Movies: April 4, 2014 |


Movies: April 4, 2014

Capsule reviews of ''300: Rise of an Empire,'' ''Bad Words,'' and more

300: Rise of an Empire
R, 1 Hr., 43 Mins.
An ancient-Greece action sequel with the scene-stealing Eva Green as a bloodthirsty dominatrix. BChris Nashawaty

Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil le Clercq
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 31 Mins.
A spooky, heartbreaking documentary about Tanny le Clercq, the solemnly intoxicating long-legged sylph of a ballerina (she was like Greta Garbo on stilts) who became one of the great muses of George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins — until she was stricken by polio in 1956. It’s a hymn to her rapture and infinite resilience. A Owen Gleiberman

Bad Words
R, 1 Hr., 28 Mins.
In Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, it’s a hilarious shock to see him play a misanthropic SOB who enters the National Spelling Bee. A-Owen Gleiberman

Big Men
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 39 Mins.
Rachel Boynton’s gripping doc shows you what happens when the greed of oil companies meets the chaos of postcolonial Africa. In 2007 an oil field is discovered in Ghana, and the Dallas-based Kosmos Energy cuts a deal that initially gives Kosmos most of the profits. But in the end, who should (and will) lay claim to those billions of dollars? A U.S. company? The leaders of Ghana? The citizens? This moral-economic drama plays out in backroom deals that Boynton records in all their stunning and at times shameless candor. A-Owen Gleiberman

Breathe In
R, 1 Hr., 37 Mins.
Will Guy Pearce’s high school music teacher give in to temptation when a teenage British piano prodigy (Felicity Jones) moves in with his family? That dilemma drives Drake Doremus’ slow-burn domestic drama, which plays like a less pulpy, Chopin-infused Poison Ivy. Buoyed by some nicely nuanced performances (especially by Pearce and Amy Ryan as his dream-dashing wife), Breathe In never quite rises above its predictable potboiler premise. B Chris Nashawaty