Film » Film Capsules

Film Capsules

In theaters this week

Arbitrage Successful businessman Robert Miller (Richard Gere) seems to have the perfect life: He's rich and powerful, and about to sell his company for millions. He's got a beautiful wife, great kids, and even a hot French artist to bang on the side. But looks can be deceiving. Robert's company is having serious money problems over an investment gone bad, and he's borrowed a large sum of money to falsify his books and make them look good to potential buyers. He's just barely holding it together as it is, but when he gets in a car accident that kills his girlfriend, shit really hits the fan. Gere is the centerpiece of Arbitrage, giving one of his career-best performances. All of the business talk can be confusing at times, and the movie ends a little too abruptly. But this is generally a film worth your investment. (R) (Julia Eberle)

The Bourne Legacy (PG-13) The fourth Bourne movie at times plays like a copy, not the next chapter in the franchise. It's not necessarily the fault of Jeremy Renner (who takes over the lead role) or new director Tony Gilroy (who co-wrote the other three movies). The Bourne Legacy often looks like the real thing, but there's something missing in this side story about Aaron Cross, another castoff from the shadowy government agency that made life hell for super-spy Jason Bourne. But like Bourne, Cross — along with a marked doctor played by series newcomer Rachel Weisz — is one step ahead of them. Overlong, needlessly complicated, and short on the post-007 action sequences that made the Matt Damon movies so great, The Bourne Legacy furthers the story without adding much to it, besides a huge opening for part five. (Michael Gallucci)

Compliance (R) Based on a true story that took place at a Kentucky McDonald's in 2004, Compliance is one seriously creepy movie. A man pretending to be a police officer calls a restaurant manager (Ann Dowd) and has her detain an employee whom he accuses of theft (Dreama Walker). The manager and other employees never question the guy on the phone, even as the victim is strip-searched and sexually assaulted. Writer-director Craig Zobel's psychological thriller raises some tough questions, like: How would you react in the same situation? A deeply disturbing movie, made even more so because it really happened. (Jeff Niesel)

The Imposter (R) How's this for a slice of messed-up real life? Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Barclay disappeared from his Texas home in 1994. Three years later, in Spain, 23-year-old Frenchman Frederic Bourdin claimed he was the missing kid. And a lotta people — including everyone in Nicholas' family — believed him. This gripping documentary — which pulls together new interviews, reenactments, and archival footage — poses some disturbing questions, like: Why was the Barclay family so willing to believe this guy was their son, when others — including an FBI agent and private investigator — had their doubts? What did they know about Nicholas' disappearance, and what were they hiding? But this is Bourdin's story too, and he tells it with a disarming straightforwardness. He says he just wanted a second chance at life. Mesmerizing. (Gallucci)

Lawless (R) — This Depression-era period piece centers on the bootlegging Bondurant brothers and their run-ins with an overly zealous lawman played by Guy Pearce. The ultra-violent movie features another standout performance by The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy, who plays the soft-spoken but fierce patriarch of the Bondurant clan. Lawless is so masterfully directed by John Hillcoat (The Road) that even Shia LaBeouf turns in a solid performance as the arrogant brother with the most ambition and the least capacity to fight for himself. Moody post-punk rocker Nick Cave wrote the terrific script and assembled a period-specific soundtrack featuring original tunes by vets like Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, and Ralph Stanley. (Niesel)

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