A very well-known director, Brian de Palma’s career seems to be a bit underwhelming. While I’ve only seen three of his movies, looking at the ones below and reviews by those of people I trust, they all seem to have more potential than he gets out of them.
Mission to Mars: A crew goes to Mars on a rescue mission and find something fantastic when they get there. This is such a frustrating movie, since the acting is top-notch. Don Cheadle and Gary Sinise are excellent and Tim Robbins pulls his weight as well. But this might be the most boring space movie ever.
The Black Dahlia: Another story around Elizabeth Short, the wannabe Hollywood actress who was brutally murdered in 1947, her case never solved. Another mess of a story, but it’s engaging until the ending. Shot well.
The Untouchables: One of my favorite computer games, The Black Dahlia, combines the mysteries of Elizabeth Short and the Cleveland torso murders, investigated by Eliot Ness. Fun coincidence that De Palma has directed movies about Short and Ness. Written by David Mamet, an engaging movie that is a little too long and unfortunately has Kevin Costner in the lead as Ness. Sean Connery is good as Jim Malone, and I like Andy Garcia, but Robert De Niro is only okay as Al Capone. Good, with some tense moments, but could have been a lot better.
Others Brian de Palma Movies You May Have Seen
Casualties of War
Bonfire of the Vanities