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Cinefiles

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Machine Gun Preacher (R)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

At first glance, Machine Gun Preacher sounds a lot like a Troma-esque exploitation flick along the lines of Hobo With a Shotgun. But Preacher is actually the emotionally draining true story of Sam Childers, an ex-con whose conversion to Christ leads to him build an orphanage for the children of war-torn east Africa. Childers (Gerard Butler) faces one unspeakable atrocity after another as he tries to save the lives of the kids left parentless by the Kony regime. Realizing that peace talks are getting them nowhere, he picks up some guns and starts defending the orphanage the best way he knows how: with bullets galore. — Louis Fowler

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Sherlock: Season Two (NR)

BBC Warner

The sophomore season of this BBC modern-era update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's deerstalkered detective, like its premier three-episode run, traverses brilliant heights and stifling lows. Sherlock Holmes (the limitless Benedict Cumberbatch) is trailed by perennially flummoxed Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman) first in an erotic mystery that addresses Holmes' sexuality. "The Reichenbach Fall," inspired by Doyle's The Final Problem, is a bravura showing. But "The Hounds of Baskerville" is a bad apple, retelling Doyle's most legendary tale by focusing on the Gothic horror elements of the original, which only calls attention to the show's low effects budget. Still, it's hard to blame this utterly fresh series for going out on a limb. — Justin Strout

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Seeking Justice (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment; releases June 19

Always able to inject memorable personalities into the worst of movies, Nicolas Cage consistently delivers unexpected performances, even if they're unintentional too. In this thriller, he's a NOLA schoolteacher who comes home from a chess game to learn his wife (the cardboard January Jones) has been sexually assaulted. Before he can process what has happened, a shadowy organization (led by Guy Pearce) intervenes and murders the rapist, but expects an equally vengeful favor in return. The story manages to give the Death Wish formula a fresh paranoid twinge that's enthralling, with Cage keeping his manic persona dutifully subdued until the utterly batshit third act. — Louis Fowler

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