Movie Diary 6/18/2009

The Stoning of Soraya M. (Cyrus Nowrasteh, 2009). A public stoning in an Iranian village is the brutal subject of this blunt-edge instrument of a movie. (full review 7/17)

The Racket (John Cromwell, 1951). City crime strata, with Robert Ryan as a longtime kingpin getting overshadowed by a new, slicker syndicate (so slick you never even see the Mr. Big); Robert Mitchum as an honest cop. Maybe too much going on, but the movie has a violent momentum. William Conrad, as a trenchcoat hoodlum, keeps chewing gum even after while he’s getting game-changing instructions from the Boss.