A cab driver is taken hostage by a hitman on the job,
and must find a way to escape before the night is done.
Directed by Michael Mann
Written by Stuart Beattie
Starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Mark Ruffalo,
Jada Pinkett Smith, Peter Berg, Bruce McGill, Javier Bardem
Oscar Nominations - Best Supporting Actor (Jamie Foxx),
Best Film Editing
Collateral is a fairly badass crime thriller that hinges on the "wrong place, wrong time" scenario, or "right place, right time" depending on your definition of fate. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx are absolutely fantastic together, with the former playing far outside his comfort zone and delivering an electrifying, sociopathic villain. The entire premise is brilliant, and the supporting cast are all future A-listers like Mark Ruffalo and Javier Bardem. What more could you want?
On one fateful night, after dropping off a prosecutor (Smith) and getting her number, things are looking up for shy cabbie Max (Foxx). Until he meets Vincent (Cruise), his next fare who engages his services for the night, as he has six mysterious trips to make. Turns out, Vincent is a hitman who has been hired by the cartel to kill five witnesses, and now Max is along for the ride because Vincent has taken a liking to him. Now, the clock is ticking, and Max is running out of options. Every second of this thing is loaded with tension, and constantly keeps you guessing.
I was very impressed with Collateral. It's a phenomenal effort from Michael Mann, who is no stranger to tense situations. Just check out Manhunter, Public Enemies, and fucking Heat for further examples. But I'd argue Collateral is one of his best, for the expert showcasing of Los Angeles at night, the fantastic performances, and the brilliant screenplay.