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
A tight, trim, grueling police drama about a homicide investigation that turns into a drug bust that turns into a nasty game of cop-hunt. It's the future, so naturally, things are urban, wasted, and awful. Overmatched officers in full body armor patrol a city that stretches along most of the northeastern seaboard. They can respond to only a fraction of reported crimes, so for efficiency's sake, they must also act as judges, juries, and executioners. There is very little here to complain about: no self-conscious silliness, no pointless effects (the occasional slo-mo is the result of a drug that slows down perception), and very little in the way of impossible acrobatics. The cliches (Olivia Thirlby as a pretty rookie, Lena Heady as a scarred villain) don't grate, the catchphrases make sense, and star Karl Urban manages to convey a character without ever removing the helmet that obscures the upper half of his face. 2012.