'Three Kings'

David O. Russell
is not the most profilic director -- the recently released 'The Fighter' is only his fifth feature since his 1994 debut 'Spanking the Monkey' -- but each of his highly original films has been uniquely memorable.

'The Fighter,' his most conventional effort to date, is his third collaboration with Mark Wahlberg, the first being 1999's 'Three Kings.' That film, based on a story by John Ridley, not only cemented Russell's rep as a fearlessly inventive director, but validated George Clooney as a serious lead, confirmed Wahlberg as a true actor (i.e. 'Boogie Nights' was no fluke), gave Ice Cube a role he seemed particularly comfortable in, and featured Spike Jonze, who would soon become renowned as a wildly inventive director himself.
categories Columns, Cinematical