4 p.m., Dec. 11
Built like a bullet, yet with his mind a cage of wormy lust, greed, and bigotry, cop Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is far below the LAPD’s finest. Oren Moverman directed as if fiercely merging Colors and Bad Lieutenant, while chief writer James Ellroy overplays his slumming zeal for lowlife crud. Backed well by Brie Larson, Sigourney Weaver, Ned Beatty, Cynthia Nixon, Robin Wright, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Ice Cube, and Steve Buscemi, Harrelson achieves more than macho presence as this sick loser. But the story, losing momentum, sags into pulp. 2012.
— David Elliott