Critic's Pick

Small but powerful 'Ida' and 'Locke' are gripping summer movies

Two small European films have a power all their own: 'Ida' and 'Locke'

It's not just the blockbusters that make noise over the summer movie season. "Ida" and "Locke," two knockout small films from Europe also have the power to put you away.

Spare, haunting, uncompromising, "Ida" is a Polish film about a convent novice who discovers she is Jewish. This is a work of exceptional artistry whose emotions are as potent and persuasive as its images are indelibly beautiful.

Tom Hardy is the only actor who appears on-screen in "Locke," a real-time drama that unfolds inside a moving BMW during the 85 minutes it takes construction foreman Ivan Locke to make a nighttime drive from Birmingham to London. This may not sound like the formula for nail-biting tension, but it is.

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