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Those Who Wish Me Dead (Warner Bros.)

Haunted by a forest fire tragedy for which she blames herself, an emotionally isolated, self-destructive smokejumper (Angelina Jolie) is forced to pull herself together when a young boy (Finn Little) being tracked by the assassins (Aidan Gillen and Nicholas Hoult) who killed his father (Jake Weber), an accountant who uncovered explosive information he managed to share with his son before his death, comes under her protection.

Though the local sheriff's deputy (Jon Bernthal) and his wife (Medina Senghore), a trained survivalist, are also out to rescue the lad, his pursuers prove to be both ruthless and relentless. Director and co-writer (with Michael Koryta and Charles Leavitt) Taylor Sheridan's loose adaptation of Koryta's 2014 novel benefits from an offbeat plot and the appeal of its central duo. But some slightly unsavory mentoring by Jolie's character briefly sours the proceedings while the ribald banter she exchanges with her colleagues, the extremes to which the murderers are willing to resort as well as the graphic depiction of the mayhem they wreak makes this thriller strictly grown-up fare.

Watch out for: Much violence with brief but vivid gore, sexual humor and references, about a half-dozen profanities, a couple of milder oaths, pervasive rough and considerable crude language.
Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: R

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021