Point Break [1991]

An unbelievable movie, and deliriously better for it. Keanu Reeves is a hotshot law enforcement dude--Johnny Utah by name--investigating a series of bank robberies in L.A. Four gunmen, disguised in rubber masks of ex-U.S. presidents, have never come close to being caught, but veteran agent Gary Busey has a theory: The bandits are surfers. This prompts the superb line, "The ex-presidents rip off banks to finance the endless summer!" This movie's full of dialogue like that, but instead of sounding ridiculous it creates its own infectious comic-book energy--ride the crest of it and you'll find the film's giddy zone. Patrick Swayze plays Bodhi, zen-master leader of the surfing clan, humming serenely with the wisdom of the waves. (Alarmingly, Swayze also did his own skydiving stunts.) Director Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days) stages the action sequences with a visceral snap, and clearly has a gift for orchestrating pulp fiction. Though not a huge hit when was first released, Point Break has a well-deserved cult reputation thanks to its video afterlife. The film's executive producer is James Cameron, Bigelow's husband at the time. --Robert Horton

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