once loved each other, they now merely tolerate each other. Typical wallflower Janie too hates both her parents, the three who suffer individually in silence in their home life. Janie tries to steer clear of both her parents.
Carolyn, relatively new to the real estate business, wants to create the persona of success to further her career, she aspiring to the professional life of Buddy Kane, the king of the real estate business in their neighbourhood. Lester merely walks mindlessly through life, including at his job in advertising. His company is downsizing, and he, like all the other employees, has to justify his position to the newly hired efficiency expert to keep his job.
This debut film from British stage director Sam Mendes charts the remarkable renaissance of downtrodden husband Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey, above). Ignored by his neurotic wife (Annette Bening, above) and his despondent daughter (Thora Birch), Burnham quits his job and embarks on a program of personal reinvention that involves pumping iron, getting stoned and lusting after a beguiling schoolgirl (Mena Suvari).
5. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
The wife of a barbaric crime boss engages in a secretive romance with a gentle bookseller between meals at her husband’s restaurant. Food, colour coding, sex, murder, torture and cannibalism are the exotic fare in this beautifully filmed but brutally uncompromising modern fable which has been interpreted as an allegory for Thatcherism.
This No-Mercy Assault On The mind and senses from British writer-director Peter Greenaway (The Draughtsman’s Contract) boasts a full menu: swearing, screwing, stealing, cooking, eating, drinking, burping, choking, vomiting, defecating, punching, kicking and killing. Oh, yes, there’s a guy who enjoys reading, but he comes to a bad end.
Sam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Tuttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill’s lives are put in danger.
Terry Gilliam presents a retro-futurist fantasy—a melancholy, joke-ridden view of the horribleness of where we are now and the worse horribleness of where we’re heading. It’s like a stoned, slapstick “1984”: a nightmare comedy in which the comedy is just an aspect of the nightmarishness. The title refers to pop escapism of the past—what you can only dream about in the squalor and sporadic terrorist violence of an Anglo-American police state “somewhere in the twentieth century.” Visually, it’s an original, bravura piece of moviemaking, with a weirdly ingenious vertical quality: the camera always seems to be moving up and down, rarely across. You get the feeling that people live and work squashed at the bottom of hollow towers.
7. Shaun Of The Dead
Shaun doesn’t have a very good day, so he decides to turn his life around by getting his ex to take him back, but he times it for right in the middle of what may be a zombie apocalypse… But for him, it’s an opportunity to show everyone he knows how useful he is by saving them all. All he has to do is survive… And get his ex back.
Shaun of the Dead is a cute, successful zombie spoof built on a central joke: if the undead actually came to London, supposedly turned-on town of nattering youth, no one would really notice. Simon Pegg (comedian, and co-writer of this movie as well as the cult surreal C4 sitcom Spaced) plays Sean, a vacant sales assistant with a fondness for taverns and PlayStation.
His girlfriend leaves him, complaining about his spiritual malaise and, while Shaun settles back to enjoy a pint of consolatory lager, the country is suddenly overrun with flesh-eating zombies.
8. Monty Python’s Life Of Brian
The story of Brian of Nazareth, born on the same day as Jesus of Nazareth, who takes a different path in life that leads to the same conclusion. Brian joins a political resistance movement aiming to get the Romans out of Judea. Brian scores a victory of sorts when he manages to paint political slogans on an entire wall in the city of Jerusalem. The movement is not very effective but somehow Brian becomes a prophet and gathers his own following. His fate is sealed however and he lives a very short life.
Forty years ago, as the newly elected prime minister Margaret Thatcher enjoyed her popularity honeymoon, middle England boiled with rage at reports of the new Monty Python film, about a hapless People’s Front of Judea activist who is mistaken for the son of God. This was a cheeky satire of the life of Jesus. Or a satire of Biblical movie epics, or a satire of organised religion, or a satire of social conformism – these being some of the emollient, diversionary explanations deployed at the time by the film’s supporters to appease the censors and outrage merchants. They didn’t buy it. Rightly so. It’s a satire of the life of Jesus.
