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Five Hard Hitting Films Now Playing on Satellite TV

In the heart of every movie lover, there are several different beings that must be satisfied. Sometimes we need a laugh, a way to forget about a tough day on the job. At other moments, we want to relax and experience a gripping drama in which the emotions of the soul are thoroughly explored. Yet there's also plenty of times when we want to just toss all of those delicate movies aside and see something with some bite to it, something with an edge, that reminds us that the art of cinema is not all about telling jokes and weeping quietly. Fortunately, satellite TV can deliver on all these counts. Here are the top five hard-hitting films now playing.

5. The Bourne Ultimatum. If you've had enough of careful pacing and subtle imagery, check out this film, which is the cinematic equivalent of a tequila shot with a rum chaser. Barely pausing for a moment at all, the viewer is hustled through one of the most exciting movies in recent years, with hand-held cameras following CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) who is trying to avoid being killed himself. High definition technology makes the TV version worthy.

4. Eastern Promises. If you ever want to leave Hollywood on the express train, check out a David Cronenberg film. Any director with A History of Violence or Naked Lunch under his belt is guaranteed to frighten and shock at will. This mafia tale will get your blood boiling, playing on Cinemax in HD.

3. Casino. Although it's been years since it made its debut, this Martin Scorsese film reminds us what a daring director can do with the right motivation and the freedom to deliver it. Focusing on the collapse of mafiosos who made fortunes in Las Vegas, Sharon Stone delivers one of her finest performances. The HBO lineup on satellite TV plays this one after dark.

2. Death Proof. If you can't hang in for the whole Grindhouse double feature, check in with this half, directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Kurt Russell as a stunt man who's a little sick in the head, the film tracks some tough women in the Texas town where Russell plays his twisted games. As with all Tarantino movies, you'll get some hilarious dialogue and some frightening moments, a perfect way to leave conventional Hollywood behind.

1. American Gangster. Checking back in with HBO, the movie network for grown-ups, you will find this Ridley Scott scorcher that features Denzel Washington as the villain drug kingpin and Russell Crowe as the imperfect but devoted cop out to get him. Great photography enhances this well-told story, highlighted by a trip to Vietnam and, of course, more than a fair share of nice shootouts. This film will remind you why HD technology came to TV.

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