Midnight Express

  • Directors: Alan Parker
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, David Puttnam
  • Writers: Billy Hayes, William Hoffer, Oliver Stone
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Brad Davis, Randy Quaid, John Hurt, Paul L Smith, Irene Miracle

On October 6, 1970, after a stay in Istanbul, a US citizen named Billy Hayes is arrested by Turkish police, on high alert due to fear of terrorist attacks, as he is about to fly out of the country with his girlfriend. After being found with several bricks of hashish taped to his body – about two kilograms in total – he is arrested. After a while, a shadowy American arrives. He translates for Billy. The police ask where Billy bought the hash. Billy tells them that he bought it from a cab driver and offers to help the police track him down in exchange for his release. He goes with the police to a local market and points the cab driver out but while the police go to arrest the cabbie, Billy makes a run for it. He gets cornered in a building and is recaptured by the mysterious American. Billy is sentenced to four years and two months’ imprisonment on the charge of drug possession. He is sent to SaÄŸmalcılar prison (closed in 2008) to serve out his sentence. In the remand centre, he meets and befriends other Western prisoners. In 1974, after a prosecution appeal (who originally wished to have Hayes found guilty of smuggling and not possession), his original sentence is overturned by the Turkish High Court in Ankara and he is ordered to serve a 30-year term for his crime. His stay becomes a living hell: terrifying and unbearable scenes of physical and mental torture follow one another, where bribery, violence and insanity rule the prison.

In 1975, Susan comes to see Billy and is devastated at what the guards have done to him. After being committed to the prison’s insane asylum, Billy again tries to escape, this time by attempting to bribe the head guard, who then takes him to the sanitarium, intending to rape him. Billy ends up killing the guard. He then puts on an officer’s uniform and manages his escape by walking out of the front door. From the epilogue, it is explained that on the night of October 4, 1975 he successfully crossed the border to Greece, and arrived home three weeks later.

Any Given Sunday

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Richard Donner, Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Oliver Stone, Daniel Pyne, John Logan
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, James Woods, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Elizabeth Berkley, Charlton Heston

The film deals with the fictional Miami Sharks, a once-great team now in turmoil and struggling to make the playoffs. It examines many different aspects of American football, including the players, staff, front office, politicians, and press, and the pressures that they face.

In the final game shown on screen, Miami manages a come-from-behind win in the final seconds against the Dallas Knights, winning the first round of the playoffs. Off-screen, Miami beats Minnesota in conference championship, but loses to San Francisco in the Pantheon Cup Championship.

At D’Amato’s final press conference as head coach, all feuds have been resolved or at least put on hold and he leaves on a positive note, being thanked by owner Christina and the media for his contributions to the team. D’Amato then drops a bombshell and announces that he’s been hired as head coach and general manager of the expansion Albuquerque Aztecs. Then he says he just signed Willie Beamen as his starting quarterback and franchise player. Despite the initial hysteria among the media and owners, the general consensus that this is the best solution because D’Amato and Crozier (backed by Christina) cannot co-exist. As the scene ends, Christina and the other executives are angrily asking Crozier how he could have let Beamen finish the season without re-signing him to a longer contract for the Sharks.

W

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Bill Block, Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Stanley Weiser
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Bruce McGill, Jennifer Sipes, Noah Wyle, Ioan Gruffudd

George W. Bush (Josh Brolin) endures an alcohol-fueled initiation by fellow Yale students as a pledge for the fictional Delta Iota Kappa fraternity. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members and states that his father’s political legacy is one he has no interest in. After the younger Bush is jailed for rowdiness after a baseball game, his father, Texas Congressman George H.W. Bush (James Cromwell), states that he will help his son, but only for the last time. Bush quits an oil patch job soon after and is accepted into Harvard Business School, and gets into a drunken fight with his father that night. Bush reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: being a baseball manager.

At a poker game Bush announces he will run for Congress in Texas. At a barbecue Bush meets Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), his future wife. Bush is criticized by his opponent, Democrat Kent Hance, who says that Bush is not a “real Texan” and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol fueled party to underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the county’s history.

Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining the Bush legacy, which he claims was intended for Jeb. Later, he dreams of playing center field in a baseball game, in which he cannot find the ball.

Alexander

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Iain Smith
  • Writers: Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle, Laeta Kalogridis
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins

The film is based on the biography of Alexander the Great, the Macedonian King who conquered Asia Minor, Persia and Ancient India. Shown in the movie are some of the key moments of Alexander’s youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedonia (Val Kilmer), the unification of the Greek city-states under the League of Corinth[3] and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the world.

The storyline begins in 356 BC with Ptolemy I Soter (Anthony Hopkins), who narrates throughout the film. With a lavish budget, the film depicts Alexander’s daily life and the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honour, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus’s niece, Eurydice.

After Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes king of Macedonia and the rest of Greece. Having briefly mentioned his punitive razing of Thebes and burning of Persepolis, Ptolemy gives an overview of Alexander’s west-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his eight-year campaign at Hydaspes against Porus in India.

The film also focuses intensively on the close and warped relationship that Alexander shared with his mother Olympias, even though he never saw her after embarking on his long campaigns.

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.