9. A Clockwork Orange
Protagonist Alex DeLarge is an “ultraviolent” youth in futuristic Britain. As with all luck, his eventually runs out and he’s arrested and convicted of murder and rape. While in prison, Alex learns of an experimental program in which convicts are programmed to detest violence. If he goes through the program, his sentence will be reduced and he will be back on the streets sooner than expected. But Alex’s ordeals are far from over once he hits the mean streets of Britain that he had a hand in creating.
In place of peace and love and prosperity, A Clockwork Orange offered a new zeitgeist-decade of violence, anger, misogyny, the degradation of the public space in dreary suburban locales and modernist designs for living that had been vandalised. John Barry’s production design showed us “ruin porn” before the phrase had been invented.
Turkish and his close friend/accomplice Tommy get pulled into the world of match fixing by the notorious Brick Top. Things get complicated when the boxer they had lined up gets badly beaten by Mickey, a ‘pikey’ ( slang for an Irish Gypsy)- who comes into the equation after Turkish, an unlicensed boxing promoter wants to buy a caravan off the Irish Gypsies. They then try to convince Mickey not only to fight for them, but to lose for them too.
Whilst all this is going on, a huge diamond heist takes place, and a fistful of motley characters enter the story, including ‘Cousin Avi’, ‘Boris The Blade’, ‘Franky Four Fingers’ and ‘Bullet Tooth Tony’. Things go from bad to worse as it all becomes about the money, the guns, and the damned dog.
There are such dark pleasures as Alan Ford’s flamboyantly scuzzy villain Brick Top, flashing his gummy set of teeth as he describes his favorite method of disposing of dead bodies–hacking them up and feeding them to the pigs. With this morbidly bouncy black comedy Ritchie finds a sneaky way to avoid sophomore slump: by passing his freshman tests all over again. And now for something completely different, please.
11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street
In the Victorian London, the barber Benjamin Barker is married to the gorgeous Lucy and they have a lovely child, Johanna. The beauty of Lucy attracts the attention of the corrupt Judge Turpin, who falsely accuses the barber of a crime that he did not commit and abuses Lucy later after gaining custody of her. After fifteen years in exile, Benjamin returns to London under the new identity of Sweeney Todd, seeking revenge against Turpin.
He meets the widow Mrs. Lovett who is the owner of a meat pie shop who tells him that Lucy swallowed arsenic many years ago, and Turpin assigned himself tutor of Johanna. He opens a barber shop above her store, initiating a crime rampage against those who made him suffer and lose his beloved family.
Burton’s sensibility – lushly dank and penny dreadful – does not have the operatic expansiveness of Sondheim’s, and so the movie is, in some ways, a diminishment of one of the great works of American theater. But it has a suggestiveness and terror all its own, and that’s achievement enough.
Jerry works in his father-in-law’s car dealership and has gotten himself in financial problems. He tries various schemes to come up with money needed for a reason that is never really explained. It has to be assumed that his huge embezzlement of money from the dealership is about to be discovered by father-in-law. When all else falls through, plans he set in motion earlier for two men to kidnap his wife for ransom to be paid by her wealthy father (who doesn’t seem to have the time of day for son-in-law).
From the moment of the kidnapping, things go wrong and what was supposed to be a non-violent affair turns bloody with more blood added by the minute. Jerry is upset at the bloodshed, which turns loose a pregnant sheriff from Brainerd, MN who is tenacious in attempting to solve the three murders in her jurisdiction.
Perhaps only a director like Ken Loach can make us laugh at his characters without any sense of patronising them. Possibly the Coens go too far in Fargo to persuade us that Minnesota and its Scandinavian immigrants are a microcosm of America so enclosed as to be hilarious.
Yet, the film’s style matches and underscores its content so that there is hardly a false note.
