Opening this week
CHARLIE’S COUNTRY Not rated. 108 minutes. In Yolngu and English with subtitles. The Screen, Santa Fe. See review, Page 38.
THE CONNECTION Rated R. 135 minutes. In French with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe.
(DIS)HONESTY: THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES At his Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, behavioral economist Dan Ariely conducts laboratory experiments into how and why people lie. Director Yael Melamede uses an Ariely lecture on lying as the connective tissue in this sometimes fascinating, sometimes sluggish look at the moral relativity we all live with. The documentary features numerous interviews with people who have lied, been caught, and paid the price, often with jail time — an NBA referee, a stock trader, a cheating wife, and many others. There are some surprising revelations. Reminding people of moral standards tends to raise them; and bankers lie even more than politicians. In his examination of the various factors (self-deception, social norms) that people use to justify varying degrees of dishonesty, Ariely never comments, even ironically, on the lies they tell. Not rated. 90 minutes. Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe. (Jonathan Richards)
INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 James Wan concedes the director’s chair of this semi-popular horror franchise to Leigh Whannell, who wrote the first two films — and therefore is perhaps the only person who understands what happened in them. This one is a prequel, which shows us how the psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) got involved in this spooky business to begin with. Rated PG-13. 97 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; DreamCatcher, Española. (Not reviewed)
LOVE & MERCY Rated PG-13. 120 minutes. Violet Crown, Santa Fe. See “Terrell’s Tune-Up,” Page 18.
SPIKE ISLAND This comedy centers on kids in a band in 1990 Manchester, England, who travel to Spike Island to give their demo tape to iconic U.K. band the Stone Roses. Things don’t go as planned, but the kids grow together. Not rated. 105 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
SPY Actress Melissa McCarthy and director Paul Feig, who enjoyed great success with Bridesmaids and The Heat, re-team to tweak the spy genre. She plays an office-bound CIA operative who is forced into action when a top agent (Jason Statham) is compromised. Jude Law co-stars. Rated R. 120 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Violet Crown, Santa Fe; DreamCatcher, Española. (Not reviewed)
SYMPHONY OF THE WILD Three segments are awkwardly stitched together in this assemblage of wildlife footage, beginning with a bland nature travelogue about Australia. There follows a 25-minute bit in which shots of critters are edited to play out as dramas illustrating Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. The concluding section is given over to the 50-minute (though seemingly endless) Concerto for Whale and Orchestra by Rob John, in which sounds of humpbacked whales are accompanied by the “Wild Ark Philharmonic.” A conductor, wearing tails, occasionally appears in the landscapes, waving his baton at rock outcroppings. This will far exceed your minimum daily requirement for kitsch. Not rated. 90 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema, Santa Fe. (James M. Keller)
TANGERINES Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak), an Estonian, agrees to remain behind and help a friend harvest his tangerines when the rest of the villagers flee ethnic conflicts in Georgia during the civil war in 1992. Two soldiers on opposite sides of the war survive a brutal shootout in the village, and Ivo takes the injured men into his home to recover from their wounds — but the enemies continue their fight, trading weapons for barbs and insults. Zaza Urushadze’s poignant, and often comic, anti-war film tells the story of a man caught in the middle of other men’s war. Time and proximity to one another have a humanizing effect on the soldiers as they transcend their differences.
Tangerines is a moving film, nominated this year for an Academy Award for best foreign language film. Not rated. 87 minutes. In Estonian, Russian, and Georgian with subtitles. Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe. (Michael Abatemarco)
Arms and the woman: Melissa McCarthy in Spy, at Regal Stadium 14
and Violet Crown in Santa Fe and DreamCatcher in Española