Spoiler Alert: DO NOT READ this breakdown if you haven’t seen the film. It is impossible to say anything useful about the writing without discussing the critical plot twists. With the tidal wave of superhero movies coming out of Hollywood, I get very excited when a serious crime story
Spoiler alert: this breakdown contains crucial information about the plot. The three Batman films from Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer are incredibly ambitious super-hero movies. These writers aspire to high art, and in the case of The Dark Knight, they succeed. The
The Coen brothers are the moral philosophers of American film. They have one subject: moral accounting. That’s why no matter what genre they seem to work in, they’re always doing crime stories. The classic crime story is a heavyweight fight between a master criminal and a master cop.
Spoiler alert: this breakdown divulges information about the plot of the film. For anyone who wants to look beneath its action surface, The Dark Knight proves that a movie can be a huge hit because of theme, not in spite of it. The Dark Knight is the closest thing to a fictional explo
The gangster story, like the Western, is a quintessentially American genre. And, in many ways, it is the opposite of the Western. The Western is about the taming of the frontier and the making of a nation. It values individual initiative through hard work and playing by the rules, alo
The Departed is very instructive in showing us how to write a crime thriller, and how not to. It starts with a terrific premise: cops and criminals have a mole in the each other’s organization. But this is also a premise that is loaded with pitfalls. In the Great Screenwriting C
Mystic River is a classic example of what is referred to as an “actor’s movie.” Big monologues, gnashing of teeth, tearing of scenery. Being an actor’s movie is not necessarily a bad thing. Big stars want to be in them. And actor’s movies often win Oscars
Problem/Need: The first thing we have to ask ourselves is, who’s the main character in the story? Dennis, the cop, appears to be the main character, but he doesn’t provide the driving force of the story. We don’t really have a main character here. And that is about t