13. Lost In Translation
Middle-aged American movie star Bob Harris is in Tokyo to film a personal endorsement Suntory whiskey ad solely for the Japanese market. He is past his movie star prime, but his name and image still have enough cachet for him to have gotten this lucrative $2 million job. He has an unsatisfying home life where his wife Lydia follows him wherever he goes – in the form of messages and faxes – for him to deal with the minutiae of their everyday lives, while she stays at home to look after their kids.
Staying at the same upscale hotel is fellow American, twenty-something recent Yale Philosophy graduate Charlotte, her husband John, an entertainment still photographer, who is on assignment in Japan. As such, she is largely left to her own devices in the city, especially when his job takes him out of Tokyo.
Johansson doesn’t once strike a false note, expressing intelligence, frustration and vulnerability all at once. From the mischievous opening shot of her derrière in a pair of diaphanous knickers, she is effortlessly luminous and her understated performance is perfectly attuned to Murray’s superb study of a man wrapped in Cellophane cynicism.
14. The Big Lebowski
When “The Dude” Lebowski is mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, two thugs urinate on his rug to coerce him into paying a debt he knows nothing about. While attempting to gain recompense for the ruined rug from his wealthy counterpart, he accepts a one-time job with high pay-off. He enlists the help of his bowling buddy, Walter, a gun-toting Jewish-convert with anger issues. Deception leads to more trouble, and it soon seems that everyone from porn empire tycoons to nihilists want something from The Dude.
Soon after the Gulf War filled the airwaves with such Orwellian obscenities as “collateral damage,” the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, tuned into the martial mood and rummaged through political and personal history for the underpinnings of this Los Angeles caper, from 1998, sending up, with rueful astonishment, the American way of war. The story opens with the Dude (Jeff Bridges), an iconic laid-back, philosophical slacker-stoner, receiving an enhanced interrogation by a pair of thugs.
15. The Seventh Seal
A Knight and his squire are home from the crusades. Black Death is sweeping their country. As they approach home, Death appears to the knight and tells him it is his time. The knight challenges Death to a chess game for his life. The Knight and Death play as the cultural turmoil envelopes the people around them as they try, in different ways, to deal with the upheaval the plague has caused.
You can hunt about in the history of the cinema and bring up a distant cousin or two for Bergman’s great work. Yet, when all the delving is done, this film remains something quite distinct, a wonderful film which is not quite like any other.
16. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
The big-screen version of Hunter S. Thompson’s seminal psychedelic classic about his road trip across Western America as he and his large Samoan lawyer searched desperately for the “American dream”… they were helped in large part by the huge amount of drugs and alcohol kept in their convertible, The Red Shark.
In the slapstick cinematic, Johnny Depp stars as Dr. Thompson, the era’s most flamboyant, outrageous journalist whose combative political pronouncements and incendiary volleys against the reigning establishment stoked countercultural fires then burning in college youth. As celebrated and wasted as a lead guitarist, Thompson was known as much for his drug-gorging persona as his colorful, inflammatory writings.
17. The Truman Show
In this movie, Truman is a man whose life is a fake one… The place he lives is in fact a big studio with hidden cameras everywhere, and all his friends and people around him, are actors who play their roles in the most popular TV-series in the world: The Truman Show. Truman thinks that he is an ordinary man with an ordinary life and has no idea about how he is exploited. Until one day… he finds out everything. Will he react?
“The Truman Show” is “Candid Camera” run amok, a sugar-spun nightmare of pop paranoia that addresses the end of privacy, the rise of voyeurism and the violation of the individual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
This show-within-the-show makes for a parody all by itself, but it is couched in an even more subversively entertaining satire. One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative.
18. Barton Fink
In 1941, New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to write a Wallace Beery wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer’s block. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task.
