Hard Eight (Sydney) (1996)

A very stylish Paul Thomas Anderson film. Is it Hard Eight, or Sydney? The Australian in me wants the latter, but Hard Eight is more descriptive. Titles aside, it’s not a masterful triumph like some of PTA’s later films, but it’s certainly a good film in its own right.

It starts slow, and spends plenty of time on character, but really does escalate into a tight, tense thriller. I love seeing John C. Reilly in non-comedic performances; he’s honestly a really good actor.

It’s a slight film, a quiet moody thriller more focused on character than thrills, but definitely an enjoyable one.

I give it three cups of coffee, and $6000.

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