The Card Counter (2021)

Focus Features

Over the course of his long and illustrious career, though peppered with at least a handful of controversial works, Paul Schrader has continually revisited – be it as a director or only in screenwriting capacities – the theme of a tormented man on a mission. From Blue Collar to Hardcore and even recently to First Reformed, and even his collaborations with Martin Scorsese (Taxi DriverThe Last Temptation of Christ and Raging Bull) many of his movies fit together thematically. 

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Dune (2021)

WB

Ever since its publication in 1965, Frank Herbert’s Dune has remained an elusive and treacherous challenge for filmmakers to adapt. Many have tried and failed and those who succeeded have seen their vision diluted and pared down. The seemingly insurmountable narrative and thematic density of Frank Herbert’s prose was enough to bring Hollywood to its knees and turn Dune into one of the Holy Grails of literary works infamously unwilling to bend to the will of the film industry – together with The Lord of the Rings and Ulysses  until now. Well, sort of.  

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Triple Frontier (2019)

By far the most compelling aspect of Triple Frontier is its constipated development which dates all the way back to 2010. It was supposed to be a vehicle for Kathryn Bigelow to follow up her Oscar victory with The Hurt Locker, composed together with her loyal habitue Mark Boal. However, the film got stuck in development hell for nearly eight years and after a whole host of high-profile names paraded through its credit roll only to drop off eventually, the film saw the light of day in 2019; only because Netflix got involved. And it sure feels like a movie that wasn’t meant to be.  

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