Tag Archives: Ellen Barkin


Bad Company (1995) 3.43/5 (1)


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Rating: The Good – 73.8
Genre: Thriller
Duration: 108 mins
Director: Damian Harris
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Ellen Barkin, Frank Langella, Michael Beach

Lawrence Fishburn stars as a disgraced former CIA agent who moves to the world of corporate espionage where he immediately becomes embroiled in a double cross involving his devious new partner Ellen Barkin and a host of other nefarious individuals each with their own agendas. The plot may be as mad as a box of frogs but there’s much to recommend in the manner of this thriller’s execution. It’s an eminently slick and determined piece of intrigue that panders little to an impatient audience. A psychological homage to the murky combination of intelligence and greed shot in the soft glow of 90’s lighting and set against a emphatically sinister Carter Burwell score. Ross Thomas adapted his own novel and didn’t compromise an inch in how he depicted the ambiguity of this dark world and while Damian Harris repeatedly spills the tension of his expositional scenes, he crafts his key moments with some real finesse and proper power. So much so that the bleak rawness of the emotional landscape can become quite repelling towards the end. The acting is for the most part as competent as you’d expect from a cast as good as this but it’s their ability to see the hidden qualities in their characters that hooks the audience and keeps us guessing. Fishburn in particular gives us a colder more unsettling anti-hero than we are typically used to and Michael Beach treats us yet another seriously intimidating 1990’s villain. Where the movie falls down quite significantly is in its progression. Too many crucial sequences are omitted or rushed through so that the plot loses cohesion as it twists and turns to avoid our expectations. Bad Company is more than worth a watch but one suspects this could’ve been a genuine classic in more capable and/or artistic hands.

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The Big Easy (1986) 3.57/5 (4)


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Rating: The Good – 73.4
Genre: Crime, Comedy
Duration: 102 mins
Director: James McBride
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Ellen Barkin, Ned Beatty, John Goodman

Dennis Quaid plays a young New Orleans police lieutenant who while attempting to get closer to the new assistant district attorney (Ellen Barkin) finds himself knee deep in an apparent drug war that may or may not involve police corruption. The Big Easy is a charming comedy thanks mainly to the charismatic performance from Quaid, the superb chemistry between him and Barkin, and a great Cajun soundtrack. McBride’s direction strikes a good balance between the action and the comedy and John Goodman and Ned Beatty as usual provide great support.

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Sea of Love (1989) 3.14/5 (1)


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Rating: The Good – 69.7
Genre: Thriller
Duration: 113 mins
Director: Harold Becker
Stars: Al Pacino, Ellen Barkin, John Goodman

Al Pacino’s return from his self imposed (post-Revolution) exile was in this highly effective thriller about a cop who gets romantically involved with a suspect in a series of murders. Pacino’s old colleague Harold Becker handles the drama well and Ellen Barkin (as the suspicious love interest) and John Goodman (as Pacino’s partner) are in great form. For his part, Pacino is superb and reminded us all of what we were missing during those five years of abstentia. Sea of Love is made the way thrillers are meant to be made with a great story, gripping tension, and top actors playing well rounded characters.

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