LEGEND (2015)
2015, Universal, 131 min, UK/France, Dir: Brian Helgeland

Based on the novel The Profession of Violence, LEGEND follows the criminal history of notorious twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy), who terrorised London’s East End throughout the 1960s and left a legacy of fear and respect that persisted for decades. Told from the perspective of Reggie’s wife, Frances (Emily Browning), the film is unflinchingly violent and brilliantly funny, with a strangely glossy look at the East End that provides a wonderful counter-balance to the Krays' gruesome acts of brutality. Christopher Eccleston provides memorable support as the almost-comical detective Leonard “Nipper” Read, who is determined to bring down the Krays.

1997, 20th Century Fox, 138 min, USA, Dir: Curtis Hanson

Director Curtis Hanson brings James Ellroy’s epic, muckraking crime novel to vivid life, zeroing in on a racially charged murder case, media scandal-mongering and police corruption in 1950s Los Angeles. A white-hot ensemble cast sets off the fireworks, including Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her Veronica Lake-inspired performance. The rare book-to-movie adaptation that distills a novel’s sprawling grandeur into a devastating knockout punch.

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