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1992, Sony Repertory, 105 min, USA, Dir: Carl Franklin

After Michael Beach, Cynda Williams and Billy Bob Thornton (who co-wrote the taut script) leave Los Angeles following a particularly bloody drug robbery, LAPD detectives suspect they’ll head to Star City, Arkansas. Talkative local sheriff Bill Paxton is excited by the prospect of doing real police work - but he has a connection to one of the criminals that he doesn’t disclose in this unpredictable crime thriller. Critic Gene Siskel’s favorite film of 1992.

1995, Sony Repertory, 102 min, USA, Dir: Carl Franklin

Adapted from the first of Walter Mosley’s popular Easy Rawlins novels, this neo-noir stars Denzel Washington as the private investigator plying his trade in South Central Los Angeles after WWII. When DeWitt Albright (a memorably shifty Tom Sizemore) asks Easy to find a missing woman (Jennifer Beals) involved with a mayoral candidate, the detective soon has several murders to solve. With Don Cheadle. “It's the film's glowing visual qualities, a striking performance by Denzel Washington and the elegant control Carl Franklin has over it all that create the most exotic crime entertainment of the season.” - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.

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