— Michael O'Sullivan
John Walker Lindh is remembered as the so-called American Taliban: a young man who converted to Islam as a teenager, left California to study in the Middle East, was arrested with a contingent of foreign fighters in Afghanistan, subsequently tried in the United States for aiding the Taliban and sentenced to 20 years in prison. (Upon being released early in 2019 for good behavior, Lindh disappeared and his whereabouts are unknown.) He is clearly still an enigma, as is made explicit in the documentary “Detainee 001.” Directed by Greg Barker (“The Final Year”), the film is frustratingly non-chronologogical, but the spine of the story is a post-capture interview with CNN reporter Robert Young Pelton, who also appears on camera to opine and reminisce. “Detainee” leaves out or elides many details — dates, places — that would be de rigueur in most documentaries. And it sheds little light on the film’s central question: whether Lindh was, as his attorney puts it, a “mouse” against whom the U.S. government brought out a “cannon,” or an unrepentant traitor. As law professor Karen Greenberg of Fordham University’s Law School puts it, “What is the actual story?” “Detainee 001” never really lets us know the answer to that mystery, and maybe that’s because it’s unknowable. TV-MA. Available on Showtime. Contains violent imagery. 88 minutes.
In the western “Catch the Bullet,” the late Jay Pickett (“General Hospital”) plays U.S. Marshal Britt MacMaster, who returns from a mission to find his father (Tom Skerritt) wounded and his son (Mason McNulty) kidnapped by an outlaw (Gattlin Griffith). With help of a Pawnee tracker (Cody Jones), MacMaster sets out in a pursuit that takes him dangerously close to Sioux territory. Peter Facinelli also stars. R. Available on demand. Contains some violence. 89 minutes.
In the thriller “Kate,” Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays an assassin who has been injected with a poison, leaving her only 24 hours to identify and take revenge on the person who ordered her hit. R. Available on Netflix. Contains strong bloody violence and coarse language throughout. 106 minutes.
“No Responders Left Behind” is a documentary focusing on the activism of former construction worker John Feal, former host of “The Daily Show” Jon Stewart and the late New York City firefighter Raymond Pfeifer on behalf of sick and injured 9/11 first responders. Unrated. Available on Discovery Plus. Contains brief strong language. 79 minutes.