“The Salvation”: Mads Mikkelsen saddles up for a satisfying Western

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Writer-director Kristian Levring says there are 62 different references to classic Westerns in his own oater “The Salvation.” Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay his film is that I never looked for them.

I was too busy enjoying the film, out on Blu-ray this month, which succeeds entirely on its own merits as a traditionally structured Western. Levring and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen understand what makes the genre work so well — the characterizations, the classicism of the shots, the building and violent releasing of tension.

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“The Hunt”: An innocent teacher caught in a witch hunt

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“The Hunt” plays Monday through Thursday at Point and Eastgate Cinemas. Not rated, 1:52, three stars out of four.

Even  when things get very bad, the little Danish town in “The Hunt” seems so nice. It’s a place where everybody knows everybody, where folks walk to school and drop in unannounced in each other’s homes, where the pews are full on Christmas Eve.

It’s in this bucolic little retreat that director Thomas Vinterberg (“The Celebration”) creates a modern-day “Crucible,” a frighteningly plausible examination of how suspicion can spread through otherwise decent people.

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