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Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder."

Some people go to the movies for a frothy escape (I Know What You Did last weekend--you saw Scary MoVie). But we?re long past our days of binge-watching the entire Texas Chainsaw franchise; sometimes, we long for compelling, thought-provoking films.

Two that fit the bill recently opened on local screens, and we?re proud to say both movies have Texas ties, not to mention intelligent story lines.

Love Triangle In Austin-based director Terrence Malick?s latest, To the Wonder, there?s plenty to, ahem, wonder about. Ostensibly the story of one couple (Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko) and their third-party love interests (Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams), To the Wonder is most notable for its brilliant cinematography from around the globe. By the end, you?ll feel totally immersed in the lush cornfields of Oklahoma and idyllic vistas of Normandy.

Against the Tide A few years ago, former Dallasite Shane Carruth puzzled us with his debut movie, Primer, but the filmmaker dazzles with his latest, Upstream Color. This elliptical movie is the story about a kidnapper and his effect on a man and woman?s relationship, but it has a kaleidoscope of themes, among them nature and one?s own identity.

?To the Wonder? is available on iTunes and On Demand; ?Upstream Color? is currently showing at the Angelika Dallas.

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