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Bronson (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

Bronson is the jaw-dropping account of prisoner Charles Bronson — no relation to the '70s tough guy actor. He's regarded as one of the world's most violent men, having spent 30 of his 34 prison years in solitary confinement. Bronson (Tom Hardy) offers no rhyme or reason for his violence, just the sociopathic drive to make a name for himself by any means necessary. And while you'd think this could be an Oscar-worthy, dramatic tale of a deeply troubled man's fight against conformity and the system, you're in for a shock. Director Nicolas Refn eschews tear-jerker clichés, instead going for a brutally reprehensible, antisocial (yet ultra-stylish) Trainspotting meets A Clockwork Orange-type black comedy. Hardy is downright explosive as the extremely volatile prisoner, delivering a ticking time-bomb performance that should make him the next anti-anti-hero poster boy. Louis Fowler

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The Box (PG-13)

Warner Home Video

It's a box. A cardboard box. Frank Langella brings it to your door, and inside is the Pop-o-matic of Death, and you either push the red button under the dome, in which case someone you don't know dies and you get a cool million in cash, or you don't. The Box begins by making you wonder why someone would target this apparently happy couple (Cameron Diaz, James Marsden) with his weird experiment. Director-writer Richard Kelly based his script on a story by sci-fi writer Richard Matheson, and for a while, it becomes thrillingly impossible to foresee where it's going. But, ultimately it can't sustain the momentum or answer the questions that have been posed — Why the box? Is this a government conspiracy? Is there a cover-up of the discovery of life on Mars? WTF? — and fails to resolve its story in even a noncommittal, open-ended way. — MaryAnn Johanson

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Beyond Sherwood Forest (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Remember those stories from your childhood about Robin Hood? How the lovable guy in tights stole from the rich and gave to the poor? I'm sure we all do. But what about the time that Robin (Robin Dunne) had to defeat a flying dragon, which was being controlled by the dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham, by traveling through an otherworldly portal in Sherwood Forest to a bizarre alternate universe called the "Dark Woods"? You don't remember that? No bother — director Peter DeLuise and the good people at Syfy have put it all down on film for you. They mix the most comically inept CGI with such a crazed "kitchen-sink" storytelling style that you're virtually guaranteed to have fun with Beyond Sherwood Forest. I loved every silly minute of it, although I'm aware that downing plenty of hearty mead along the way helped greatly. Louis Fowler

Law Abiding Citizen (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Sometimes I think that I would rather take a movie that's all-the-way bad than one that's great for the first 100 minutes, only to fall completely — offensively — apart in the last 10. That backhanded bait-and-switch technique will color the whole experience, no matter how much you loved what came before the ending. Such is the case with the revenge thriller Law Abiding Citizen. Gerard Butler is a justifiably angry father seeking bloody retribution for the system failing his dead wife and little girl. Jamie Foxx is the lawyer who's the catalyst for said revenge. And, as Butler offs every single criminal and government official, you'll cheer loudly. But the last 10 politically correct minutes turn the tables on the character, making the government officials the heroes in a twist that will have you smashing your remote in pure cinematic rage! Louis Fowler

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