At their best, innovative, experimental films offer thoroughly astonishing cinematic experiences. And director Alejandro González Iñárritu provides exactly that in "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)." Following middle-aged Riggan Thompson trying to jump-start and salvage his acting career with a Broadway play, Iñárritu unspools a tour-de-force of technical distinction and spectacular performances.
Nine years in the making, Shane Salerno's documentary "Salinger" tackles that resolutely reclusive, famous writer. Roughly chronological in its exploration of J.D.'s life, "Salinger" uses archival photographs, repeating a couple from WWII, plus the few photos captured by stalkers before Salinger's 2010 death. To this, it adds interviews with two significant women in his life, testimonials, and hokey reenactments.
Some films strain too obviously and nakedly toward profundity, and Stone qualifies in that category. Corrections officer Jack Mabry must certify the rehabilitated state of Gerald "Stone" Creeson, who, aided by his shameless wife Lucetta, proves adept at manipulative mind games.