Pariah

(R) ★★★☆☆

Remember the name Adepero Oduye. The luminous actress, along with adept writer/director Dee Rees, makes this new, coming-of-age drama exceptional. Oduye plays Alike, a young woman slowly coming out as a lesbian, with various members of her family and friends. We see Alike in her butch persona at a club, and then she transforms on the bus ride home into the dutiful, presumptively hetero daughter her parents assume her to be. Rees packs a lot into a simple narrative, and only rarely overpacks.

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Contraband

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Contraband

By Tribune Media Services

Mark Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, an ex-smuggler who gets sucked back into the game in this fairly entertaining remake of an Icelandic thriller. A nasty drug lord (Giovanni Ribisi) is owed money by Farraday’s brother-in-law, and Farraday’s wife (Kate Beckinsale) gets roughed up pretty badly. Now Farraday has to get beaucoup counterfeit bills from Panama to New Orleans in a jiffy. The camerawork is way too jittery, but with reliable Wahlberg alongside Ribisi and the equally weaselly Ben Foster, the film holds its own weight.

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