Barton Fink is the ultimate in intellectual ballast, and with him the Coens have created a genuinely believable and multi-faceted character, while giving us a thumping good story that never lets up in its humour, pathos and intriguea
19. Full Metal Jacket
A two-segment look at the effect of the military mindset and war itself on Vietnam era Marines. The first half follows a group of recruits in boot camp under the command of the punishing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman. The second half shows one of those recruits, Joker, covering the war as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes, focusing on the Tet offensive.
The best that can be said of Full Metal Jacket is that there are traces of Stanley Kubrick in it. This, obviously, is also the worst that can be said of it. Kubrick’s new film, his first in eight years, is about the Vietnam War. After years of preparation in the hands of a man celebrated for his penetration and style, the picture adds almost nothing to our knowledge of its subject and adds it in a manner almost devoid of visual distinction.
20. Mary And Max
In the mid-1970’s, a homely, friendless Australian girl of 8 picks a name out of a Manhattan phone book and writes to him; she includes a chocolate bar. She’s Mary Dinkle, the only child of an alcoholic mother and a distracted father. He’s Max Horowitz, an overweight man with Asperger’s, living alone in New York. He writes back, with chocolate. Thus begins a 20-year correspondence, interrupted by a stay in an asylum and a few misunderstandings. Mary falls in love with a neighbor, saves money to have a birthmark removed and deals with loss. Max has a friendship with a neighbor, tries to control his weight, and finally gets the dream job. Will the two ever meet face to face?
Adam Elliot’s claymation labour of love is as heartfelt and sadsack-funny as his 2003 Oscar-winning short ‘Harvie Krumpet’ (which you’ll find on YouTube). Philip Seymour Hoffman provides the voice of Max, a lumpen 44-year-old New Yorker with Asperger’s who embarks on a penfriendship with Mary, a lonely eight-year-old Australian girl. The pair’s letters over 20 years are full of bonkers and poignant non-sequiturs: ‘Have you ever been attacked by a crow or similar large bird?’ asks Max. ‘Mum says I’m growing up to be a heifer. Which I think is some kind of cow,’ writes Mary. Barry Humphries lends an expertly arch narration.
21. Six Shooter
At the hospital, a doctor gives Donnelly the bad news: his wife of many years has died. He visits her body, placing a photograph of their pet rabbit on her hands. Then, in the early morning light, he leaves and catches a train back home toward Dublin. He sits across from a young talkative man who seems to have a loose screw, making coarse observations, starting an argument with a couple in the next seats who are clearly tense with each other. Over the next few miles, Donnelly learns that all four have lost someone that night, and, in a strange turn of events, the kid bequeaths to Donnelly a gift that may ease his pain. There’s a strange bond in grief.
Six Shooter, the first film by genius playwright and filmmaker Martin McDonagh, has absolutely everything you could want from a film – philosophical conversations, the conflict between characters, family tragedy, police shootouts and an exploding cow.
22. Being John Malkovich
Puppeteer Craig Schwartz and animal lover and pet store clerk Lotte Schwartz are just going through the motions of their marriage. Despite not being able to earn a living solely through puppeteering, Craig loves his profession as it allows him to inhabit the skin of others. He begins to take the ability to inhabit the skin of others to the next level when he is forced to take a job as a file clerk for the off-kilter LesterCorp, located on the five-foot tall 7½ floor of a Manhattan office building. Behind one of the filing cabinets in his work area, Craig finds a hidden door which he learns is a portal into the mind of John Malkovich, the visit through the portal which lasts fifteen minutes after which the person is spit into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike.
Being John Malkovich is the outrageously funny new movie from director Spike Jonze, with a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, whose every scene, every line, every narrative refinement, every exquisitely hand-tooled joke and sight-gag is of the purest gold. Jonze and Kaufman take us on a cheeky raid behind the enemy lines of thinkability in the cinema, into the realm of the six impossible things the Red Queen believed before breakfast.
