The French outlaw Jacques Mesrine, who terrorized France and killed 39 people, is the subject of the thrilling Mesrine: Killer Instinct, which stars Vincent Cassell as Mesrine and Gerard Depardieu as a Parisian crime boss. Critic John Powers applauds Cassell's acting, saying it "ranks with the best of DeNiro or Pacino or, more recently, Daniel Day-Lewis."
When it came out in 1961, Alain Resnais' Last Year at Marienbad perplexed and excited audiences with its surrealistic storytelling. John Powers has a review of the film's Criterion Collection re-release.
In summer, lots of readers like to tackle complex works of non-fiction. Our book critic tells us why this summer, she turned to two ambitious works of historical fiction: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky and Triangle by Katharine Weber.
John Leonard reviews "The Emperor's Last Island," by Julia Blackburn, a history of Napoleon with frequent digressions about why that narrative is relevant to the author's life. Leonard says it's a compelling read because Blackburn herself is compelling.