Filmmaker David Ayer is one of a select few working in Hollywood today who can make violence look aesthetically pleasing. The Tax Collector, his upcoming action thriller from 2020, is further proof of this. David and Creeper (Shia LaBeouf, Bobby Soto, and George Lopez) are “tax collectors” working for a powerful Los Angeles crime lord, according to writer/director David Ayer’s story.
It’s not uncommon for them to go to some of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods to collect their share of the gangland profits. When an old rival of their boss returns to Los Angeles, things start to fall apart, and David must now do everything he can to protect those who are close to him.
On August 7, 2020, select theaters and digital on demand will show ‘The Tax Collector.’ Here are our seven top recommendations if you’ve already seen the film and are looking for more in the same vein. Several of these films, such as Tax Collector, are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
1. End of Watch (2012)
The very first film on this list was also directed by David Ayer. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pea play partners in the Los Angeles Police Department in “End of Watch” (LAPD).
To make sure that both characters make it home safely, the movie focuses on their relationship and camaraderie throughout the course of the story. In addition, the film is set in one of Los Angeles’ most troubled and deteriorating neighborhoods.
2. Heat (1995)
‘Heat,’ the crime drama directed by Michael Mann, is a masterpiece. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer star in this thriller about a cat-and-mouse game between an experienced cop (Pacino) and a master thief (Neil McCauley), which takes place over the course of a few days (De Niro).
Though they’re on opposing sides of the law, two characters find out they have more in common than either of them wants to admit in an unforgettable scene from the film. ‘Heat’ has inspired a new generation of filmmakers since its release, including Ayer.
3. Black and Blue (2019)
In fact, ‘Black and Blue’ is one of only two films on this list not set in Los Angeles. The story of police corruption, racial profiling, and disenfranchisement is set in New Orleans, thanks to director Deon Taylor.
A young black female police officer who accidentally witnesses her superiors killing an unarmed drug dealer in cold blood is terrified as the film’s dark and foreboding aspects are greatly accentuated by long-time Michael Mann collaborator Dante Spinotti, who heads the photography department.
4. Training Day (2001)
Denzel Washington finally won an Oscar for Best Actor thanks to Ayer’s screenplay. The film focuses on two major issues: street violence and widespread corruption within the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
Alonzo Harris, a narcotics detective, is played by Washington. Most people in the department are aware of Harris’s dishonesty, and some have even formed a conspiracy to help him commit his crimes together. Young recruit Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is supposed to be evaluated by Harris. When it comes to gangsters, Hoyt learns that he should be extra cautious around his friends.
5. Running Scared (2006)
In Wayne Kramer’s ‘Running Scared,’ which he also wrote and directed, Los Angeles is not used as a backdrop. Paul Walker plays Joey Gazelle, a low-level mafia member in New Jersey, in the film.
After a drug deal goes horribly wrong and a number of police officers are killed, Joey’s boss tells him to get rid of the guns that might have been used in the crime. Instead, he hides them in his house, where his son’s friend discovers them and shoots his abusive father with one of the guns before fleeing. Joey now has a tight deadline to find the child.
6. Boyz n the Hood (1991)
Classic coming-of-age drama ‘Boyz n the Hood’ takes an unvarnished look at life in the ghettos of Los Angeles. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube star in a cautionary tale about the perils of chasing after a life of crime’s alleged glitz and glamour, which turns out to be anything but.
For their respective roles, Gooding Jr. and Cube were lauded. John Singleton was nominated for two Oscars for his film, including best director, which marked his feature film debut.
7. My Family (1995)
Gregory Nava directs ‘My Family,’ an independent drama about three generations of the Sánchez family, who originally emigrated to Los Angeles from Mexico. The film stands out from the others on the list because it emphasizes Latino culture rather than crime, but most Ayer fans will be satisfied with the amount of crime in it.