After years of anticipation, Martin Scorsese’s latest movie, Killers of the Flower Moonis finally here. The film, an adaptation of David Grann’s 2017 nonfiction novel of the same name, explores the real-life murders that were carried out against members of the Osage Nation after oil was discovered under their lands in 1920s Oklahoma. Running 206 minutes long and starring Scorsese mainstays like Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, as well as a quietly transcendent Lily Gladstone, the drama is a chilling exploration of greed, systemic racism, and white supremacy.
The film is preoccupied with many of Scorsese’s lifelong interests, but it often feels unlike anything else that he’s made before. There aren’t, in fact, many movies that strike the same pace and chord as Killers of the Flower Moon. Here are five films that anyone who sees Scorsese’s latest should also check out.
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Based on the real-life events that led to the murder of David Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) at the hands of multimillionaire John du Pont (Steve Carell), director Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher brings such a clinical, journalistic approach to its story that it becomes almost unbearably uncomfortable to watch at times.
Its non-stylized aesthetic extends all the way to its moments of violence, which — like the murders depicted in Killers of the Flower Moon — are so nakedly presented that they elevate the film to new, chilling heights. In other words, if you want to watch a true-crime drama in the same disquieting vein as Killers of the Flower Moonlook no further than Foxcatcher.
Memories of Murder (2003)
One of the best true-crime thrillers in cinema history, Memories of Murder follows a pair of South Korean detectives as they begin to investigate a horrifying string of local rapes and killings. Inspired by a real-life case, the 2003 film is far more propulsive and stylized than Killers of the Flower Moonbut both movies tap into similar wells of anger, frustration, and tragedy.
Memories of Murder is arguably still the best movie that director Bong Joon-ho has ever made and, thanks to its subject matter, tone, and quietly heartbreaking conclusion, it has the potential to be a perfect companion film to Killers of the Flower Moon.
Coup de Torchon (1981)
This oft-forgotten French crime film from director Bertrand Tavernier explores the corrosiveness of violence and racism in such a disturbingly unfussy manner that it feels, in many ways, like a spiritual predecessor to Killers of the Flower Moon. Based on a 1964 Jim Thompson novel, Wipe replaces the American setting of its source material with a colonial village in French West Africa, and follows a lowly police sheriff who decides to respond to the constant insults and humiliations hurled by those around him with increasingly drastic acts of violence.
The film presents such a straightforward, unobstructed look at human evil that it, like Martin Scorsese’s newest feature effort, will leave you shaken and deeply, profoundly unnerved.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Directed by Blonde‘s Andrew Dominik and based on Ron Hansen’s 1983 novel of the same name, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a quiet, contemplative Western that, like its title promises, explores the tragic relationship between its eponymous lead characters (played by Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, respectively).
The film, with its lyrical structure and dreamlike aesthetic, offers many of the same visual and stylistic pleasures as Killers of the Flower Moonand its ruminations on the lasting effects of violence make it a compelling thematic counterpart to the new 3-hour drama.
The Irishman (2019)
As unique an addition to Martin Scorsese’s filmography as Killers of the Flowers Moon is, it does feel like a fitting successor to 2019’s The Irishman. The latter film’s final hour, with its unspoken observations about the passage of time, greed, and violence, feels like a haunting prelude to the entirety of Scorsese’s latest effort, which actively defies nearly every expectation one might have for it.
Both movies feel like the mature, reflective final chapters of a story that Scorsese has been telling ever since he started making films, and they both end on notes that are powerful in their acknowledgment of not only the ruthlessness of time, but also the cost of failing to take accountability.
Killers of the Flower Moon is now playing in theaters.