pick of the week:CINEMA

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The Independent Culture
Dead Man (above) Jim Jarmusch's stark western is a low-key, troublesome affair about an unassuming clerk who finds himself on the run. Its funereal pace will either drive you out of your mind or you will succumb to its hypnotic rhythm.

The Crossing Guard Sean Penn's second stint as writer/director is an impressive exploration of a grief-stricken man hunting down the drunk driver who killed his daughter. Jack Nicholson is that man, rising above the vacuous dross of his recent work to give a painfully committed performance.

Nick of Time Johnny Depp once again gives his impression of a startled fawn caught in the headlights in this passable thriller. He plays a reluctant hit-man who's told to kill the Governor of California, or his daughter gets it.