Think of this as Ridley Scott in a sentimental mood: When a wealthy Manhattan socialite (Mimi Rogers) witnesses a murder—and the murderer witnesses her—a newly promoted detective (Tom Berenger) is assigned to protect her until she can make a positive ID of the wanted man. Naturally, they fall hopelessly in love. But the plot of Someone to Watch Over Me is really just the pretext for an elaborate—and highly satisfying—exercise in style, with Scott (as he did in Blade Runner) once again conjuring the ghosts of film noirs past and turning Manhattan (with the aid of cinematographer Steven Poster) into a shimmering and seductive femme fatale unto herself. With ace support from Lorraine Bracco as Berenger’s wife and Sting performing the Gershwin title tune, Someone to Watch Over Me stands as one of Scott’s most underrated and surprising pictures.

“Far richer than reputation suggests: the luxurious Manhattan apartment becomes a character in the story, a hideaway for love as well as a threatened nest, a place where objects and decor resonate as much as feeling.” —David Thomson