A wild, freeform, Rabelaisian trip through the darkest recesses of Edinburgh low-life, focusing on Mark Renton and his attempt to give up his heroin habit, and how the latter affects his relationship with family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy, dimbulb Spud, psycho Begbie, 14-year-old girlfriend Diane, and clean-cut athlete Tommy, who’s never touched drugs but can’t help being curious about them…
Trainspotting is supercharged with sulphurous humour and brutal recklessness: it charges at you like Ewan McGregor’s Renton sprinting from store detectives in the opening sequence. In 1996, his famous “choose life” monologue was dynamic; in 2017 it sounds poignantly light and breathy, almost childlike, like a kid reciting in school.
24. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Loosely based on Homer’s “Odyssey,” the movie deals with the picaresque adventures of Ulysses Everett McGill and his companions Delmar and Pete in 1930s Mississipi. Sprung from a chain gang and trying to reach Everett’s home to recover the buried loot of a bank heist they are confronted by a series of strange characters–among them sirens, a cyclops, bank robber George “Baby Face” Nelson (very annoyed by that nickname), a campaigning governor and his opponent, a KKK lynch mob, and a blind prophet who warns the trio that “the treasure you seek shall not be the treasure you find.”
Films by the Coen brothers have always inhabited their own richly, eccentrically imagined universe, but never before have they found one to accommodate such a wealth of unselfconscious fun. O Brother, Where Art Thou? has brio, wit, and style, and the whole picture is air-cushioned with appealing comedy and its own unassuming good nature.
25. Little Miss Sunshine
In Albuquerque, Sheryl Hoover brings her suicidal brother Frank to the breast of her dysfunctional and emotionally bankrupted family. Frank is homosexual, an expert in Proust. He tried to commit suicide when he was rejected by his boyfriend and his great competitor became renowned and recognized as number one in the field of Proust. Sheryl’s husband Richard is unsuccessfully trying to sell his self-help and self-improvement technique using nine steps to reach success, but he is actually a complete loser.
Her son Dwayne has taken a vow of silence as a follower of Nietzsche and aims to be a jet pilot. Dwayne’s grandfather Edwin was sent away from the institution for elders (Sunset Manor) and is addicted in heroin. When her seven-year-old daughter Olive has a chance to dispute the Little Miss Sunshine pageant in Redondo Beach, California, the whole family travels together in their old Volkswagen Type 2 (Kombi) in a funny journey of hope of winning the talent contest and to make a dream.
Following “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “The Office,” Carell shows further evidence he’s the real deal with his morosely deadpan characterization. Arkin gets the best lines as the irascible oldster with no politeness filter.
26. American Psycho
Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-seven and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence.
When Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) mentions – oh so casually – that he does “murders and executions,” a listener mistakes his words for “mergers and acquisitions.”
That’s the blood-simple thesis of “American Psycho,” a stylized, black comedy set amid the back-stabbing, profit-hunting towers of Manhattan in the 1980s: Murders and mergers, executions and acquisitions? They’re all the same thing, see.
While his latest movie Being John Malkovich (1999) is in production, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman is hired by Valerie Thomas to adapt Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book “The Orchid Thief” for the screen. Thomas bought the movie rights before Orlean wrote the book, when it was only an article in The New Yorker. The book details the story of rare orchid hunter John Laroche, whose passion for orchids and horticulture made Orlean discover passion and beauty for the first time in her life.
Charlie wants to be faithful to the book in his adaptation, but despite Laroche himself being an interesting character in his own right, Charlie is having difficulty finding enough material in Laroche to fill a movie, while equally not having enough to say cinematically about the beauty of orchids. At the same time, Charlie is going through other issues in his life. His insecurity as a person doesn’t allow him to act upon his feelings for Amelia Kavan, who is interested in him as a man.
So Kaufman cheekily writes himself into his script, or rather writes himself writing himself into his script – a paunchy loser who can’t get a girlfriend. But he also creates a doppelganger, an alternative self whom he both despises and wants to be. Donald is an easygoing, sexually successful idiot who is also writing a boneheaded by-the-numbers screenplay with the aid of a raft of self-help manuals and Robert McKee’s screenwriting course.
