What: “Out of the Furnace”
Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana and Forest Whitaker
Writers: Brad Ingelsby and Scott Cooper
Director: Scott Cooper
The story: When his war veteran brother (Affleck) goes missing after becoming entangled with the leader (Harrelson) of a ruthless crime gang, an ex-con (Bale) enters their dangerous world to bring him home.
The buzz: In his first feature, “Crazy Heart,” Cooper directed Jeff Bridges to an Oscar win and co-star Maggie Gyllenhaal to a best supporting actress nomination. There’s a decent amount of awards season buzz building over this, his second feature.
— CHRISTOPHER LAWRENCE