Scott Marks 3:30 p.m., Dec. 24
The Lunchbox (Dabba)
Ila’s (Nimrat Kaur) recipe to buck up her marriage falls into the wrong hands when a delivery boy mistakenly hands over a four-course lunch (equipped with a spicy billet doux for dessert) to a lonely government employee (the exceptional Irrfan Khan) who is just weeks away from retirement. Writer-director Ritesh Batra’s idea of fleshing out the material is adding a subplot concerning the young and eager pup who is poised to replace our hero. Were it possible to leave my seat, enter the frame, and strangle a character, Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s unceasingly annoying Shaikh wouldn’t have made it past the first reel. Once the intricacies of the four-tiered cylindrical lunch pail are revealed, all that’s left is a one-joke film with only two flimsy running gags to support it. 2013.