starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Jada Pinkett Smith, Mark Ruffalo
screenplay by Stuart Beattie
directed by Michael Mann
by Walter Chaw To hear Michael Mann tell it, you'd think he'd found a new way to film Los Angeles, the most-filmed city in the world. To watch Collateral is to discover that he has. I wish that there were some meat to Collateral, because even without it, it's hands-down this year's most gorgeously-directed film. If there was ever any question to Michael Mann's genius after Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, or Heat, it must be laid to rest now--he's pushing Spielberg in terms of visual gift, trumping him in terms of maturity (and courage, of course), and he's moving into an upper echelon of cinematic directors (Stanley Kubrick, for example) who, when they're on, produce tapestries so pure that you feel as though if you tapped them they'd ring like crystal.