As I Lay Dying
R, 1 Hr., 49 Mins.
James Franco directed this adaptation of the William Faulkner novel, and it would be hard to imagine a Faulkner movie more reverent — or more misguided in its fuzzy, rambling inertia. The film follows 15 characters linked to a dying backwoods matriarch, and Franco gets good performances (Tim Blake Nelson is terrific). But his vision of lower-depths Mississippi sits there in tatters of non-drama. (Also available on iTunes; on VOD 11/1) C- —Owen Gleiberman
Birth of the Living Dead
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 16 Mins.
Rob Kuhns’ marvelous doc about the making of Night of the Living Dead looks at all the ways one low-budget, flesh-eating horror movie changed the world. It’s full of juicy anecdotes that detail how George A. Romero made necessity into the mother of nightmare invention, and EW’s Mark Harris and NPR’s Elvis Mitchell eloquently testify to how Night forged a new age of socially relevant horror almost by accident. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) A —Owen Gleiberman
Camille Claudel 1915
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 37 Mins.
The cruel irony of this boring-as-hell French drama by director Bruno Dumont (Humanité) is that while we watch the famed sculptor Camille Claudel (Juliette Binoche) wither away in the mental institution where she spent her last decades (long after her doomed affair with Rodin), we’re also watching Binoche waste her breathtaking talent in a movie that maroons her in one endless shot after another. A more accessible take on the artist: Bruno Nuytten’s Camille Claudel, starring Isabelle Adjani. C- —Adam Markovitz
R, 1 Hr., 54 Mins.
Writer-director Costa-Gavras (Z) revels in the business-class details of his new French financial thriller: the private yachts, the made-to-measure clothes, the supermodel girlfriends. But its central story about a stopgap bank CEO (Gad Elmaleh) who outwits the board that put him in power (including a conniving Gabriel Byrne) is as drab and generically assembled as a cheap suit. C- —Adam Markovitz
PG-13, 2 Hrs., 14 Mins.
Paul Greengrass’ true-life tale of a cargo ship overtaken by Somali pirates is spiky and suspenseful. As the captain, Tom Hanks acts with a minimalism that speaks volumes. B+ —Owen Gleiberman
PG-13, 1 Hr., 32 Mins.
James Gandolfini gives a teddy bear performance in this beautifully bittersweet romantic comedy. A- —Chris Nashawaty
PG-13, 1 Hr., 31 Mins.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are U.S. shuttle voyagers lost in space in Alfonso Cuarón’s awesome technological daydream of a movie. A —Owen Gleiberman