New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
In order to escape an oppressive home life (complete with a dead dog), a guileless young woman (Alice Lowe) unwittingly takes up with a charismatic serial killer (Steve Oram). Badlands, it’s not. Scripted by its two leads and the aptly named Amy Jump, director Ben Wheatley’s infantile black comedy has one original idea going for it: the goal of reducing human emissions makes the couple cinema’s first eco-friendly spree killers. It’s a good concept, and one that is promptly done away with in a throwaway line. In its place flow a cascade of character inconsistencies. Oram’s killer initially sees red over litterbugs and scenery-debasing graffiti, only to later turn on a tourist for demanding that he pick up after his dog. In hindsight, this forlorn road picture could have been considerably more tolerable had the couple simply stayed home and killed her mother. 2012.