R, 1 HR., 33 MINS.
In this lightweight indie comedy dripping with faux quirkiness, Emma Roberts is a naive would-be Sylvia Plath who splits her time between manning a porn-shop counter and stalking a washed-up bad-boy poet (John Cusack). Imagine Wonder Boys if none of its characters had humor or talent. (Also available on VOD) C —Chris Nashawaty
R, 1 HR., 40 MINS.
Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga play lonelyhearts who meet while touring a small liberal-arts college with their respective children. He’s a cardiac surgeon who’s like a Eugene Levy character played straight; she’s a hiply cynical depressive with a hidden sentimental side. The two coo and flirt and laugh at each other’s bad jokes. They get up in front of a theater class and “act” out their unhappiness. They smoke dope and dance to reggae. They break into a chorus of “I Got You, Babe.” Actually, I made that last one up, but the film is just cute enough that they might as well have. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C+ —Owen Gleiberman
Easy Money: Hard to Kill
R, 1 HR., 42 MINS.
JW, the business student-turned-money launderer played superbly by Joel Kinnaman in the Swedish thriller Easy Money (2012), is now a desperate ex-con. Bony and ravaged, he’s a much harder case than he was in the first film, and a less interesting character. Hard to Kill is volatile yet draggy, full of “tense” and “taut” scenes that don’t really mean anything — beyond the film’s facile vision of crooks who really just want to be good daddies and partners. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C+ —Owen Gleiberman
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 56 MINS.
In Arnaud Desplechin’s slow but well-acted drama, Benicio Del Toro stars as a Native American Army vet crippled with dizzy spells and blinding headaches after returning home from WWII. Are they the result of a war injury or something buried in his past? Mathieu Amalric plays the compassionate VA hospital shrink who tries to unlock a mystery that isn’t as revelatory as you’re set up to expect. B —Chris Nashawaty