What American director working right now is a greater genre stylist than Michael Mann? In my very humble opinion, no one.
I taught a course at the local university about a year ago on Mann and am a big fan. To me, Mann's both classic and modern. His style might be self-conscious, but he's not your typical post-modern director. Most of his stories are fluid and told chronologically. And his films never get into reeling off pop-culture references. I love his blend of realism and style. And you can count on me in the theater the first few days whenever he releases a new film.
I think Michael Mann's done as much as anyone to keep the crime film fresh and alive. He has a wonderful eye for locations and a great ear for sound and music. Very few, I think, are able to pursue as personal a career in Hollywood as he can.
MICHAEL MANN (in preferential order)
2. The Insider
6. Public Enemies
7. The Last of the Mohicans
8. Miami Vice
10. The Jericho Mile
11. The Keep
17 Days Down the Line
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