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Cinefiles

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Agora (R)

Lionsgate

Once upon a time, a film this epic, relevant and emotional would have been celebrated by the industry. Instead, Agora, directed by Alejandro Amenábar (The Sea Inside), was released unceremoniously this spring onto two screens in the U.S. It's the story of a freethinking scientist (Rachel Weisz) in fourth-century A.D. Alexandria, and a time when the erudition of the classical world fell into the Dark Ages, when reason and intellectualism were forced aside by superstition, willful ignorance and religious extremism. Amenábar's choice to look down on Alexandria from high in orbit, letting us see the full curve of the planet and reminding us that his story is literally about our world and species — and that the passing of a few years between now and then is next to nothing in the grand scheme of the universe — is one of the most exhilarating things I've seen on film this year. — MaryAnn Johanson

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The Killing Machine (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Thanks to Stallone's The Expendables, '80s action-star Dolph Lundgren is back, and I for one couldn't be happier about it. Who didn't have a good time watching Red Scorpion, Masters of the Universe or The Punisher back in the day? His latest work, the straight-to-DVD The Killing Machine — in which he stars and directs(!) — is a real return to form, with Lundgren playing an unstoppable badass, ex-KGB agent and current Russian mob assassin, code-named Icarus. When the tables turn and a hit is issued for him and his family ... well, I'm pretty sure you know what happens next. The movie is called The Killing Machine, after all. Sure, most of it is a by-the-numbers shoot 'em up, but it's an extremely entertaining by-the-numbers shoot 'em up, with the gruff, monosyllabic charisma of Lundgren making the whole thing enjoyable and, best of all, paving the way for more of these things. — Louis Fowler

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The Rocky Horror Picture Show:35th Anniversary (R) (Blu-ray)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

It's kinda depressing to think that The Rocky Horror Picture Show — the queen of all cult movies — is 35 years old. Take comfort in the fact that this Blu-ray anniversary is a perfect tribute to the fun musical comedy, and, best of all, one that you're able to watch in the comfort of your own home without failed drama students throwing toilet paper and toast at you. I'm pretty sure you already know the plot: Square couple Brad and Janet end up in a creepy castle run by a transvestite mad doctor, eventually giving in to all their closeted sexual desires, all put to clever tunes you can dance to. The special features will leave you shivering in antici...pation: deleted musical numbers, commentary, the uncut U.K. version and, for a rare treat, the entire first part of the movie in black and white, the way they originally wanted to film it. — Louis Fowler

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