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'You Kill Me'

Ben Kingsley plays a hit-man who tells his Alcoholics Anonymous group — taking the "anonymous" part a bit more literally than is probably wise — that he needs their help or he'll never work again. In other words, if he can't stay sober, he'll never be able to go back to murder-for-hire.

The group's nonjudgmental approach more or less mandates that they support his struggle, and of such moral gray areas, John Dahl's offbeat comedy makes much laughter. The picture is part thriller, part romance (Kingsley meets Tea Leoni in a funeral home, over the body of a relative), part black comedy, and all hilariously deadpan. (Recommended)

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.