Pick of the week: “A Most Wanted Man“ — Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last lead role (he was in “Mockingjay Part 1” after this) was in this faithfully grim adaptation of John Le Carre’s thriller, playing a German counterintelligence officer hoping to snare a terrorist financier. Director Anton Corbijn (“The American”) tamps down his usually showy visual style to match the patient, slow-winding tension of the story, and Hoffman is perfect as a no-nonsense investigator who battles with his superiors and the local CIA officer (Robin Wright), who would prefer a quick, showy resolution.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” opens Friday at Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema and Sundance. PG-13, 2:05, three stars out of four.
Katniss Everdeen gets to shoot exactly one arrow during “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” (although she makes it count). While “Catching Fire” essentially took the template of the first “Hunger Games” movie and made it bigger, bolder and more complex, “Mockingjay” daringly abandons the format for something bleaker and less triumphant. This is the “Empire Strikes Back” of the series, with the heroes constantly on defense — running, hiding, planning, hoping.
“God’s Pocket” opens Friday at Sundance Cinemas. R, 1:28, three stars out of four.
I’ve seen “God’s Pocket” twice now — the first time at the Sundance Film Festival, a couple of weeks before its star, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died of a drug overdose, and again three months later. The first time I thought it was a good movie. Now I think it’s essential.
“God’s Pocket” reminded me of a book of interconnected short stories, the kind where each is written is written from the perspective of a different character in the same town, and together their stories weave together into a larger narrative that only the reader sees all the angles of.