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Added by johanlefourbe on 21 Jan 2021 11:59
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A Complete Review of Michael Mann's work

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People who added this item 172 Average listal rating (114 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 5.4
Blackhat (2015)


Cast : Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis

What was it about?
A furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta.

My two cents:
When I heard that Michael Mann, after 6 long years, was finally coming up with a new directing effort, of course, I got pretty excited. Eventually, it didn't get much love when it was released and it was pretty much a flop but I still wanted to check it out anyway. Well, unfortunately, it turned out to be a massive disappointment and easily the weakest movie delivered by Michael Mann (Okay, 'The Keep' is probably worse...). It's too bad because, with the current fear of cyber terrorism, the whole thing definitely had some potential but I was just amazed about how poorly developed it was. First of all, I have nothing against Chris Hemsworth, he is fine playing an Asgardian god or just an average hunk but he would be one of my last choices to be a great hacker. Then, you had this terrible idea of having the hacker released from prison to help the police. It's a very old gimmick that has been overused through the years and it didn’t add anything to the story. Then, why the hell was this guy, who was basically a technical consultant, involved during a police assault? In fact, even though the main character worked closely with the police during the whole thing, they all get killed and he actually managed to fix everything, only with the help of his new girlfriend who was apparently just a simple network administrator, and the police/CIA/FBI/whatever apparently simply vanished from the whole story. Anyway, I could go on and on about this, the damned thing was just really weak.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2640 Average listal rating (1592 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7


Cast : Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Jason Clarke, David Wenham, Stephen Dorff, Carey Mulligan, Giovanni Ribisi, Channing Tatum, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard

What was it about?
The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

My two cents:
To be honest, I was expecting more from this flick. Indeed, nowadays, Johnny Depp keeps releasing some flops but, at the time, he was at the height of his popularity, making one hit after the other and many of his movies were very well received. So, when I heard that he was making a movie with Michael Mann, I thought it would be really amazing. On the other hand, even if it didn’t turn to be such a masterpiece, I have to admit that it was still a good flick though. Indeed, the directing was solid and I didn’t really mind the fact that it was shot digitally but you wonder if the movie wouldn’t have looked better with some good old 35mm film. Furthermore, there was an impressive cast involved but the story was somehow a little bit underwhelming. In my opinion, they never really managed to make Dillinger really fascinating and even though you spend more than 2 hours with the guy, you still don’t learn much about him after all. Eventually, my rating was actually a little bit too generous the first time around but it was still a very enjoyable and entertaining picture.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1014 Average listal rating (683 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6
Miami Vice (2006)


Cast : Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Gong Li, Naomie Harris, Ciarán Hinds, Justin Theroux, Isaach De Bankolé, John Hawkes

What was it about?
Based on the 1980s TV action/drama, this update focuses on vice detectives Crockett and Tubbs as their respective personal and professional lives become dangerously intertwined.

My two cents:
I remember, before this flick came out, there was a huge buzz about it. Honestly, I wasn't sure about the whole thing because I thought it was a timely show which really fitted the 80's and I wasn't sure if it would be really interesting as a reboot. Anyway, eventually, it was a flop, especially for Colin Farrel who back then was linked to some pretty impressive projects which all turned out to be disappointing (see also 'Alexander'). Still, it wasn't really an awful flick and there were many things to enjoy here. First of all, it is directed by Michael Mann so the whole thing just looked terrific. Furthermore, there was a pretty cool cast and they all did a decent job. Still, it is a real shame that such a great actress like Gong Li would make her English debut in such an underwhelming flick though. Eventually, the main issue here was above all with the story. Indeed, the whole thing was just so pedestrian and generic. It left me the feeling that the makers were already satisfied since the movie looked terrific so why should they bother looking for an interesting story? Anyway, it is indeed a disappointing movie but I still think it is worth a look though.

My rating: 06/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2708 Average listal rating (1811 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Collateral (2004)


Cast : Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo, Javier Bardem

What was it about?
A cab driver finds himself the hostage of an engaging contract killer as he makes his rounds from hit to hit during one night in Los Angeles.

