“The Lunchbox” (PG, 104 minutes with subtitles, Sony): In writer-director Ritesh Batra’s beguiling romance, a virtual relationship blossoms not through a sexy operating system as in “Her,” or email as in “You’ve Got Mail,” but the old-fashioned way, through carefully written notes delivered by hand every day. Even though much of “The Lunchbox” transpires in Ila’s kitchen and in Saajan’s office, Batra nonetheless plunges the audience into the riotous city life of Mumbai, where we follow Saajan (played by Indian star Irfan Khan) onto crowded buses and streets to his lonely apartment and where Ila barely ventures forth. What begins as a nagging sense of dissatisfaction eventually reveals the deeper, sorrowful reality of a woman’s life in India, as Ila’s hopes for her future became increasingly thwarted and constrained. Contains thematic material and smoking.
“The Unknown Known” (PG-13, 103 minutes, Anchor Bay): Through skillful editing and a stirring score by Danny Elfman, “The Unknown Known” invests former U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s otherwise banal Washington trajectory with unlikely tension and suspense. What’s more, his maddening habit of pseudo-philosophical speculation fits neatly into filmmaker Errol Morris’ own ruminative, erudite rhetoric. But if viewers come to “The Unknown Known” hoping for catharsis – or even just a few answers – about Rumsfeld’s role in planning and executing the invasion of Iraq in 2003, they may find themselves leaving more frustrated than rewarded. Contains some disturbing material and brief nudity.
Also: “Vinyl” (based on the a true rock-and-roll hoax of 2004, Shout! Factory), “The Unbelievers” (documentary following scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss, FilmRise), “Scavenger Killers” (with Eric Roberts, Charles Durning and Robert Loggia), “Operation Petticoat” (1959, director Blake Edwards classic starring Tony Curtis and Cary Grant, Olive Films), “Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!” (2009), “Once Upon a Time in Vietnam” (Vietnam), “Good Sam” (1948, with Gary Cooper and Ann Sheridan, Olive Films), “B.B. King: The Life of Riley” (documentary),
Television series: “The Twilight Zone: Essential Episodes” (17 episodes commemorating series’ 55th anniversary, Image Entertainment), “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Good, the Bad and Casey Jones” (Nickelodeon), “Helix: First Season” (Syfy)” and “A Young Doctor’s Notebook: Season One” (A-list actors Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe in a comedy noir set on the eve of the Russian Revolution, BBC)
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