Win Win (R)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
I'm not trying to be a prude or anything, but it's a real shame that Win Win director Tom McCarthy had to fill his movie with so much needless cussing. It really could've been the next The Blind Side — this year's big inspirational sports movie, albeit with a quirky near-mumblecore feel that you don't see in these types of flicks too often. Balancing comedy with drama effortlessly, it stars the always incredible indie-darling duo of Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan as a well-balanced, non-dysfunctional, truly loving married couple with no bizarre sexual deviances or adulterous situations who take in a troubled runaway. Giamatti's night gig is as a high school wrestling coach, so when this kid turns out to be a championship wrestler, it's a dream come true. Until his drug-addled mom shows up. An unexpected ending and an honest heart make Win Win really live up to its title. — Louis Fowler
Sympathy for Delicious (R)
As the director of Sympathy for Delicious, Mark Ruffalo shows that he has a promising career ... as an actor. His debut effort appeared and disappeared from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and hasn't gotten any fresher with time. Screenwriter Christopher Thornton stars as wheelchair-bound disbeliever Dean O'Dwyer, a homeless churl who is suddenly blessed with legit healing hands. Rather than react in any recognizable manner to the revelation that magic is real, Dean is annoyed that it might prevent him from deejaying for an unlistenable rock band (fronted, for no reason other than pique and chutzpah, by Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis). Ruffalo and Thornton display such a lack of simple cinematic competence (to say nothing of character development, story construction, etc.), that even the brilliant Laura Linney flounders miserably as a snooty A&R rep. — Daniel Barnes
Storage Wars: Season One (NR)
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the best villain to appear on a television program since J.R. Ewing: Dave Hester. He's the main antagonist of the addictively stellar A&E series Storage Wars, a reality show about junk collectors and thrift store owners who aggressively bid on the contents of abandoned storage units. Hester's the textbook definition of a "total dick," pestering, chiding, upbidding ... anything to stick in the other bidders' collective craw, mostly for his own jollies. While the other buyers are interesting enough, it's the continual focus on Hester that makes the show so watchable, giving the viewer a true enemy to root against. Never did I think I would do that, but here I am, blood pressure rising over the fact that some jerk I don't even know is going to find a My Little Pony valued at $500. That's gotta be good TV, right? — Louis Fowler
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.