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Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014

Home Movies/Out on Digital: Jan. 6

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Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Poetic, laconic and elliptical, director David Lowery conjures some of the spirit of early Terrence Malick. Set in a dusty Texas town in the early ’70s, the story follows a romantic outlaw with more persistence than good sense (Casey Affleck) on the run from the law and other criminals, but devoted to the woman he loves. Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is almost unrecognizable as the pensive yet strong woman waiting for his return.

The Attack

Amin is a Palestinian-Israeli physician esteemed in his profession but not by every Israeli he meets. His life changes when a suicide bomber destroys a crowded restaurant. Amin can’t believe police accusations that his wife was the bomber, but when the evidence becomes irrefutable, he embarks on a journey to discover how she could have chosen the path of murder and “martyrdom.” The Attack is a terse dramatization of the moral quandary of repression and resistance.

We Are What We Are

Papa is the pontiff of his own crackbrained religion and his family constitutes his congregants. We Are What We Are trades in many predictable elements of the slasher-horror genre, yet benefits from a good setup in rain-swept rural America, strong composition and cinematography, and several scenes of genuine suspense—both of the lurking and the edge-of-your-chair varieties. Sadly, the realistic family dynamic promised in the film’s first three-quarters goes bonkers at the end.

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