Writer-director Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead and its sequels) hit the big time with this 1990 fantasy-thriller about a scientist (Liam Neeson) disfigured by villains who transforms himself into a grisly avenger, unable to feel pain and getting angrier by the minute. Raimi's flair for jazzy visual effects and extravagant action sequences, combined with direction that's full of punch and energy, makes this the best pop roller-coaster ride around. Unlike Tim Burton's Batman, this shows a sensibility that really likes and understands comic books (although echoes of such film classics as Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame aren't far behind, and be prepared for a fair amount of nastiness and gore). Frances McDormand plays the hero's dour girlfriend, and Raimi collaborated with Chuck Pfarrer, Ivan Raimi, Daniel Goldin, and Joshua Goldin on the script. With Colin Friels and Larry Drake.