A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Glacial in pace, skeletal in plot, and generally nasty, Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin is a repetitive nightmare of drear and dread punctuated by moments of queasy-making horror. Scarlett Johansson plays a blank but fetching piece of alien bait, trawling Scotland for solitary dudes that no one will miss, then luring them to their doom in an otherworldly tar pit. (It isn't until she meets a man whose interior misery shows up on the surface - on the skin instead of under it - that she starts to think about what she's doing.) The film, too, is something of a blank; there's not much here below the assaultive score and the alarming visuals, so you're free to insert your own meaning. Just now, I'm chuckling over the notion that it's an anti-Bambi, a cautionary tale about the dangers of empathizing with your natural prey. 2014.