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Blood Simple (Twentieth Century Fox)

The Coen brothers have made better movies — Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men. But it all starts here with their first film, a 1984 modern crime-noir about a guy who hires a hit man to kill his cheating wife and her boyfriend. But, as these things often go in Joel and Ethan Coen movies, it doesn't happen as planned. And, as these things go with the Coens, it's a visual and narrative trip. This Blu-ray debut doesn't add much in the way of extras — meh commentary and some production notes — but the movie is a real treat, with enough twists and turns to let you know that you're squarely in brave new territory.

In a Better World (Sony)

It's a bit heavy on the morality lesson, but this occasionally harrowing and often melodramatic movie about two Danish families and the young boys who form a tragic friendship poses some tough questions. Just what you'd expect from a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner.

Orpheus (Criterion)

Jean Cocteau tells the ancient story of a poet who falls in love with a deadly princess, travels to the underworld, and becomes surrounded by a bunch of metaphorical imagery. Like his classic Beauty and the Beast, this 1950 film is stuffed with surreal delights. This Blu-ray debut includes a bunch of movie-snob extras.

Prom (Walt Disney)

The best-looking group of teenagers in the whole world gets ready for their prom in this weightless ball of fluff. A few conflicts arise — which cute guy will ask the cute girl to be his date? Does this dress make my 102-pound frame look fat? — but it's nothing to sweat over. The filmmakers certainly didn't.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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