Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West, Tony Burton, Charles Cyphers
Fearless genre filmmaking doesn't get much better than early John Carpenter, and Assault on Precinct 13 is undeniably one of the legendary writer-director's greatest efforts. Plot-wise, it's agreeably simple: One unlucky cop, some prisoners, and a few civilians must protect themselves with gunfire when gang members armed with T.I.-level artillery bum-rush a police station.
Without any convoluted distractions (i.e., deep character drama or unnecessary romantic subplots), Carpenter keeps Assault on Precinct 13 visceral, cutthroat, and sharply intense. Not to mention, quite inappropriate: One famous scene shows a little girl getting gunned down in front of an ice cream truck.