Weekend Watchlist | Crime

We here at the Pitt News do not condone illegal activity, but we will acknowledge that sometimes it can be really cool to watch. This week, the Pitt News Staff is sharing some of our favorite films and shows featuring all sorts of less-than-lawful characters solving crimes and committing them.

Goodfellas (HBO Max) // Patrick Swain, Staff Writer

The first half of this movie will have you wondering, “Why shouldn’t I drop out of college and lead a glamorous and lucrative life of crime?” The second half will make you say, “Oh, that’s why.”

Martin Scorsese’s mafia epic follows the rise and fall of gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) over 25 years of organized crime. Hill’s suave narration takes us on a journey through the decades – beginning with his teenage antics blowing up cars and threatening mailmen in 1950s Brooklyn, “Goodfellas” basks us in the adrenaline and euphoria of getting off scot-free. We’re amazed that karma has seemingly overlooked Hill and his impulsive, violent crew of invincible criminals.

Then, with the help of the Tampa Zoo, a shinebox and the best Eric Clapton song, Hill’s teetering house of cards comes crashing down. The trustworthy people around him dwindle over the years, finding themselves dead in a meat locker or the back of a garbage truck. Even the dreadfully underutilized Samuel L. Jackson isn’t safe – and who doesn’t love Samuel L. Jackson?

In the end, our tragic antihero Henry Hill finally reaps what he sows – not in death, but in a suburban purgatory of egg noodles and ketchup.

Good Time (Kanopy) // Toni Jackson, For The Pitt News

Equal parts thrilling and untamed, “Good Time” is the perfect movie for when you want to go, “WTF just happened?”

Josh and Benny Safdie directed the film, which focuses on Connie (Robert Pattinson), who attempts to break his mentally disabled brother Nick (Benny Safdie), out of jail. In his efforts, Connie faces a number of challenges as throughout the night he gets further away from his brother’s freedom.

If you loved the intensity of “Uncut Gems” (or just the memes), this movie is the perfect follow up to delve further into the Safdie brothers’ previous work. The fast-paced and almost claustrophobic shots of the film add to its intense nature. Despite only knowing the characters briefly — the action of the film starts immediately — you care about each of them and are curious about not only their futures, but also their pasts.

The film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival the year of its release in 2017, but only won the Cannes Soundtrack Award. With the combination of both the Safdies becoming more well known, along with Robert Pattinson being, well, Robert Pattinson, this movie is made for anyone who loves a good time.

Molly’s Game (Netflix) // Elizabeth Donnelly, Senior Staff Writer

How does the third-highest-ranked skier in North America go from competing in Olympic trials to getting arrested in the middle of the night by a team of heavily armed FBI agents? High risks with unimaginably high rewards can tempt even the strictest rule followers.

Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, this biopic delves into the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain). Following a freak accident and subsequent injury, Molly’s skiing career was over in the blink of an eye. With her life’s work and dreams of Olympic proportions completely squandered, Molly has to decide what her future will hold. In search of mental clarity, she moves to LA to take a gap year before law school. Little did she know her temp office job would lead her to becoming the host of one of the world’s most high-stakes and exclusive underground poker rings.

“Molly’s Game” captures audience attention, from the first line until the end credits, with its fast paced, suspenseful plot. Sorkin’s masterful directing allows for viewers to navigate the complex storyline using voice overs, flashbacks and present-day narration from Molly’s perspective. This film has an all-star cast in addition to Chastain, and they embody their characters with an authenticity often difficult to portray on screen.

This film portrays the ease with which a seemingly “innocent” person can get caught up with the wrong crowd. Although Molly suffers consequences from her actions, the end message is clear — in the face of adversity, get back up and keep moving forward.