BY KILEY BELL
1) A History of Violence
The first of three films that director David Cronenberg and actor Viggo Mortensen have worked on together, A History of Violence earned two Oscar nominations in 2006. Based on a graphic novel, the film focuses on the life of small-town restaurant owner Tom Stall (Mortensen) and what happens to him and his family when strange (and very violent) men come to town making accusations about a false identity.
2) Catch Me If You Can
A Spielberg-directed film about the true life of conman Frank Abagnale Jr., Catch Me If You Can fits perfectly with the identity theft theme. The movie is basically one big chase scene as FBI agent Carl Hanratty (played by Tom Hanks) will stop at nothing to put Abagnale (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) behind bars. As Abagnale pretends to be a teacher, a member of the Secret Service, a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer he weaves a pretty complicated web of identity for himself (especially when he falls in love along the way).
While it might not be as good as the film Taken, Liam Neeson is still pretty badass as a man determined to take back his stolen identity in the thriller, Unknown. While I can’t say too much about it without entirely giving away the twist ending (which admittedly took me a few minutes to understand), I will say that it’s worth the watch.
4) The Talented Mr. Ripley
This 1999 film has an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Like all good identity theft movies, this one includes lots (and lots and lots) of lying, a few murders, and one sociopathic man desperate to gain the extravagant life he thinks he deserves (played almost too convincingly by Matt Damon). Unlike other films of this sort, this one has such a strong storyline and cast that it earned itself several Oscar nominations.
5) Taking Lives
Probably the cheesiest film on this list, Taking Lives is a thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Angelina Jolie. Using the tagline “He would kill to be you” this film follows a killer on his journey to find more victims and reclaim their identities along the way. What I’m sure was probably an intense film in 2004, now pales in comparison to what is classified as “scary” in 2012. Even with the awkward plot and sometimes over-the-top scenes, this film is still one of my favourites.
A student of Centennial’s post-graduate Book and Magazine publishing program, Kiley enjoys spending most of her time crying over Tom Hanks romcoms, watching Downton Abbey and hoping that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen continue making movies with only each other.