Our critic tells us why more directors should go the route of Paul Greengrass

By Owen Gleiberman
August 10, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

What I Love: Genre film directors

I’m starting to think that artists who choose to make pulpy, unabashed genre films may be the saviors of Hollywood. I’m not talking about Martin Scorsese doing Cape Fear (much as I cherish its intensity), or Quentin Tarantino masterminding Grindhouse (much as I get off on its cheeky-cheesy retro trash spirit). I’m talking about Paul Greengrass following Bloody Sunday, his 2002 docudrama about the Troubles, by signing on for a pair of crunched-metal Bourne sequels (with United 93 sandwiched in between). Not only was this a way for Greengrass to cement his A-list status, but by making a pair of unapologetic popcorn thrillers, he paved a road toward what more independent-spirited directors should be doing: embracing the blockbuster system…to make it better. Just like Spike Lee did with his tricky heist thriller Inside Man. Are you listening, Oliver Stone? (A natural-born candidate for a down-and-dirty action/crime spectacular.) What about David Fincher (slasher horror) or Paul Thomas Anderson (a Broadway musical)? The possibilities are endless.