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New Movies Pay Homage To Classics of the 1970s


It’s conventional wisdom among movie buffs that the best era for American films was the 1970s. If you agree, you may find yourself tempted back into theaters for the first time in awhile this season. Washington Post writer Ann Hornaday sees a revival of the styles and sentiments of classic 70s films in the crop of movies new to theaters or about to be released.

Did you love The Deer Hunter and Coming Home? Then check out In the Valley of Elah. Are you a big Charles Bronson fan? You might like Jodie Foster in the vigilante thriller The Brave One. Michael Clayton is the kind of role Robert Redford would have played in his 70s heyday. And you’ll be reminded of The French Connection’s unforgettable car chase in the new cop drama We Own the Night.

And if you’re really a fan of the 70s, you’re certainly looking forward to Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, the new film by Sidney Lumet, whose resume reads like a list of the best of the 1970s, a decade in which he directed Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, and The Wiz. (OK, they couldn’t all be classics.)

Hornaday talks to Lumet and to Michael Clayton writer-director Tony Gilroy about which of these films are intentional homages and which arise out of a similar zeitgeist. It’s worth reading if you’ve ever given up hope of Hollywood making movies for grown-ups again.

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