Director: Joseph GaéÂÂÂÂÂ¯ Ramaka. With DjeéÂÂÂÂÂ¯naba Diop GaéÂÂÂÂÂ¯, Magaye Niang, Stéphanie Biddle, Thierno Ndiaye Dos. (84 min.)
Sterritt *** You won't hear the familiar strains of Georges Bizet's opera, but you'll recognize the classic story of a proud seductress, able to mesmerize anyone she fancies with her sensual beauty, and the soundtrack pulse with the music of Senegal, where this energetic movie was filmed. Directors as different as Otto Preminger and Jean-Luc Godard have taken a crack at "Carmen" and Ramaka's version is a colorful addition to the list. In French and Wolof with English subtitles.
Director: FabiéÂÂÂÂÂ¡n Bielinsky. With GastéÂÂÂÂÂ³n Pauls, Ricardo Darin, Leticia Brédice. (115 min.)
Sterritt *** The nine queens are a set of artfully forged postage stamps that draw a couple of petty swindlers into a money-making scheme that may prove far too tricky for them to successfully pull off. This cleverly structured Argentine heist movie isn't as original or ingenious as it tries to be, but it's fun watching the chicanery veer down one unexpected pathway after another. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Director: Roger Michell. With Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Affleck, Amanda Peet, Sidney Pollack. (96 min.)
Sterritt *** A corporate lawyer and an insurance salesman become adversaries after a highway fender-bender, sparking a day-long ordeal of threats and counter-threats. The filmmakers meant to whip up a high-tension thriller. What they ended up with is a psychological satire that's quite engrossing if you regard it as an absurdist morality tale rather than a straight-ahead suspense yarn. It loses its bite in a last-minute happy ending that's even less plausible than the rest of the picture, but much of the way it's a refreshingly novel ride.
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