(R) ★★★☆☆

This feverish martial arts film opens up a lot of cans of emotional whup-ass, but, every time you start resisting, somehow the film makes the sale, again. Director/co-writer Gavin O’Connor is an entertainer, and this frenetic film defies its own frenzy. Two estranged brothers, Tommy (Tom Hardy) and Brendan (Joel Edgerton), enter an MMA competition in Atlantic City. Does the final match come down to brother against brother? I wouldn’t rule it out. The story is gritty, and the acting just simmering enough to hold.

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Higher Ground

Movie Review

Higher Ground

By Tribune Media Services

Vera Farmiga directs and stars in this independent film about a woman who confronts the limitations of her life and then redefines it completely. The film doesn’t state things directly, but we sense what is happening to her character, Corinne, and how some turn to fundamentalism for complex and interconnected reasons. Corinne’s on a mission, but its particulars elude her, which makes her path an unpredictable and rewarding one.