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City of Lies

Rap icon Biggie Smalls is murdered in 1997, shocking an entire generation of adoring fans and musicians. With the circumstances of his death seeming conducive to a quick arrest — from multiple direct witnesses to its setting on an open, crowded intersection — the LAPD’s inability to apprehend a suspect triggers a caustic reaction from the public. At the head of the investigation stands Det. Russell Poole (Depp), whose legitimate passion for the case burns him out and sends him into retirement before any significant advancements have been uncovered. Fast-forward five years and journalist Jack Jackson (Whitaker) is assigned an anniversary piece for Biggie’s death and reaches out to a now-isolated Poole. Although hesitant to revisit his career’s biggest failure, Poole lets Jackson in on the chaos he believes culminated on what many suspected: Biggie’s murder investigation had been purposefully botched to disguise the LAPD’s hand in the crime.

Director: Brad Furman. Stars: Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Toby Huss, Shea Whigham, Neil Brown Jr. 2018. 112 mins. Drama.



Fredrick (O’Brien) has been running on autopilot for years. With a mind-numbing corporate job as the crowning jewel of a life that's going nowhere, he longs for a drastic change of pace. Wish granted, he starts experiencing horrifying dreams that involve Cindy (Monroe), a girl he knew in high school who suddenly vanished after graduation. Haunted by his visions, Fredrick takes his dreams as a sign of them somehow being connected and resolves to find out where she’s been. With his friends, Andre (Gilchrist) and Sebastian (Cohen), following suit, Fredrick’s plan to save the girl in his nightmares turns into the kind of drug-addled, violent ride that could turn his life upside down.

Director: Christopher MacBride. Stars: Dylan O’Brien, Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Emory Cohen. 2020. 97 mins. Drama.



It's 1969 and Vikar (Franco) is a cinephile. Enamored by the city of stars, he takes a bus to Hollywood to be near the idols he loves and pursue his directorial ambitions. Once in Los Angeles, he finds a mentor in film editor Dotty (Weaver), a lover in Soledad (Fox) and an ally in Viking Man (Rogen). The life Vikar dreamed of is starting to take shape -- or, so it seems.

Director: James Franco. Stars: James Franco, Megan Fox, Seth Rogen, Jackie Weaver. 2019. 96 mins. Comedy.