Boys Don’t Cry

Birth of a star.

Hilary Swank had already top-lined The Next Karate Kid when she landed the lead in this heart-rending true-crime tale, but this was the first time the former Washington state resident had a chance to really show off her skills.

Playing Brandon Teena, a trans man fighting to survive in a world stacked against him, Swank is extraordinary.

She’s matched by Chloë Sevigny, as a young woman trapped between love and fear, and Peter Sarsgaard, channeling blank-faced evil.

It’s not an easy movie to watch, but it remains an important one, especially in our current environment.

The Dead Don’t Die

“Damn it, Mallory. Even dead, you reek of chardonnay. Cheap chardonnay.”

Jim Jarmusch has made a career of going his own way as a writer/director, and this irony-laced zombie comedy, featuring Bill Murray and Adam Driver as unique small-town cops, is no different.

At various points, characters reveal they’ve read the script or recognize the background music as the movie’s theme song.

Then there’s Tilda Swinton’s sword-wielding alien warrior, finding her moment of Zen as she carves a path through town.

We’re frequently reminded “This isn’t going to end well,” but, if you love loopy, we might agree to disagree.