My two cents:
It's already more than 15 years since Michael Mann made this movie and everything he has made afterwards has unfortunately been rather disappointing. Anyway, this movie was his last critical success. I guess most people would say that ‘Heat’ was and still is his best directing effort but this movie is definitely not far behind though. Indeed, it was one hell of a thriller and it was one of the very few examples that, if Tom Cruise goes outside his comfort zone, the guy can be actually quite terrific. Indeed, his character here was so much more fascinating than his usual boring heroes. Furthermore, the whole thing looked terrific and Mann managed to create here a spellbinding mood. To be honest, I don’t think the story really made sense though. I mean, why would a hit-man spend the whole night with a cab-driver like this? I mean, to use a cab to do a quick job, sure, why not, but to spend a whole night with the very same guy resulted for something quite entertaining but not really realistic. Still, this was a minor issue, and it remains probably one of the best thrillers out there

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 844 Average listal rating (494 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Ali (2001)


Cast : Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight, Mario Van Peebles, Jeffrey Wright, Jada Pinkett Smith, Giancarlo Esposito

What was it about?
A biography of sports legend Muhammad Ali, focusing on his triumphs and controversies between 1964 and 1974.

My two cents:
Nowadays, Will Smith seems to be somewhat struggling with his career. On the other hand, I don’t think there are any actors left who can secure a box-office hit only with their name on the poster. Anyway, for more than a decade, Smith completely ruled the box-office and he even holds the record for the actor to star in the most consecutive movies grossing at least $100 million. Right at the middle of this Golden age, he made also his attempt for Oscar glory with this high-profile biopic. Obviously, you might wonder if Will Smith was the best choice to play probably the most famous boxer that ever lived since he never displayed some really impressive acting skills so far but I thought he was actually pretty good. Eventually, the main issue with this movie was maybe that it was directed by Michael Mann. I mean, back in those days, Mann was probably at the height of his career and I always had a weak spot for this director but the guy is/was above all a fine technician and maybe it wasn’t sufficient for this material. Anyway, Ali was one of the most fascinating athletes that ever lived and this movie is a good starting point if you want to get more acquainted with his life but there is no doubt that it could have been so much better though.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1158 Average listal rating (715 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Insider (1999)


Cast : Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, Christopher Plummer, Philip Baker Hall, Gina Gershon, Michael Gambon

What was it about?
A research chemist comes under personal and professional attack when he decides to appear in a 60 Minutes exposé on Big Tobacco.

My two cents:
This movie is easily one of the best movies delivered by Mann. Nowadays, it seems to be rather forgotten but when it was released, it was a big critical success and it definitely deserved all the praise it received. Indeed, to start with, the performances delivered by Al Pacino (in probably one of his last very good movies) and Russell Crowe were really good and, above all, the story was just very interesting and entertaining. In my opinion, the damned thing is actually almost as good as ‘All The President’s Men’ which is easily the best movie in this genre. It was above all thanks to Michael Mann's solid directing which managed to perfectly mix the usual thriller gimmicks with a realistic and compelling story.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 2557 Average listal rating (1708 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.2
Heat (1995)


Cast : Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Jon Voight, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Ashley Judd, Dennis Haysbert, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman

What was it about?
A group of professional bank robbers start to feel the heat from police when they unknowingly leave a clue at their latest heist.

My two cents:
In fact, I remember very well when this movie came out. Indeed, back then, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were still a big deal and when the word came out that they would finally star together in a movie, like any other average movie fanatic, I was just thrilled. Eventually, I even saw the damned thing in the movie theater when it was released and I was certainly not disappointed. Well, I'm really glad I rewatched it after all these years, I enjoyed even more as it is such a very well made and entertaining heist feature. The masterstroke with this movie was that, instead of rushing everything and focusing on the action scenes, they took their time. As a result, De Niro and Pacino, who were still at the top of their game, had enough space to develop their characters and you had the opportunity to root for both guys, the thief and the cop, which is something very rare and it was very well handled here. Anyway, the damned thing is definitely a classic and one of the best movies ever made in this genre.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 1507 Average listal rating (948 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7


Cast : Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Patrice Chéreau, Pete Postlethwaite

What was it about?
Three trappers protect the daughters of a British Colonel in the midst of the French and Indian War.

