Se7en

  • Directors: David Fincher
  • Producers: Arnold Kopelson, Phyllis Carlyle
  • Writers: Andrew Kevin Walker
  • Genres: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, R Lee Ermey

In an unidentified city of near-constant rain and urban decay, the soon-to-be retiring Detective William R. Somerset (Freeman) is partnered with short-tempered Detective David Mills (Pitt) who recently transferred to the department. Somerset is eventually invited over to meet Mills’ wife, Tracy (Paltrow); when Somerset learns that she is pregnant but has not told her husband, he confides in her his fear that the city is no place to start a family, reiterating his own losses of his fiancée and unborn child years ago. Somerset advises her not to tell Mills just yet of their child.

Somerset and Mills investigate a series of crimes relating to the seven deadly sins, such as a man who was forced to feed himself to death to represent Gluttony. They find clues at the scene of the murders that connect to the other deaths, and believe they are chasing a serial killer. A set of fingerprints found at where the Greed murder occurred leads them to the apartment of a man, near death, who has been strapped to a bed for a year, representing Sloth. Though unable to learn anything from the delirious victim, the detectives agree that the serial murderer has been planning these killings for more than a year.

Doe directs the two detectives to a remote desert area far from the city, with Doe believing that his actions have helped to show the people what the world actually is and to punish the wicked, riling Mills further. After arriving at the location, a delivery van approaches; the scared driver tells the detectives he was paid to deliver a package precisely at this time and location, and is told to leave after handing it over. While Mills holds Doe at gunpoint, Somerset opens the package and recoils in horror at the sight of the contents. He races back, warning Mills not to listen to Doe, but Doe reveals to Mills that the box contains Tracy’s head. Mills, distraught, demands an explanation from Doe; Doe simply replies that he himself represents the sin of Envy, jealous of Mills’ wife, and then reveals her pregnancy to Mills. Somerset is unable to contain Mills as he unloads his gun into Doe, becoming the embodiment of Wrath and proving out Doe’s plan. After a catatonic Mills is taken away, Somerset is asked where he will be and responds, “around”, suggesting he will not go through with his retirement. The film ends with the sun setting over the desert, with Somerset quoting Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls:

Outbreak

  • Directors: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Producers: Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson, Wolfgang Peterson, Gail Katz
  • Writers: Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool
  • Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr, Patrick Dempsey, With Donald Sutherland, And Kevin Spacey

The Motaba virus is discovered in a mercenary camp in Africa in 1967 and kept top secret. Two soldiers order the camp bombed to cover up the discovery of the virus.

Thirty years later, the virus resurfaces in Africa. Col. Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman), a USAMRIID virologist is sent to investigate the Motaba case. He and his crew gain information about the virus and return to the United States where he asks his superior, General Ford (Morgan Freeman), to put out an alert for the virus. Ford, who knows the virus is not new, tells Daniels that it is unlikely to show up. Neither of them know that one of the host animals, a White-fronted Capuchin Monkey, has been illegally brought to the U.S. to be sold as a pet. Jimbo Scott (Patrick Dempsey) takes the monkey to Cedar Creek, California. On the trip, the monkey infects Jimbo with the virus.

Once Jimbo arrives at the pet store the owner tells him he got the wrong gender, but only after the monkey has infected him. Jimbo releases the monkey into the woods. Jimbo starts to show signs of infection on his plane trip to Boston, where he gets off the plane and kisses his girlfriend, infecting her. They are both hospitalized and Daniels’ ex-wife, Robby (Rene Russo), investigates the infection. Jimbo, his girlfriend and the pet store owner die from the virus. Robby investigates and concludes that everybody in Boston checked out all right.

On the way back they are confronted by McClintock (who also came by helicopter to prevent them from returning to Cedar Creek). Daniels has Salt fire a missile into the trees to trick McClintock with a decoy helicopter crash. Returning to Cedar Creek, Salt mixes the monkey’s antibodies with the E-1101 to create an anti-serum, in time to save Robby but not Casey. Daniels discovers Operation Clean Sweep is in progress; he and Salt take it upon themselves to fly in the way of the bomber to stop it. With support from Ford, Daniels is able stay in the way of the plane long enough to convince the pilot and his bombardier that information was withheld from them. The bombardier detonates the bomb over water instead of the town. Ford, having had enough of McClintock’s agenda, relieves him of command and places him under arrest for withholding information from the President. McClintock promises to take Ford down with him. Daniels makes up with his wife, and the remaining residents of the town are successfully cured.

