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Jack Goes Boating (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

When it comes to quiet, subtle, emotional acting, Philip Seymour Hoffman is a national treasure. That said, in Jack Goes Boating, which he also directs, it feels like he's gone to that well one too many times. Hoffman is Jack, a man embarking on a new relationship with Connie (Amy Ryan, also quiet, subtle and emotional). They were set up by work-pals Clyde (John Ortiz) and Lucy (Daphne Rubin-Vega), who are not quiet and subtle, but an emotionally volatile couple near divorce, and rightfully so, as they are pretty horrible. The wine, weed and coke at the climactic dinner party don't help much. Based on an Off-Broadway play I would have dreaded going to, Jack Goes Boating is cloyingly pretentious in its wannabe sincerity, and proof positive that Hoffman needs to branch out a bit, lest he lose all his Giamatti-esque goodwill. — Louis Fowler

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Inhale (NR)

IFC Films

Inhale could've been like any other Lifetime movie about a dying little girl and the American medical system that doesn't give a damn about her. In the hands of just about anyone else, it probably would be. Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur ain't havin' none of that, turning it into a gritty, suspenseful search for bootleg lungs in the dirty back alleys of Juarez. Dermot Mulroney gives a heart-pounding performance as a dad who'll do anything to get his little girl a new pair of lungs, making black-market deals with crooked doctors and cops. How they get the lungs, however, is the real shocking meat of the movie. Inhale took me completely by surprise, delivering an intense morality play with devastating consequences. As an added bonus, if you ever need to obtain an extra organ, now you'll know how to do so. — Louis Fowler

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Dogtooth (NR)

Kino International

A perverse dictator dad loses control of his three teens and their disturbed mom by introducing a service-rendering security guard to the homestead. It's an angry-absurdist rebuke of oppressive social ritual, as played with brutality dressed in soft white cotton: Dogtooth is like Luis Bunuel meets Michael Haneke. Fun! To non-film nerds, director Yorgos Lanthimos' nerve-poking satire may have to remain an acquired distaste. With shrewdly Dadaesque language recombinations, cool cinematography of face-obscured framings, and poignant perversions of Bach and Sinatra, this is one heady exercise. But the sexual tension and sinister violence keep it from getting too cerebral. Lanthimos says his original impulse was toward something like science-fiction, examining the future of families. A bleak future, apparently. — Jonathan Kiefer


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