In Source Code (Summit), Duncan Jones’ directorial follow-up to his excellent low-budget debut Moon, Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a soldier who must relive eight minutes on a loop, in more or less a science-fiction twist on Groundhog Day. But Jones has other things on his mind, specifically the question of whether we really control our own fates. The first half of the film is particularly effective, as Gyllenhaal tries to figure out who’s responsible for blowing up a Chicago commuter train. When sentimentality kicks in later on, the film starts to lose its grip…

Twelve years after his controversial arthouse hit Happiness, Todd Solondz returns to the same characters in Life During Wartime (Criterion), except they’re played by different actors and the tone is more somber and rueful, as growing older has filled them with regret and hard-won wisdom. The casting choices transform many of the characters—Michael K. Williams, best known as Omar on The Wire, makes a particularly disconcerting fill-in for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s obscene phone-caller—and Solondz remains a master of awkward interactions. At times, however, Solondz’s self-cannibalization suggests he’s reached a creative dead end…

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In Trust (Millennium), David Schwimmer’s stagy, claustrophobic drama of revenge and obsession, Clive Owen holsters his movie-star magnetism to play an ordinary husband and father whose life is thrown into turmoil by the revelation that his precocious teenage daughter has been molested by an online predator. The film recalls the similarly themed, similarly theatrical Hard Candy, but fatally lacks an element as memorable as Ellen Page’s volcanic presence…

Mao’s Last Dancer (Fox) comes from the director of Driving Miss Daisy and Evelyn, so no one should be expecting subtlety in this based-on-a-true-story tale of a Chinese ballet dancer raised, trained, and indoctrinated by the state, but determined to defect to America. Even so, the film is often embarrassingly clumsy, broad, and obvious. The dance sequences are terrific, though…

There’s probably a good movie to be made of Dylan Dog, a bestselling Italian comic series about a supernatural investigator, but Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (Fox) sure isn’t it. What it gains in atmosphere by transplanting the action to New Orleans, it loses with dull effects and duller characters. Brandon Routh is a charming actor, but dark and brooding aren’t in his wheelhouse, and the second-rate monsters he battles don’t help much either.

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