Mark JenkinsMark Jenkins reviews movies for NPR.org, as well as for reeldc.com, which covers the Washington, D.C., film scene with an emphasis on art, foreign and repertory cinema.
Collective Action: When mysterious violence plagues their town, village elders (including the local baroness, played by Ursina Lardi) set out to pinpoint a cause. The trouble, suggests director Michael Haneke, is that causes are everywhere.
Films du Losange/Sony Pictures Classics
Through The Looking Glass: Surreal visuals, a stream-of-consciousness plot and three (yes three, including Jude Law, above) actors playing fantasyland alter egos for the late Heath Ledger: Doctor Parnassus isn't easy to follow, but it's fun to look at.
Sony Pictures Classics
A Word Is Worth A Thousand Pictures: Conversations are the main action sequences as a plainclothes detective (Dragos Bucur) trails a young druggie through a post-Communist Romanian backwater.
A Queen Or A Pawn?: Victoria (Emily Blunt) is crowned queen of England at just 18 years old, and attempts to assert control over the many players tugging her in different political directions.
Fire And Rain: Raizo (played by the Korean pop star Rain) is adopted by the Clan of the Black Sand and trained as a ninja, only to turn against them to avenge his girlfriend's death.
Warner Bros. Pictures
Hard Target: Zhang Fengyi plays the martially inclined prime minister Cao Cao in a battle epic that makes Zack Snyder's 300 look unambitious — and that lets some character-building get lost amid the sweep of history.
Political theater: William Kunstler, pictured at a rally for the so-called Chicago Seven, was famous for defending some of America's most polarizing people in the courts.
David Fenton/Arthouse Films
In The Clutch: Stage veteran Michael Stuhlbarg gets his first leading movie role — as a panicky physics professor — in Joel and Ethan Coen's latest film. A Serious Man is "a sort of innocence-to-experience story," he says, though its outcome is uncertain.
A New Kind Of Lesson Plan: Polly (Lily Cole) and her female fellows set out to save St. Trinian's, widely known as the most unruly school in England, from bankruptcy — with a scheme to rob London's National Gallery.
NeoClassics Films Ltd.