A sluggish political thriller appended to a lively score by Mikis Theodorakis. The usual excuse for films like this is that the crude melodrama helps to communicate important political ideas and historical information. But Z (1969) doesn’t communicate anything—except for the doubtful propositions that pacifists are more threatening to right-wingers than communists and that fascist terrorism and homosexuality go hand in hand. Costa Gavras directed; with Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Irene Papas, and Charles Denner. In French with subtitles. PG, 127 min.