Television

On Demand movie highlights

VALKYRIE ½

(TMC on Comcast) This Tom Cruise film — the true story of a plot to kill Hitler by a group of Nazi officers — is not a disaster but a slightly hollow action-drama hampered by a lack of suspense. Satisfying character turns by Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Eddie Izzard, prop up the star’s good (if thin) performance. (PG-13; runs through Nov. 8)

Ty Burr

BACKDRAFT ½

(Cinemax on Comcast) Ron Howard’s film about Chicago firefighters has spectacular fire sequences, believable firehouse atmosphere, convincing ethnic clannishness and rich performances by Robert De Niro and Donald Sutherland. But a hokey sibling rivalry story involving Kurt Russell and William Baldwin pulls it down. (R; runs through Nov. 8)

PULP FICTION

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(HBO on Comcast) Quentin Tarantino puts invigorating new spins on familiar genre situations — a boxer who decides not to throw the big fight, a hit man nervously babysitting his boss’s provocative wife, killers with one body too many to get rid of, a gun-happy couple who hold up the wrong diner. Demolishing predictability with a scriptful of abrupt and mostly violent surprises, he brings out playful freshness in a snazzy ensemble cast that includes John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Harvey Keitel. (R; runs through Nov. 12)

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