To create effects and get audience reactions, movies use various editing styles, including standard cuts, jump cuts, montages, dissolves, wipes, fades, L and J cuts, cutting on action, cutaway shots, cross cuts, match cuts, smash cuts, and invisible cuts.
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums, released in 2011, is a comedy-drama movie. It stars actors Danny Glover, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. It trails the lives of three exceptional siblings who have much success in their youth, but experience failure in adulthood.
The haircut/beard cut scene can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2GPBBxFpEw. This scene shows a number of jump cuts to show the passage of time. Cross cuts are used to get inside the character’s head as well, adding tension as the character says he is going to commit suicide tomorrow. The pacing speeds up when he is rushed in the hospital and his family rushes to see him after cutting himself with a razor.
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street, released in 2013, is based on the real-life story of Jordan Belfort. It is about his rise and fall as a stock-broker involving corruption, crime, and the “feds.” It is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, Matthew McConaughey, and Jonah Hill.
A clip of The Wolf of Wall Street can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM6exo00T5I, which features a great example of a J cut at the very beginning. McConaughey pounds his hand on his chest and chants before he is pictured on camera. The J cut is used several times during the scene. L cuts are also used during the conversation between McConaughey and DiCaprio where one person continues to talk while the camera shows the other one before they respond. This creates a seamless flow.
Sherlock, a TV series started in 2010, is a contemporary take on the famous detective and his doctor partner. Together they solve crime in London, England.
A scene from Sherlock can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ6OpGGnjkM. This scene shows match cuts that give continuity. It cuts from one shot to a similar shot by matching the action of Sherlock bending his body down inside to bending down by the car as well as him getting sleepy and yawning to being in the bed. It also features a dissolve where it blends one shot into another. I decided to critique Sherlock because the editing is very creative.