thehuntingground_still (photo by john nez)

A pair of documentaries are opening in theaters this week that represent two distinct non-fiction narrative forms. Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s The Hunting Ground is a journalistic piece that attacks a major news story from a myriad of angles. Liv Corfixen’s My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn is a personal essay that happens to be “written” with a camera. Both films have the individual strengths and weaknesses, but viewed alongside each other, they speak to the wide range of stories that exist to be told in the documentary genre, not to mention the different ways of telling them.

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If you’re sick of reading people praising Boyhood…sorry.

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Peter Jackson attempts to finish his second Middle-earth trilogy in grand style, but the result is minor at best. Plus, a quick review of the Cannes winner, Winter Sleep

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Lynn Shelton’s latest lags behind her other films. Plus, reviews of Force Majeure and the new-to-DVD Million Dollar Arm.

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Denzel Washington

I don’t remember watching full episodes of The Equalizer during its ’80s heyday, but I do have a dim memory of the ads that played between the shows I actually watched. As I recall, the generally featured lots of gunplay, the occasional explosion and the show’s gray-haired star, Edward Woodward, glowering into the camera. While I can’t accurately say if those “Next time on…” teasers accurately reflected the content of the show, they do more or less sum up what happens in the movie version, which offers two full hours of gunplay, explosions and Denzel Washington (taking over from Woodward) glowering into the camera. In that respect, The Equalizer could be considered an entirely faithful adaptation of its source material…or at least, the advertisements for its source material.

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The Iranian-born, London-based screenwriter Hossein Amini (his credits include Snow White and the Huntsman and Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive) adds “director” to his resume with The Two Faces of January, a ’50s-era psychological thriller based on one of the lesser-known thrillers penned by Patricia Highsmith (author of The Talented Mr. Ripley among others). The movie, which is currently available on VOD and opens in theaters on Friday, stars Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst as a married couple who get in hot water while vacationing in Greece and Oscar Isaac as the low-level street criminal who lends them a hand…mainly so that he can cozy up to Dunst. I spoke with Amini before sitting down to talk with Mortensen for a Q&A that’s posted over on Yahoo Movies and you can read some excerpts from our conversation below.

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A Walk Among The Tombstones

Liam Neeson takes aim at a brainier kind of action movie in A Walk Among the Tombstones.

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Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon reunite for another magical mystery food tour.

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Quick takes on two smaller movies, now in theaters.

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Grooving on the unique musical stylings of the Swedish punk rock flick, We Are the Best!

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