Scott Marks 3:30 p.m., Dec. 24
Into the Abyss
Werner Herzog will go anywhere for film discovery, and this is one of his better documentaries. In the piney woods north of Houston, he found ugly crime scenes and in a prison two convicted killers who murdered for a joyride. One is a smiling sociopath who thinks lethal injection will speed him to heaven. His pal lucked into a life term, thanks to the rending appeal of his criminal dad, a sad sack of remorse. The film’s chill, staring eye has a glint of pity, and Herzog’s case against the death penalty is less moving than his sifting through moral wreckage in a homely environment. He even found a chaplain who gets weepy about hitting squirrels with a golf cart. 2011.
- Rated PG-13 | 1 hour, 46 minutes