"From the Ritz to the Rubble"
Directed by James Mangold
Written by Paul Schrader
Terrence Howard as Charlie Johnson
Jack Whtie as Detective Marshall hill
Ben Foster as Jolly Roger
Colin Hanks as Detective Fredrick Class
Elijah Kelly as Frankleton Roads (Minor Character)
Tyrese Gibson as Smalls (Minor Character)
Michelle Williams as Linda Hill (minor character)
Tagline: "In this game of Cat and Mouse, there is no victor"
Synopsis: Charlie Johnson is the type of man to kill his own father to be number one. You know how i know this? Because Charlie Johnson killed his father to be number one. He will let nothing stand in his way to the top. Nothing will bring him down.
Detective Marshall Hill and his rookie partner, Detective Fredrick Class, were just assigned to investigate the death of local black crime boss, Papa Johnson. Everyone told them to just let it go. They weren't going to find out who did it, and if they did, that would just mean trouble for themselves. But Marshall Hill was the type of man to never quit. And his clues lead him to Charlie Johnson.
One day, while eating lunch, they get a call on their radio about a robbery in progress only two blocks from where they were. Hill knew immediately it was Johnson's crew. Smalls, the son of Charlie Johnson, was with three other guys in a bank. It was going very smoothly, until they hear the unwanted presence of police sirens in the parking lot. Before they know it they have Hill's and Class's guns in their faces. Hill tells class to take Smalls back to the station while he waits for back up. He follows orders, but no sooner than he begins to drive off, are gun blasts heard from the vehicle. Hill chases down Smalls and puts bullet right between his eyes. Cold blooded. Johnson's son being dead, he needed a man to pull operations that was from out of town, and disposable. So he called a reknowned British thief by the name of Jolly Roger. Roger's charismatic and sharp witted attitude toward the heaviest of conversations makes him a likeable villain. His first assignment, take care of the man who killed Johnson's son. Roger decides to burn his house down. With him and his family asleep inside of it. Is it lucky, or unlucky that Hill makes it out alive, only to hear the faint screams of his wife and child burning?
1 year later, Hill has lost his job, his family, and his reputation all in the pursuit of an unwinnable game. Arrest the unarrestable. Roger has made a good little fortune doing jobs for Johnson, but Johnson decides to let him go. This enfuriates Roger, but what is he going to do in front of Frankleton Roads and the rest of Johnson's crew? Well, he can't take it out on Johnson, but he certainly can abuse the smart mouthed Roads. When Roger leaves, Roads is motionless on the floor, with a 6 inch knife in his throat.
While sitting alone in a bar, Hill suddenly gets more information on Johnson. The location of Johnson's house. He might be able to get rid of him at nighttime. But will he be too late? Will Roger have already taken his revenge? Or will Johnson be as sly as a cat to determine both outcomes, and prevent them? All we know is, no matter what the outcome may be, no one in this game of cat and mouse will walk away saying they have won.
What the Press would say:
James Mangold's spectacular crime drama is perhaps one of the most refreshing pieces of American Cinema in the past ten to fifteen years. his quick directing stlye brings an excellence to a film that has achieves the term in so many other aspects. Terrence Howard's frightening performace may be regarded as the African American Don Cordeleone. jack White gives a haunting portrayal of a man who loses everything in the name of revenge. Colin Hanks shines in his scenes as well, but perhaps the true significance of this picture, is the mouth-as-quick-as-his-gun Cockney thief Jolly Roger, played with a bravura by Ben Foster. Foster has given great performances in the past, but this is truly his masterpiece. his comedic moments are only bested by his threatening torture scenes and maticulus banter with hostages. Truly James Mangold has created a film to be inspiring young filmakers for years to come.
Peter Travers - FOUR STARS
Owen Glieberman - SOLID A
Roger Ebert - Singlehandedly the best film of the year!
Best Actor - Terrence Howard
Best Supporting Actor - Jack White
Best Supporting Actor - Ben Foster
Best Original Screenplay