Mark Jenkins Mark 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.
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Mark Jenkins

Natural Born Puzzler: Bored housewife Maria (Maria Onetto) discovers a knack for jigsaw-solving and befriends an enthusiast (Arturo Goetz) who helps her hone her craft — and rediscover herself in the process. Sundance Selects hide caption

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Sundance Selects

A Prodigal Girlfriend: Opportunistic beauty Peiru (Shu Qi) exploits Beijing policeman Zhendong (Liu Ye) financially and emotionally, only to discover — too late? — that she's in love with him. China Lion Films hide caption

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China Lion Films

Honor among 'Assassins': A one-time student (Tsuyoshi Ihara, left) and a young warrior-in-training (Masataka Kubota) join the former's teacher, Shinzaemon, in a quest to rid 19th-century Japan of a sadistic warlord. Magnet Releasing hide caption

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Magnet Releasing

Until proven guilty: Charged with treason and tried by a military tribunal in the Lincoln assassination plot, Confederate sympathizer Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) is defended in court by former Union soldier Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy). Claudette Barius/Roadside Attractions hide caption

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Claudette Barius/Roadside Attractions

Sugar and spice: Raised in a remote cabin in Finland, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is fluent in multiple languages — and fighting styles. But though she can dispatch spies and assassins with ease, there's a lot she doesn't know about the world. Alex Bailey/Focus Features hide caption

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Alex Bailey/Focus Features

The Old Block, Chipping: Three generations of the Ponce family — including Reyna, a young acrobat who grew up in the family business — make up the venerable but vulnerable Gran Circo de Mexico. First Run Features hide caption

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First Run Features

An orphaned Palestinian girl (Freida Pinto) is one of four women whose lives are a lens on the Middle East in Miral. Jose Haro/The Weinstein Co. hide caption

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Jose Haro/The Weinstein Co.

Subito Accelerando: After taking an experimental "smart drug," Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) becomes a bona-fide genius, able to finish a long-stalled novel, learn new languages — even compose music. John Baer/Relativity Media hide caption

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John Baer/Relativity Media

A Long, Winding Road: Waris Dirie (played in the biographical drama Desert Flower by Liya Kebede) was discovered by a fashion photographer in London after fleeing her native Somalia to avoid an arranged marriage. Dirie later abandoned a lucrative modeling career to campaign against female genital mutilation. Walter Wehner/National Geographic Entertainment hide caption

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Walter Wehner/National Geographic Entertainment

Men Of The Cloth: As Christian and Paul, Lambert Wilson (left) and Jean-Marie Frin play monks who live in the midst of the Algerian civil war. Their lives and relationships are poignantly captured by director Xavier Beauvois. Marie-Julie Maille /Sony Pictures Classics hide caption

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Marie-Julie Maille /Sony Pictures Classics

Mohamad Emran Tapa, the cousin of director Tariq Tapa, plays Dilawar, an aspiring pickpocket. Dilawar, like just about every other young character in Zero Bridge, dreams of leaving Kashmir. The Film Desk hide caption

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The Film Desk

Happy Pills? Director Liz Canner's documentary Orgasm Inc., originally intended as a look at the science of pleasure, became an inquiry into the pharmaceutical industry's pursuit of a cause — and a cure — for female sexual dysfunction. First Run Features hide caption

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First Run Features