dark comedy

[7] A burglar evades police by taking a bickering couple hostage in their own home on Christmas Eve in this dark comedy from director Ted Demme (Blow, Beautiful Girls) and co-screenwriter Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King). The Ref is nothing if not a casting coup. Stand-up comic Denis Leary headlines as the burglar, but the film is really much more of an ensemble piece than …

[4] Roseanne Barr and Meryl Streep make one of filmdom’s most curious pairings in She-Devil. The comedy from director Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan) is based on a novel by Fay Weldon, about a belittled housewife (Barr) who plots a years-long revenge on her husband (Ed Begley Jr.) and his wealthy mistress (Streep). The casting works, as does Seidelman’s colorful, dark fairy tale stylings and …

[5] Bill Murray stars in and co-directs (with screenwriter Howard Franklin) this comedy of errors about a trio of bank robbers who successfully pull off a heist, only to find themselves utterly jinxed in their escape from New York City. Geena Davis and Randy Quaid co-star as Murray’s co-conspirators, with Jason Robards playing the retiring police chief hot on their tails. Quick Change isn’t a …

[7] In this satiric dark comedy from director Adam McKay (Vice, The Big Short), Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star as astronomers trying to warn the planet of an extinction-level comet headed straight for Earth. Meryl Streep plays a Trump-like narcissistic president who at first doesn’t want news of the comet to tank her presidency, but then ends up using the crisis to try and …

[6] Christian Bale (Empire of the Sun) plays a homicidal Wall Street playboy in this Bret Easton Ellis adaptation directed by Mary Harron. By day, Bale’s character, Patrick Bateman, engages in banal chit-chat with other yuppies. They compare dicks — I mean, business cards — and brag about elusive dinner reservations. But by night, Bateman one-ups them all in the contest to determine who’s the …

[7] Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) gives a powerhouse performance as a ruthless, court-appointed legal guardian who preys upon her elderly wards, draining their savings and selling off their assets for her own financial gain. But she finally meets her match in an elderly woman (Dianne Wiest) with a mysterious past whose dangerous acquaintance (Peter Dinklage) threatens to topple the profiteering empire Pike has built for …

[5] Barry Sonnenfeld makes the leap from established cinematographer (Misery, Raising Arizona) to first-time director with The Addams Family. Screenwriter Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas) creates a feature scenario around Charles Addams macabre cartoon characters, popularized in the ’60s by their TV adaptation. In Thompson’s script, beloved Uncle Fester has been missing for years, leaving a hole in the dark heart of …

[8] Danny DeVito directs his Romancing the Stone co-stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in this supremely dark comedy about a divorcing couple who are each prepared to fight to the death over who keeps their lavish home. No one and nothing is safe in the feud — not friends, pets, automobiles, or even fish dinners — as stubbornness leads to tragedy in this cautionary …

[5] Nicolas Cage stars as a publishing executive who thinks he’s becoming a vampire. To his credit, he was bitten by a vampire (Flashdance‘s Jennifer Beals)… or did he imagine that? Either way, Cage begins wearing dark shades, avoiding sunlight, sleeping under an overturned leather couch, eating cockroaches, and devouring pigeons. And if you think he’s hard on the cockroaches and pigeons, wait til you …

[7] Christina Ricci definitively sheds her child-star persona in The Opposite of Sex, playing a snarky teen who runs away from mother and crashes with her older gay half-brother (Martin Donovan). After she seduces his na├»ve young lover (Ivan Sergei) and becomes pregnant, she hits the road with her baby daddy, forcing the half-brother and his bitter sister-in-law (Lisa Kudrow) into hot pursuit. The Opposite …

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