John Wick

Keanu Reeves follows up his underrated Man of Tai Chi with another love letter to Asian action cinema, this one displaying the influence of South Korean as well as Hong Kong movies. As in the work of Chan-wook Park and Kim Jee-woon, this begins with an elemental revenge premise (a former hit man comes out of retirement to punish the crime family that robbed him blind), then takes off with a succession of outlandish plot twists and violent showdowns. The scenes of hand-to-hand combat are stupendous, often playing out in long-take medium shots that allow us to savor the fight choreography, and the production design is an eyeful. Veteran stuntman Chad Stahelski is the credited director, though the movie looks suspiciously similar to Tai Chi, which Reeves directed himself. With Michael Nyqvist, John Leguizamo, and Willem Dafoe.