A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Easy Rider for a decadent generation, Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus and 2012 is a smart but sour South American road movie that doesn't know what to do with its drug-fueled revelations. Say this for star Michael Cera — he's willing to play unlikable. Here, he's Jamie, an ill-mannered narco-tourist on a pilgrimage to Chile to take San Pedro cactus on the beach. The character is masterfully conceived and written, but he also makes for lousy company, mostly because he values other people precisely insofar as they serve his ego and his aims. His fellow travelers are three extraordinarily tolerant locals and the titular Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffmann), a hippie-dippy American gal whose lustrous eyebrows are merely a hint of the rich landscapes to come. Ultimately, the film falls prey to Jamie's narcissism, betraying a willingness to sacrifice its other, more interesting characters on the altar of his personal, chemically enhanced journey. 2013.