Capsule Movie Reviews (Nov. 13): 'Sunlight Jr.' and five more

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NEW RELEASE
Sunlight Jr.
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 35 MINS.
So relentlessly bleak that you’d have to be a masochist to make it to the end credits, Sunlight Jr. stars Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon as doomed Florida lovers who can’t catch a break. He’s a drunk drowning in self-pity in a wheelchair while she busts her hump working the graveyard shift at a convenience store. Here’s one snapshot of the Sunshine State that no one wants a postcard of. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C- —Chris Nashawaty

NEW RELEASE
12-12-12
R, 1 HR., 45 MINS.
After Superstorm Sandy turned the Northeast into something out of the Old Testament, rock heavyweights including Bruce Springsteen, the Stones, and Paul McCartney hit the stage at Madison Square Garden for a fund-raising concert. This no-frills doc chronicles the event but spends too much time on behind-the-scenes logistics and not enough on the performances. B —Chris Nashawaty

NEW RELEASE
Charlie Countryman
R, 1 HR., 47 MINS.
Unless you’re a Shia LaBeouf completist or have an insatiable itch to see modern-day Bucharest depicted on film (two very specific niches, to be sure), you’ll want to avoid this shaggy-dog thriller about a romantic (LaBeouf) whose dead mother instructs him to go to Romania, where he meets a femme fatale (Evan Rachel Wood) who happens to play the cello. Not so much a whodunit as a why’d-they-make-it. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) C- —Chris Nashawaty

NEW RELEASE
Faust
NOT RATED, 2 HRS., 14 MINS.
The avant-garde stylist Aleksandr Sokurov sets the Faust legend in a grotesquely captivating world of 18th-century urban rot. In this version, Faust (Johannes Zeiler) is starving —literally —for knowledge, and his Mephistopheles is a moneylender played by Anton Adasinsky like a cadaverous gargoyle rock star. As they chew over the wages of lust, the film suggests The Seventh Seal if it were all rumination. B —Owen Gleiberman

NEW RELEASE
The Great Beauty
NOT RATED, 2 HRS., 22 MINS.
It’s hard to watch Paolo Sorrentino’s big, splashy canvas of a movie about a blocked writer strolling through the rituals of late-night Rome without thinking of La Dolce Vita. The difference is that Sorrentino’s spiritual apocalypse is delivered with an amused half-shrug. As Jep, dining out on his past glory, Toni Servillo speaks in dry pensées. He might say of this film: It’s good in spite of its lack of greatness. B+ —Owen Gleiberman

NEW RELEASE
Medora
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 22 MINS.
If you have to endure another documentary about a scrappy high school sports team defying the odds, it had better be special, right? Well, this one is. Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart’s tear-jerker about a hard-luck Indiana basketball squad rises above Hoosiers clichés. It’s no spoiler to say they don’t win the championship —or even many games. But no matter what’s thrown at these kids, on or off the court, they refuse to give up. (Also available on iTunes and VOD) A- —Chris Nashawaty

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