1998, Screen Media, 124 min, UK/Ireland, Dir: John Boorman

John Boorman was named Best Director at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for this gritty B&W portrait of charismatic Dublin criminal Martin Cahill (a man who, before graduating to more serious offenses, had once burgled Boorman’s home). Brendan Gleeson is superb as the audacious hood, whose increasing infamy draws the attention of both the IRA and Irish police officer Ned Kenny (Jon Voight).

1992, Warner Bros., 201 min, USA, Japan, Dir: Spike Lee

This sweeping biography of the famed African-American leader remains one of director Spike Lee’s greatest films. Denzel Washington earned an Oscar nomination for his riveting performance in the title role, rising from petty criminal to charismatic leader of the Nation of Islam before his assassination in 1965. Angela Bassett costars.

2008, Discovery Films, 94 min, USA, Dir: James Marsh

On Aug. 7, 1974, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit captured the attention of the world with a 45-minute performance on a cable strung between the roofs of the World Trade Center’s twin towers. With rare footage of secret preparations for what has been called the “artistic crime of the century,” this Oscar-winning documentary unspools with the tension of a heist film.

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