Eraser

  • Directors: Chuck Russell
  • Producers: Anne Kopelson, Arnold Kopelson
  • Writers: Tony Puryear, Walon Green, Michael S Chernuchin
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan, Vanessa Williams, James Coburn, and Robert Pastorelli, James Cromwell, Danny Nucci, Andy Romano, Nick Chinlund, Gerry Becker

John “Eraser” Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a U.S. Marshal who works for the Federal Witness Security Protection Program (WITSEC). John is assigned to protect Dr. Lee Cullen (Vanessa L. Williams), a scientist who works for Cyrez Corporation, a company that creates and manufactures weapons for the military. Lee has come across plans in which Cyrez plans to sell a top secret electronic pulse rifle to terrorist Sergei Ivanovich Petrofsky (Olek Krupa). With its unparalleled firepower, the sale of such weapons to the wrong hands would tip over the balance of power.

The man behind the scheme, William Donahue (James Cromwell) wants Lee dead, because without Lee’s testimony, there is no case against Cyrez. After Donahue commits suicide to escape punishment, John takes Lee to New York City to hide her, then John and his mentor, fellow marshal Robert Deguerin (James Caan), try to locate a witness. But Deguerin kills the witness they are looking for, indicating that Deguerin is Donahue’s U.S. Marshal mole in the scam. Even Undersecretary of Defense Daniel Harper (Andy Romano) is in on it.

Deguerin kidnaps Lee, and with the help of Johnny Casteleone (Robert Pastorelli), a man whose life John once saved, John rescues Lee and prevents the railgun shipment. After a hearing for Deguerin and his fellow conspirators a few weeks later, and with the implication that under civil law jurisdiction a conviction and sentence of the culprits will not be possible, John eliminates Deguerin and the conspirators, “erasing” them thoroughly in an arranged train accident.

Platoon

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Arnold Kopelson
  • Writers: Oliver Stone
  • Genres: Action, Drama, War
  • Actors: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe

Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a young American who has abandoned college to enlist in the infantry for combat duty in Vietnam. The year is 1967. Upon arrival, he sees dead soldiers in body bags being loaded into his plane, but more distressing to him is the shellshocked state of a departing soldier with the thousand-yard stare. Taylor and several other replacements have been assigned to Bravo Company, 25th Infantry division, “somewhere near the Cambodian border.” Worn down by the exhausting work and living conditions, his enthusiasm for the war wanes quickly and he develops an admiration for the more experienced soldiers, despite their reluctance to extend their friendship.

One day, another new arrival, platoon commander Lieutenant Wolfe (Mark Moses) discusses the plans for a patrol later that night with the platoon sergeants: the compassionate Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), harsh Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), cowardly lifer Sergeant Red O’Neil (John C. McGinley), and drug addict Sergeant Warren (Tony Todd). Barnes and Elias argue over whether to send the new men out on a patrol that is likely to be ambushed. O’Neil insists that the new troops go out instead of several men under him who are nearly finished with their tours of duty. Barnes agrees, only on the condition that O’Neil goes out as well.

Francis emerges from his foxhole and stabs himself in order to be medevaced. O’Neil is found by other Americans, and Harris (much to O’Neil’s distress) gives him command of the platoon. As he is loaded onto the helicopter, Taylor is reminded by Francis that because they have been wounded twice, they can go home. After bidding farewell to Rhah, Francis, Tony Hoyt (Ivan Kane) and Ebenhoch (Mark Ebenhoch) (his last surviving friends in the platoon; the other survivors are Rodriguez (Chris Castillejo), Huffmeister (Robert Galotti), and O’Neil), Taylor boards his helicopter. The helicopter flies away and Taylor weeps as he stares down at the destruction, while he (from a future perspective) narrates that he will forever be in Vietnam, with Barnes and Elias battling for what Rhah called “possession of his soul”, and that he believes he and other veterans must rebuild themselves, and find goodness and purpose in their lives.