Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
Easy Money II: Hard to Kill (Snabba Cash II)
An aftermath story, following up on the events of 2012's worlds-colliding drama Easy Money. Lanky Swede JW (a befuddled Joel Kinnaman) is about to score his first supervised release from prison after his violent stint as a coke dealer. Now that he's trying to go straight, he's got something to lose, but since his parents don't want to talk to him and his sister has been declared dead, it's not as much as the other players in this worlds-colliding-again sequel: Jorge, whose mother is dying; Mrado, whose daughter is the one good thing in his rotten life; and Mahmoud, rejected and despised by the father he once admired. The focus on family - the regular people that the crooks leave behind - keeps the thuggery from getting humdrum. The 10-million kroner prize gets lost and found and passed around, highlighting the misery of whomever happens to be holding the bag. Given the darkness of the subject matter, the bright-light broad-daylight look of things may seem a bit jarring at first, but you settle in after a bit - this is just life for these people. Nothing to sneak around about: just murder, theft, and the betrayal of your loved ones. 2014.