"Cutter's Way" (1981), director by Ivan Passer. 109 minutes. Rated R. The story of a crippled veteran, his best friend and their efforts to solve a murder, this is also one of the best introspective character studies to come along in years, a welcomed island of reality in Hollywood's sea of fantasy.
"Orphans" (1987), directed by Alan J. Pakula. 120 minutes. Rated R. Albert Finney as a blustery Chicago gangster who is abducted by a crazed, third-rate thief and held in the dilapidated house the thief shares with his younger, backward brother. With his Midwestern gangster slang and alcohol-tainted good manners, Finney parodies both American films and American values, uproariously.
"The Killing" (1956), directed by Stanley Kubrick. 83 minutes. No rating. A band of very serious thugs plan the biggest score of their careers. An urgent, no-nonsense, unrelenting film by the man who went on to direct "Dr. Strangelove," "2001" and "A Clockwork Orange."