“Little Dixie” is the latest Frank Grillo film and is directed by John Swab, who is known for his crime and action films. The movie follows Doc Alexander (Frank Grillo), who is on a path of vengeance to find his daughter (kidnapped) after a hidden truce he arranged between the cartel and the governor goes wrong. “Little Dixie” is a straightforward action thriller and doesn’t try to be anything more than that. The movie has a formulaic plot but is elevated by some impressive action sequences, gritty cinematography, and a rage-filled performance by Frank Grillo. “Little Dixie” is what one would consider a classic action film, and if you are craving similar films like it, then check out some of these movies.
The movie that kickstarted Liam Neeson’s rise as an action star, “Taken,” is a violent action spectacle with a complicated, intense protagonist at its forefront. The movie follows Neeson’s character Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative with a specific set of skills that make him every mid- to low-level thug’s worst nightmare. Neeson electrifies the movie with his terrifyingly emotionless facial expression and deep, menacing voice. The movie is pretty straightforward. The plot involves Bryan’s daughter (Maggie Grace) getting kidnapped by a group of slave traders when on a trip to Europe; luckily for her, her father has the skills as well as the determination to do whatever it takes to find her. “Taken” was a smash hit and became one of the most successful movies of 2008, which resulted in the making of two more sequels, both starring Liam Neeson as the protagonist.
Clear And Present Danger (1994)
Adapted from Tom Clancy’s novel of the same name, the Harrison Ford starrer serves as the 3rd film of the franchise (predecessors: “Hunt for Red October (1990)” and “Patriot Games (1992)”). Ford plays Jack Ryan, the acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence who is trapped in an illegal and increasingly messy war between the Colombian drug cartel and the US military. An intense spy thriller with equal parts action and drama, “Clear and Present Danger” stands out as one of the best action thrillers of the 90s. The movie is filled with car chases, shoot-outs, bombastic explosions, political scheming, corruption, and much more.
Set against the backdrop of the opioid crisis in North America, “Crisis” tries to tell a multi-perspective story. The movie features an ensemble cast consisting of Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly, Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, and Luke Evans, among others. The movie follows multiple characters, all affected in one way or another by the worsening opioid epidemic such as Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman), a research scientist pressurised to approve a harmful pharmaceutical drug produced by a powerful corporation, an undercover DEA agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer), and recovering drug addict Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly) who is hoping to find the real reason behind her son’s death.
Earth And Blood (2020)
This French thriller features Sami Bouajila as the owner of a secluded sawmill deep in the woods. After an unfortunate situation causes him to kill a member of the local drug cartel, he has to defend himself and his daughter against the wrath of the cartel. The movie is similar to “Little Dixie,” as both of them feature a good amount of violent action sequences, along with the protagonist’s daughter being in danger. Like “Little Dixie,” “Earth and Blood” doesn’t try to be anything more than just a straight-up action thriller.
Miss Bala (2011)
Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman) and her friend Suzu (Lakshmi Picazo) go to a high-end nightclub to participate in a beauty pageant competition when she accidentally witnesses multiple gang-related murders before being kidnapped by the gang and forced to work for them. Directed by Gerardo Naranjo, this Mexican thriller acts both as a social commentary and a high-octane action thriller. Stephanie Sigman gives a captivating performance as she perfectly encapsulates the helplessness of her situation subtly and accurately. “Miss Bala” has plenty of great action sequences, but the movie shines in its accurate depiction of misogyny and patriarchy existing in the general landscape of Mexican society, where women are mostly portrayed as shiny objects.
Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), an upright FBI special agent, is recruited into a special task force formed to bring down a powerful Mexican drug cartel. The film is directed by Denis Villeneuve, known for his imaginative world-building, mesmerising cinematography, and epic sci-fi films such as “Blade Runner 2049”, “Arrival,” and “Dune.” But “Sicario” was made by a pre-Sci-fi Denis Villeneuve, who was into intimate personal dramas and psychological thrillers. “Sicario” is a brilliantly shot film with great characters and gripping dialogue, all set against the backdrop of the increasingly dangerous drug war at the Mexican-American border. The movie doesn’t hold back in its presentation of the complexity of the conflict as we, as an audience, along with Blunt’s Kate, struggle to find the line between the good and the bad. Robert Deakins delivers some of the most stunning and captivating cinematography ever put to screen, along with an Oscar-winning performance by Emily Blunt, who is backed up by Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, among others.
Inherent Vice (2014)
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who is known for acclaimed works such as “There Will Be Blood (2007)”, “Punch-Drunk Love (2002), and most recently, “Licorice Pizza (2021), a neo-noir mystery set in the 1970s, The film follows Larry Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), a drug-addicted private investigator in Los Angeles, who is investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend. The movie features an ensemble cast of the likes of Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, and Joanna Newsom, among others. “Inherent Vice” is a moody, often hallucinatory experience seen through the eyes of the drug-fueled Larry. We meet a bunch of ‘lost’ characters, each searching for someone or somewhere to call home. The story doesn’t move like an arrow; instead, it twists and turns and even stands still in places. It was as if Anderson wanted us to enjoy the experience rather than focus on the investigation. The movie is best enjoyed as a dark comedy mixed with social critique, which, along with some great cinematography and Joaquin Phoenix’s lethargically magnetic performance, makes “Inherent Vice” a rare and unique experience.