My two cents:
Well, eventually, even though it turned out to be pretty good, I still didn't completely blow me away though. Eventually, the biggest problem was that the damned thing was too short in my opinion. Indeed, it could have easily lasted 3 hours and, then, they would have had enough time to properly introduce the story and the characters involved. As a result, the introduction was seriously rushed and you barely got the time to understand who was involved and what was their agenda. Indeed, within 10 minutes, you get introduced to such various groups like the British army, the French army, various Indian tribes fighting for one side or another, some colonials eager to fight for England, some not,... And, of course, it was rather hard to believe that a British lady from the upper-class would fall in love for a rough white man raised by the indians and, the other way around, you wonder why this free-spirited fellow would ever care for her. But, I guess that was the whole point of this tale as it was probably the most romantic Western I have ever seen and, in spite for a rather weak start, the rest worked actually really well. Indeed, back in those days, Michael Mann certainly knew how to direct a movie and it was visually quite impressive. On top of that, as usual, Daniel Day-Lewis was completely mesmerizing to behold and, even if the love story didn't really make much sense, he was just so concinving.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 685 Average listal rating (419 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Manhunter (1986)


Cast : William Petersen, Joan Allen, Brian Cox, Tom Noonan

What was it about?
Former F.B.I. profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial killer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

My two cents:
To be honest, I have to damit that I have never been a huge fan of ‘The Silence of The Lambs’. Sure, I did like the damned thing and it is definitely an entertaining flick but, in my opinion, it is seriously over-the-top with some rather preposterous scenes. The sad thing is that even though this movie has become a huge classic, many people tend to forget that it wasn’t actually the first film starring Hannibal Lecter. Indeed, 5 years before, Michael Mann directed this flick which was an adaptation of ‘Red Dragon’ which would be then remade more than 15 years later by Brett Ratner. All right, I have to admit it, it wasn’t actually better than ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ which still remains by far the best movie involving Lecter but it was still pretty good though and it sure deserves to get more attention. The most interesting thing about this flick was how vastly different the mood and the tone was. I also enjoyed Brian Cox’s performance as it was something really different than what Anthony Hopkins did. Indeed, his Lector was much more down to earth which was very welcome.

My rating: 07/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 147 Average listal rating (94 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 5.7
The Keep (1983)


Cast : Scott Glenn, Jürgen Prochnow, Gabriel Byrne, Ian McKellen

What was it about?
Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

My two cents:
This is another movie that I had been chasing for so many years. Well, I wish I could say it had been worth waiting for so long but, unfortunately, the damned thing turned out to be quite terrible, even borderline unwatchable. Of course, since this movie had a really bad reputation, I can’t say I was really surprised though. Basically, imagine if Lovecraft was born 100 years later and wrote some horror story with some Nazis, add up a really esoteric soundtrack by Tangerine Dream and, surprisingly, it might actually seem appealing. However, Michael Mann had apparently no clue what the hell he was doing. Of course, you could argue that the movie had been butchered by the studio as the original cut of the film ran more than three hours but my guess was that this original cut was already a terrible mess. However, by cutting so much, the whole thing became almost incomprehensible. Indeed, as a result, even though Scott Glenn was given top-billing, he showed up only half way through and it is obvious that many scenes explaining slightly more his mysterious character were now missing. Eventually, you might wonder if making a fantasy feature taking place during WWII was maybe not misguided but, 20 years later, Guillermo Del Toro did manage to pull it off fairly nicely with ‘El laberinto del fauno‘.

My rating: 05/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:
People who added this item 290 Average listal rating (178 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
Thief (1981)


Cast : James Caan, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, Jim Belushi

What was it about?
A former ace safe-cracker is trying to go straight--if he can score one last big heist for the mob.

My two cents:
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this flick but since I’m a huge fan of Michael Mann’s work, I was really eager to check it out. Eventually, even though it is one of his more obscure movies, I was actually impressed by the damned thing and, in my opinion, it is easily one of his best directing efforts. Indeed, I always had a weak spot for heist features and this flick is, by far, one of the best I have ever seen in this genre. Right from the start, you get an amazing opening scene during which you have one of the most realistic heist I have ever seen in a movie. Apparently, the burglary tools used throughout the film were not props, but actual tools which were supplied by actual thieves who served as technical consultants on the film. Therefore, the whole thing felt really raw and pretty realistic and it was just spellbinding to watch. On top of that, James Caan was really on the top of his game and he gave easily one of the best performances of his career (apparently, Caan shares this opinion and after ‘The Godfather’, it is his favorite film he has made). Anyway, even though the story was actually rather pedestrian, it is so well made, so well directed, I really loved the damned thing.

My rating: 08/10

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johanlefourbe's rating:

Since I have finally managed to watch all the movies directed by Michael Mann, I thought I should make one of these lists for this guy as well.

Enjoy!


Added to

43 votes
A Complete Review of various directors' s work (64 lists)
list by johanlefourbe
Published 9 years, 4 months ago 8 comments



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