“Mad Max: Fury Road”: What a lovely day for an apocalypse

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“Mad Max: Fury Road” opens Friday at Point, Palace, Star Cinema and Sundance. R, 2:00, four stars out of four.

I saw George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” at a 10 p.m. late screening, and, writing this at 2 a.m., I just can’t recommend it as a sleep aid.

I can recommend it every other way imaginable. Miller’s ferocious, grotesque, beautiful film is every bit the equal of its original trilogy from the ’80s, and throws down the gauntlet for every action film made since. You had CGI, $100 million budgets, all the tools at your disposal, “Mad Max” seems to ask all those other films — what were you doing with it, anyway?

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“The Drop”: One last round with James Gandolfini

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“The Drop” is now playing at Sundance and Eastgate Cinemas. R, 1:46, three stars out of four.

I had thought “Enough Said” was the late James Gandolfini’s final role, so it was a welcome if poignant surprise to see his graceful bulk move through one more movie, Michael Roskam’s crime drama “The Drop.” He plays Cousin Marv, a small-time Brooklyn hood who got pushed aside when the much nastier Chechen terrorists moved into the neighborhood.

Now, Cousin Marv sits in the bar he used to own, drinking and reading the paper, but Gandolfini puts the glint of what-might-have-been frustration in his eyes. Like Gandolfini, Cousin Marv bears watching.

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“Locke”: Tom Hardy shows a lot of drive

‘Mastery of small, telling gestures’: Tom Hardy as a man who goes awol in Locke.

Ivan Locke seems like a man who knows what to do. A construction foreman in Britain, we get a glimpse of him at the beginning of “Locke” as he gets into his car, a big and confident man. (After all, he’s played by Tom Hardy, who doesn’t look like he loses a lot of arguments.)

Locke has a firm, patient voice, giving orders to his sons and his employees in the same way, like a headmaster explaining sums to a befuddled student. Ivan Locke knows what to do.

And, as the events in “Locke” transpire, Locke knows exactly what he needs to do. He’s going to tear his entire life down to the foundation, brick by brick.

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