28. True Romance
In Detroit, Clarence Worley goes to the movie theater alone on the day of his birthday to watch some movies. The gorgeous Alabama Whitman accidentally drops her popcorn on Clarence and they watch the movie together. Later they go to a diner for pie, and end up having a one night stand. In the morning, Alabama confesses that she is a call-girl hired to spend the night with him, but she has fallen in love with him. In the morning they get married and Clarence goes to the club where she worked to bring her some clothes.
However, her pimp Drexl Spivey and his partner beat up Clarence and he reacts by killing them both. Clarence asks for Alabama’s suitcase with her clothes and the other girls mistakenly give another one with cocaine. When Clarence discovers the mistake, he decides to travel with Alabama to the house of his friend, the aspiring actor Dick Ritchie, to sell the drug and travel to Mexico. He visits his father Clifford Worley and gives his address to him.
Quentin Tarantino’s dirty, funny and unpredictably violent genius powers True Romance, directed by Tony Scott. Tarantino scripted this tale of Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a call girl who abandons her profession after a couple of days for true romance with Clarence (Christian Slater), who works in a comic-book store. At first it seems to be an adorable, indie meet-cute, but it swings suddenly into wild carnage as we meet Alabama’s former pimp, a dreadlocked psychopath played by Gary Oldman.
29. Hot Fuzz
Top London cop, PC Nicholas Angel is good. Too good. And to stop the rest of his team looking bad, he is reassigned to the quiet town of Sandford. He is paired with Danny Butterman, who endlessly questions him on the action lifestyle. Everything seems quiet for Angel, until two actors are found decapitated. It is called an accident, but Angel isn’t going to accept that, especially when more and more people turn up dead. Angel and Danny clash with everyone, whilst trying to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the apparent “accidents”.
Here’s just the movie for the weekend after the Va. Tech killings: a gun-love comedy about a rural town where, by the end, nearly everyone has been mowed down in a tsunami of bullets. Watching Hot Fuzz at a big screening Thursday night, I laughed along with the audibly delighted crowd of film-industry folk. But I couldn’t help wondering whether general audiences would find a bloodbath cop-movie parody an appropriate mechanism of escape from the recent headlines.
30. Thank You For Smoking
The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins arguments to defend the cigarette industry in the most difficult situations. His best friends are Polly Bailey that works in the Moderation Council in alcohol business, and Bobby Jay Bliss of the gun business own advisory group SAFETY. They frequently meet each other in a bar and they self-title the M.O.D. Squad, a.k.a. Merchants of Death, disputing which industry has killed more people.
Nick’s greatest enemy is Vermont’s Senator Ortolan Finistirre, who defends in the Senate the use of a skull and crossbones on cigarette packs. Nick’s son Joey Naylor lives with his mother, and has the chance to know his father in a business trip. When the ambitious reporter Heather Holloway betrays Nick disclosing confidences he had in bed with her, his life turns upside-down. But Nick is good in what he does for the mortgage.
“Anyone who smokes in a movie is either a psychopath or a European,” according to Nick Naylor. As the chief spokesman for a big tobacco corporation, he is arguably the former, but Jason Reitman’s ingenious satire casts Naylor – played with great panache by Aaron Eckhart – as the hero. This is a story of spin, of Naylor’s witty attempts to justify the indefensible products of his bosses while playng the fatherly role model to his 12-year-old son (Cameron Bright).
In the course of a short, tightly scripted movie, Nick cuts a product placement deal with a Hollywood studio, bribes the original Marlboro Man to keep his mouth shut about lung cancer and bullies schoolchildren into ignoring health advice. “Is your mommy a doctor?” he asks a bewildered pre-teen. “No? Well, she’s hardly a credible expert then, is she?” Then, after a hard day, Nick likes to relax with his friends, the spokespeople for the alcohol and firearm industries. They call themselves the Merchants of Death.