Television

On Demand movie highlights

X2: X-MEN UNITED ½

(HBO on Comcast) This second installment of the 30-year-old Marvel Comics series is everything both a disciple and a moviegoer could want. It’s scenic, confidently directed, and largely involving. Rarely, however, is it any fun. The plot involves a mutant hunter (Brian Cox) who exploits a telepathic tracking device to kill mutantkind. The film keeps its human-rights allegories but isn’t sure where to take them. (PG-13; runs through Dec. 24)

Wesley Morris

AHEAD OF TIME ½

(Showtime on Comcast) Documentarian Bob Richman explores journalist Ruth Gruber’s experiences helping to bring Jewish refugees to the United States during World War II, reporting from the Soviet Arctic in the mid-’30s, and becoming the world’s youngest PhD at 20. Now in her late 90s, Gruber is a sharp, charming interview, but her portrait sometimes feels like a rough sketch. (Unrated; runs through Dec. 18)

200 CIGARETTES ½

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(Cinemax on Comcast) Wildly uneven, mildly entertaining film set on New Year’s Eve 1981 in New York. The script is riddled with dead spots, and despite a few sparkling moments, the cast — which includes Courtney Love, Martha Plimpton, Christina Ricci, and Janeane Garofalo — is largely wasted. (R; runs through Dec. 20)