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New movie reviews: Critics' picks

Nightcrawler

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

Jake Gyllenhaal goes bug-eyed as a crazed opportunist who finds his calling as a vulturelike collector of crime footage, in screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s thrilling directorial debut.

Revenge of the Mekons

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Since the late ’70s, the Mekons have maintained an unusual durability, especially in the context of punk peers. Their story, well-unpacked here, is unexpectedly moving.

Goodbye to Language

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

At the ripe old age of 83, Jean-Luc Godard embraces the head-spinning potential of 3-D in this free-form provocation, with subjects ranging from Frankenstein to dogs.

Force Majeure

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

When a husband on a skiing trip impulsively runs instead of protecting his family during an avalanche, his marriage unravels in this comic dissection of macho posturing.

Citizenfour

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Filmmaker Laura Poitras was part of the original team with whom Edward Snowden shared his revelations. Her gripping documentary plants us right inside that hotel room.

Birdman

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

A washed-up Hollywood celebrity (Michael Keaton, bravely playing off his own iconography) seeks redemption in a backstage Broadway drama that takes glorious flight.

Dear White People

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

On the campus of a prestigious university, African-American students are tested by racial buffoonery: Justin Simien’s feature is actually a vicious comedy—a winning one.

Whiplash

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Pounding out a fierce beat of personal obsession, Damien Chazelle’s jazz psychodrama is unmissable for Miles Teller’s whirling turn—and J.K. Simmons’s teacher from hell.

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New movie releases

Magical Universe

  • Rated as: 3/5

A whiff of the strange never quite lifts from the real-life story of Al Carbee, a Maine outsider artist who loves his Barbie dolls.

Horns

  • Rated as: 3/5

“Are you horny?” No one ever asked Daniel Radcliffe questions like that when he was Harry Potter.

Before I Go to Sleep

  • Rated as: 3/5

The latest high-concept amnesia thriller stars Nicole Kidman as an English woman who can no longer store memories.

John Wick

  • Rated as: 3/5

Keanu Reeves is back in action as a fearsome assassin who goes on a killing rampage in honor of his dead puppy.

Ouija

  • Rated as: 2/5

The biggest shock about the latest board-game-to-movie adaptation is that Hasbro took so long to make it happen.

Low Down

  • Rated as: 3/5

Oscar-nominated character actor John Hawkes plays real-life pianist Joe Albany, a musician addicted to heroin in this uneven bad-dad drama.

White Bird in a Blizzard

  • Rated as: 3/5

Indie survivor Gregg Araki has never made a boring movie, even if his doominess has become something of a crutch.

Fury

  • Rated as: 3/5

Brad Pitt pulls along this gutsy, old-fashioned WWII epic by the sheer force of his charisma.

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