A man's home is his castle, even in rusting rural Russia — at least until the porcine mayor starts sniffing money in your waterfront location. Note the title, Leviathan: when God afflicted Job and Job dared to squawk about it, God asked, "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord?" Implication: you can't fight the Powers that Be. Best to pipe down, take your lumps, and hope for the best. (It worked for Job!) Of course, humanity figured out how to handle the original Leviathan: with a harpoon. But there are forces greater than those in nature, and one of them is City Hall. Before a determined (and properly greased) bureaucracy, even God himself — or at least his proxy — may be forced to bow. Director and co-writer Andrey Zvyagintsev serves up a magnificently bleak small-town epic full of vodka and pride and grim hilarity, and almost utterly devoid of sunshine. Early and strong contender for this year's best miserable time at the movies. (2014) — Matthew Lickona
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