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The Pirates of Somalia

Canadian journalist Jay Bahadur (Evan Peters) arrives in Somalia as an opportunist and leaves an advocate. Writer/director Bryan Buckley treats Bahadur’s 2008-09 odyssey as an elucidating examination of kinship more than a biopic.

Some Freaks

In his debut film Some Freaks, writer/director Ian MacAllister-McDonald focuses on teenage misfits. Tagged as irredeemable outsiders in their Rhode Island high school, three seniors cope with indignation and hopelessness.

Do You Take This Man

By taking a low-key approach to a high-stress situation, Joshua Tunick turns a familiar romcom premise into a treatise on commitment, using an impending wedding as occasion for his characters to peel away well-manicured identities.

Alive and Kicking

Although it’s been used repeatedly as a movie title, Alive and Kicking perfectly captures the joyous enthusiasm of Susan Glatzer’s debut documentary, which presents swing dance as a vibrant, living art form.

The Drama Club

For his sanguine version of The Big Chill, writer/director Joe McClean acknowledges voice-of-a-generation expectations with conversations about privileged childhoods and the economic hardships of adulthood.