3 Movies Like The Warlords (2007)

Staff & contributors
When Castro took over Cuba in the 1950s, Havana’s nightlife shifted as clubs and casinos were closed down, leading to certain traditional step-based genres like son, bolero, and danzón to decline. A few decades later, prominent American musician Ry Cooder travelled to Cuba with his friend documentarian Wim Wenders, to pay homage to traditional Cuban music in an album and its respective documentary. Wenders weaves in illuminating interviews and shots of Cuba today in between the band’s Amsterdam and Carnegie Hall performances, with a certain intuition that makes each song feel like a triumph. While the documentary does focus more on Cooder, Buena Vista Social Club is a delight to watch, even with its 90s digital grain.

Genre: Documentary, Music

Actor: Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa, Ibrahim Ferrer, Joachim Cooder, Omara Portuondo, Ry Cooder

Director: Wim Wenders

Rating: G

Bearing pretty much every trademark you've come to expect from a sports drama, Hoosiers might not bring as many surprises to the formula but it still makes all its moves with a surplus of heart. Elevating the already entertaining basketball footage is Gene Hackman's uncommonly hotheaded coach and (Oscar-nominated) Dennis Hopper's town drunk—both of whom deepen this film's story of hometown pride into one of midlife redemption. Hickory, Indiana comes to life as a character in itself, where local sports are treated with as much reverence as politics and religion, which makes every basket feel that much more like a victory lap.

Genre: Drama, Family

Actor: Barbara Hershey, Chelcie Ross, David Neidorf, Dennis Hopper, Eric Gilliom, Fern Persons, Gene Hackman, Gloria Dorson, Michael O'Guinne, Michael Sassone, Robert Swan, Sheb Wooley

Director: David Anspaugh

, 2011

Being named after the genre, Wu xia, the title replaced in English as Dragon, would understandably follow its conventions with dramatic action in ancient China. The plot roughly follows a typical wuxia thread, where a hidden master is revealed, leading to plenty of exciting adventures, and they seek justice in order to return to a state of peace. But the way Dragon approaches this plot is exciting, as the film mixes in the investigation of a murder mystery, with a determined detective suspecting the master through his knowledge of the body, through an eclectic mix of forensics, medicine, and Qi acupuncture. And as the detective is consistently challenged by the former fighter, it’s clear how difficult it can be to master the body, especially after going through trauma and violence and self-doubt. The threads in the film are familiar, but Dragon understands what makes these threads work, and the way these are woven together makes for a good movie to watch.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Donnie Yen, Ethan Juan, Hua Yan, Jiang Wu, Jimmy Wang Yu, Kang Yu, Kara Hui, Kara Wai Ying-Hung, Kenji Tanigaki, Li Jia-Min, Li Xiaoran, Peter Chan, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tang Wei, Wang Chunyuan, Wei Tang, Wu Jiang, Xiao Ran Li, Yin Zhusheng, Yu Kang, Yu Wang, Zheng Wei, Zhou Bo

Director: Peter Chan, Peter Ho-Sun Chan

Rating: R