Names matter. The names of the protagonists, Alvin and Lance, in "Prince Avalanche" reveal a lot: old-fashioned Alvin plays by the rules -- even his overalls are strait-laced. He can skin a squirrel and set up a tent, neither of which Lance can -- or wants to -- do.
It’s difficult to embrace a film as downright emotionally and often physically ugly as director William Friedkin’s Killer Joe. Yes, it trades on many of the familiar elements of film noir, anchored in a murder scheme for money. But unlike the best of those, it lacks the grace, wit and humanity embedded in cautionary tales.