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Michael Mann's 2004 thriller starring Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, and Jada Pinkett Smith.

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Indifference paves the way to an assassin's accomplishments

  • Nov 12, 2008
  • by
Cab driver Max (expertly played by Jamie Foxx) has been driving a cab for twelve years in Los Angeles, saving up for his dream of creating Island Limousine service. He picks up a fare, Annie (Jada Pinkett-Smith) who is working late for the Prosecuting Attorney's office, preparing for a big trial the next day. When Max gives Annie a speedy ride and pleasant conversation, Annie impulsively hands him her business card.

Max then picks up his next fare, a man named Vincent, who says he is only in town for the night on real estate business. Vincent tells Max he needs to stop at five separate addresses for paper-signings, and winds out hiring Max's cab for the entire evening. But Vincent is not into real estate, he is an assassin. When his first hit of the evening inadvertently falls out of a fourth story window and onto Max's waiting cab, Vincent confesses to Max his real profession and orders him to drive him to the remaining four hits.

When Max asks Vincent what he is, Vincent replies, "I'm Indifferent." Indifferent is a kind word for Vincent, he is a cold and ruthless sociopath, and expert in his field with a reputation for getting the job done. Max is in over his head, stunned and shaken by the brutality that has entered his world, and desperate to find a way out of his situation without really knowing how to achieve such a feat against such a monster.

Get ready for some truly spectacular performances in this tension filled film. Vincent is a new type of role for Cruise, that he carries out with amazing believability and casual elegance. Jamie Foxx outperforms himself as Max, highlighting the superior actor under the hilarious comedian. Jada Pinkett-Smith's role as Annie was fairly small, but stands out because of her excellent performance.

Can Max survive this hellish night? Will Vincent achieve his merciless mission? Is there any rhyme or reason to the selection of his victims? How does Annie tie into Vincent's plans? Just because the plot to this movie can be summed up in a couple of paragraphs does not mean that it is in any way boring or predictable. `Collateral' is a tense thriller, with a tight script, great performances, rapid action bursts, and enough mental friction to keep you on the edge of your seat.

My hat is also off to Michael Mann for his superb directing skills, bringing back memories of Manhunter and Miami Vice as he expertly melds audio to visual, creating that sensory indulgence so unique to Mann's work.
This is an excellent movie whether you are in the mood for action, thrills, or tension. Pick yourself up a copy, it's a buyer. Enjoy!

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More Collateral reviews
review by . December 23, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
DVD Cover
WARNING: This review may contain spoilers!      Director Michael Mann (Manhunt and Heat) is well known for being a precise and methodical filmmaker. He often focuses on minute but important aspects of both the story and the characters therein, which has earned him the reputation of being an "actor's director". This unique interaction between Mann and his cast is exemplified in the suspense film, Collateral, which features an impressive cast of actors, all of whom …
review by . April 29, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, and Jada Pinkett-Smith all give top-notch performances. All of them are highly likeable characters; even Cruise who plays a hitman who appears unfeeling to his "victims," while being "caring" to others, especially Foxx. What I liked about this is that it is different from most thrillers. It doesn't use the same tired tricks that other thrillers seem to use. (when someone appears dead, he is dead).     The movie never gets …
review by . August 27, 2004
Pros: Jamie Fax, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Tom Cruise.     Cons: Ending     The Bottom Line: Despite this typical Hollywood ending Collateral showcases once again the genius of Mann; it a most engrossing thriller by a master of the genre.     Its not often that we are treated to a great character-based action movie, one in which the action is a mere appendage to the story; where the plot is build around the nuances of human interaction rather …
review by . August 06, 2004
Pros: Cruise and Fox, great drama.     Cons: Drags a bit 3/4 in and ending may be a bit pat for some.     The Bottom Line: A solid Drama that contains some of the best work ever by Cruise and Foxx and will entertain.     Max (Jamie Foxx), is a man with ambition. He toils his evenings driving a cab in Los Angeles while dreaming of opening his own limo company and making it big. Sadly Max is also a man who is hampered by indecision, as he …
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About this movie


Starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mark Ruffalo
Directed by Michael Mann
Writer:  Stuart Beattie

Product Description
Vincent is a cool calculating contract killer at the top of his game. Max is a cabbie with big dreams looking for his next fare. This fateful night max will transport Vincent on his next mission - one night 5 stops 5 hits & a perfect getaway. Together they find themselves in a non-stop race against time. Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 08/22/2006 Starring: Tom Cruise Jada Picket Smith Run time: 120 minutes Rating: R
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Director: Michael Mann
Genre: Drama
Release Date: August 6, 2004
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Michael Mann
Runtime: 2hrs 0min
Studio: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks SKG
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