In this week’s new movies, Hugh Jackman dons Wolverine’s retractable claws again for “The Wolverine,” and the documentary “The Act of Killing” is a must-see. Five out of six films this week received at least three stars.
★★★1/2 “The Wolverine” (PG-13) “Where ‘The Wolverine’ delivers isn’t in plot, but in its core dynamic, which places Logan in the familiar, if somewhat paternalistic, role of savior. That’s a welcome change from “Origins,” in which his primary motivation was ugly revenge.” – Michael O’Sullivan
★★★★ “The Act of Killing” (Unrated) “Whatever you call it, ‘The Act of Killing’ is a must-see. Using blunt stagecraft, probing psychological insight, elegant interrogation of narrative truth and characters steeped in a particularly terrifying brand of self-mythologizing, director Joshua Oppenheimer has succeeded in turning “The Act of Killing” into both a sharply confrontational vehicle for bearing witness and a craftily layered meditation on the cinematic medium itself.” –Ann Hornaday
★★★1/2 “Blackfish” (PG-13) “The core assertions made by filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite are shocking, even if there’s some dispute as to their accuracy. Number one: Captivity doesn’t seem good for orcas, which are highly intelligent, sensitive mammals. They tend to have a higher mortality rate living in parks than they do in the wild, the film notes.” – Michael O’Sullivan
★★1/2 “The To Do List”(R) “Much of the film’s comedy emerges from Brandy’s perfectionist tendencies and deadpan discussion of lewd acts, but the ’90s setting also serves as a running joke. That could limit the appeal for those that came of age before or after the decade.” – Stephanie Merry
★★★1/2 “Crystal Fairy”(Unrated) “Crystal Fairy, as she calls herself, almost immediately disrupts Jamie’s monomaniacal focus on drugs, which comes across as an obvious defense mechanism against what appears to be an otherwise paralyzing fear.” – Michael O’Sullivan
★★★“The Hunt” (R) “Because ‘The Hunt’ is predicated on such a well-known hot button issue, it sometimes feels dated, its masterful storytelling and performances serving a cautionary lesson that — one hopes — viewers won’t need to re-learn.” – Ann Hornaday