Cinema: Three You Should See

Small films often get lost amid the big year-end extravaganzas, but these are worth seeking out

MONSTER'S BALL

A pattern is forming for the new fashion in Amer-indies. Start with a teasingly obscure title; gaze fascinatedly at people in more trouble than they know; give lots of screen space and time to yearning stares; and, about 40 min. into the anomie, kill off a soulful son with a surprise gun blast. That's the recipe for In the Bedroom, which won a slew of critics' awards, and for Monster's Ball, a pained drama that is better than it sounds.

The Grotowskis--three generations of Georgia penal officers named Buck (Peter Boyle), Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) and Sonny (Heath...

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