2) We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, director Alex Gibney’s documentary about WikiLeaks, begins with a few riffs from one of Julian Assange’s favorite songs — Midnight Oil’s “Blossom and Blood” — and then segues into a clip of an interview with the WikiLeaks founder (he actually refused to participate with the film without payment so all the interviews with him came from secondary sources). It’s a dramatic start to a film that portends to tell the behind-the-scenes story of one of this century’s most sensational hacktivists. The film chronicles Assange’s rise and fall in painstaking detail and suggests that his initial activist impulses became obfuscated by his desire to silence his detractors in the same way he had been silenced. Without an interview with Assange, however, the film certainly lacks a little of the evidence it needs to make the argument stick (Jeff Niesel).
3) It's not an exaggeration to say that Dirty Wars, a documentary about American covert ops overseas, opening today at the Cedar Lee, would be mind-blowing in IMAX 3D. It won the cinematography award at Cannes and you can tell why immediately. Every shot is like a Pulitzer-Prize-winning photograph. The film follows journalist Jeremy Scahill — author of "Blackwater" and reporter for The Nation magazine — as he investigates the cover up of an overnight raid in rural Afghanistan and pieces together a massive network of paramilitary operations, leading frightfully to the realization that drones are targeting U.S. citizens. It’s a cross between Zero Dark Thirty and The Bourne Identity, and is often just as thrilling. This is a documentary with which you can actually enjoy some popcorn (Allard).
4) Mexican director Carlos Reygadas is famous for exploring spirituality in stream-of-consciousness, dream-like films such as Silent Light and Battle in Heaven. His latest movie, Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness, Light), which shows at 8:45 p.m. on Friday and at 7:25 p.m. on Saturday at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, also operates in that vein. It starts with scenes of a young girl running on a farm and then switches gears as we see a demon come into her room. The film includes several graphically violent scenes as Reygadas tries to portray what life is like in the remote Mexican wilderness where the young girl’s rich parents have moved their family. It’s a visceral stuff that suggest Reygadas’s deeply philosophical impulses (Niesel).
5) White House Down: This time, Olympus has fallen.