Philomena A surprisingly tough and tender tale from director Stephen Frears, adapted from the true story of a 70-something Irish woman (Judi Dench) looking to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was an unwed teen - and of the cynical veteran journalist (Steve Coogan) who accompanies her on her quest. PG-13

All Is Lost Robert Redford goes solo in J.C. Chandor's majestic, melancholy film about a mariner stranded on his boat in the Indian Ocean. There is incredible tension in this ordeal, and Redford - an icon of the American movie experience for more than half a century now - makes that tension deeply palpable. The performance of his career. PG-13

Out of the Furnace Casey Affleck and Christian Bale are brothers facing hard times, and hard choices, in this gripping Rust Belt noir. A solemn, blood-soaked drama about broken dreams. Cue the Springsteen. R