ENEMY OF THE STATE
1998, Buena Vista, 131 min, USA, Dir: Tony Scott

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott ratchet up conspiracy paranoia to the nth degree as labor lawyer Will Smith unknowingly comes into possession of a video showing a crime being committed by National Security Agency chief Jon Voight. When Smith has his assets frozen and his family put in jeopardy and must go on the run, he receives help from an unlikely source: renegade surveillance expert Gene Hackman (playing a distant cousin to the role he assayed in Coppola’s THE CONVERSATION).


CRIMSON TIDE
1995, Buena Vista, 116 min, USA, Dir: Tony Scott

When rebels overrun a Russian ICBM missile site, a U.S. nuclear sub captained by Gene Hackman is dispatched to deal with the problem. A command to launch their nuclear warhead is radioed to the sub, but the follow-up message is interrupted when they’re attacked, thus setting in motion a ferocious test of wills between hawkish Hackman and more circumspect second-in-command Denzel Washington. A brilliantly acted, surprisingly thought-provoking military drama in the vein of FAIL-SAFE, with able support from Matt Craven, Viggo Mortensen and James Gandolfini.


MAN ON FIRE
2004, 20th Century Fox, 146 min, USA, Dir: Tony Scott

Denzel Washington stars as Creasy, an ex-CIA op brought to Mexico City to bodyguard his friend’s daughter, 9-year-old Pita Ramos (Dakota Fanning). As hard-edged Creasy begins to warm to the precocious youngster, something terrible happens: Pita is abducted. Creasy swears vengeance on the kidnappers, and damn near burns down Mexico City to reveal the truth about her disappearance in Tony Scott’s kinetic, emotionally walloping thriller, the first of five successful collaborations between the director and Washington. With Christopher Walken.


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