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The Passion of Gabriel

A liberal priest in a rural Colombian village tries to follow his conscience by refusing to compromise with either the guerrillas or the soldiers vying for control of the hamlet, but gradually his unorthodox methods alienate many of the residents. Andres Parra is engagingly hammy as the willful priest, who’s caught in a torrid affair […]

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Who’s Afraid of the Wolf?

This clever, inventive Czech film by writer-director Maria Prochazkova centers on a six-year-old girl (Dorota Dedkova) who’s transfixed by the Little Red Riding Hood story, which her mother dutifully recounts every night before bedtime. Prochazkova integrates the tale’s themes of identity confusion and betrayal into her own narrative, which deals with the young heroine’s doubt […]

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Tear This Heart Out

Reported to be the most expensive Mexican film ever made, this 2008 historical drama aspires to an epic sweep but never generates much tension. Ravishing Ana Claudia Talancon stars as a naive, impressionable 15-year-old who marries a ruthless general (Daniel Giminez Cacho, in a pleasantly hammy performance) and blossoms into a savvy, sophisticated professional wife […]

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Shuttle

First-time director Edward Anderson uses a mundane situation—two women friends, returning home from a brief vacation, board a late-night shuttle bus with two men they’ve met in the airport—to launch a terrifying chain of events. This indie thriller flirts with the torture porn of the Saw and Hostel franchises but mostly avoids gratuitous violence; instead […]

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Serbis

Raunchy and profane, this Filipino drama by Brillante Mendoza chronicles one turbulent day at a ramshackle movie palace that screens adult films. Gina Pareña plays the matriarch of the family that inhabits and operates the place, alternately tenacious and vulnerable as she awaits the verdict of a bigamy suit she’s brought against her ex-husband. A […]

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Filth and Wisdom

Three down-and-out flatmates—a ballerina who moonlights as a pole dancer (Holly Weston), an assistant pharmacist who wants to save starving children in Africa (Vicky McClure), and a Ukrainian immigrant who earns money as an S-M master (Eugene Hutz)—struggle to make ends meet in this British comedy. Madonna, making her directorial debut, aims for the romping […]

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Go With Peace Jamil

Set in Copenhagen’s Arab immigrant community, this Dogma 95 drama recounts an endless cycle of brutal revenge between two families, one Sunni and the other Shiite. Members of each family disparage the other’s religious origins, yet first-time director Omar Shargawi never aims for a political tract. As the acts of violence escalate with numbing frequency, […]