Beginning with a roar as a speeding motorcycle races by, director Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" injects nerve-jangling excitement into a tried-and-true drug trafficking disaster. The set up is elegant and quick. The Counselor, committing to marry his adored Laura, agrees to participate in a routine drug deal. His greed will, unsurprisingly, connect him with a ruthless drug network.
The inimitable writer/director Terrence Malick has crafted another tone poem, this one a meditation on various aspects and stages of love. He focuses on a central couple: the American Neil and Frenchwoman Marina. Secondarily, a Spanish speaking Father Quintana interrogates his failing faith and Neil renews a prior friendship with Jane.
In Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful, street-smart, ethically challenged Uxbal cares for his two children, fights with his dope-addict ex-wife, and trolls for illegal opportunities in a gritty Barcelona. Learning he has a short time to live, Uxbal tries, alternately frenetic and determined, to tie up the multiple threads of his frayed life.