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On Demand movie highlights

LORD OF WAR

(Comcast Free Movies) A slick, provocative act of advocacy entertainment. Andrew Niccol’s gunrunning drama presents us with a charismatic arms merchant played by Nicolas Cage, who rises to the top of the black-market heap from the 1980s through the early 2000s. Niccol gives the devil his due here, and his moral outrage is balanced by a storyteller’s skill: There are laughs, but they jam in your throat. Costarring Jared Leto and Bridget Moynahan. (R; runs through May 15)

HOODLUM ½

(Comcast Free Movies) This dark, grand, handsomely crafted gangland saga pays homage to Bumpy Johnson, Harlem’s black godfather of the 1930s. As Johnson, Laurence Fishburne always looks dangerous, making him convincing as he wins the respect of Andy Garcia’s smooth Lucky Luciano and runs Tim Roth’s loose-cannon Dutch Schultz off his Harlem turf. Director Bill Duke augments rich visuals with vintage Harlem atmosphere. (R; runs through May 27)

RANSOM

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(Comcast Free Movies) Ron Howard amps up this remake of a traditional rich-kid-kidnapped story with dislocating camerawork, high-impact editing and a volatile performance from Mel Gibson. There’s also an audacious device: Gibson’s airline owner goes on TV to offer the ransom loot as a bounty on the kidnapper’s head, turning the film into a reminder of the power of money. (R; runs through July 11)

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