Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., Jan. 20
The Railway Man
Respectable torture porn. Decades after the end of World War II, a former British POW tracks down and squares off against his Japanese tormenter. With Oscar®-winner Colin Firth and Oscar®-winner Nicole Kidman occupying prime real estate on the poster, one would automatically expect them to carry this petrified revenge drama. Their vertex of fine acting is overwhelmingly cut short by flashbacks performed by a cast of virtual unknowns. Frequent Michael Winterbottom collaborator Frank Cottrell Boyce (24 Hour Party People, Tristram Shandy) contributed to the script, making the unnuanced conformation of the storytelling even more inexcusable. In using plenty of affliction to warrant the R rating, director Jonathan Teplitzky reenacts the real-life events with an orthodoxy guaranteed to torture any audience. 2014.