What to watch: ‘Saltburn’ should be on your must-see list

There’s a whole lot of naughtiness (“Saltburn,” “Napoleon,” et al) going on in theaters and on streaming platforms this week. But regardless of whether you’re game for that, there’s something available for most every taste.

Here’s our roundup.

“Saltburn”: Emerald Fennell has found her kindred spirit in the late, great novelist Patricia Highsmith, the influential noir author of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Strangers on the Train” — both of which got turned into classic films. Highsmith’s spirit inhabits every crevice of Fennell’s wickedly entertaining and just plain wicked follow-up to her feminist stunner “Promising Young Woman.” Barry Keoghan gives it his all — and I mean all — to play scrappy Oxford University student Oliver Quick, an envious and odd fella who gets an invite from the exceedingly handsome Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi) to summer at his family over-the-top estate during their break. Oliver puts on his modest footwear and steps into the domain of a well-heeled pretentious family headed by two catered-to parents (Rosamund Pike and Richard E. Grant, having devilish fun). What goes down there is certain to upset pious viewers while thrilling those who love twisted, decadent thrillers. And, oh my goodness, what an ending. Details: 3½ stars out of 4; in theaters Nov. 24.

“Napoleon”: Ridley Scott’s epic about notorious conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte winds up being a 2½-hour contradiction — it’s both too long and not long enough. The battlefield scenes are brilliantly staged violent military showdowns — particularly the battles of Austerlitz and Waterloo — but the film spends too little time on these and too much time on the rest of his life, and still never explains why this deluded Frenchman and momma’s boy was so adored. We need more context, and that’s skipped right over. Oscar-winner Joaquin Phoenix delivers a curious turn in the title role — with the prolific Scott seemingly in agreement — presenting Bonaparte as a tantrum-prone enfant terrible, a coarse, cocky and somewhat bored brat who engages in quick jackrabbit sex with his wife (Vanessa Kirby, given too little to do) and then blames her for not siring him an heir. Whenever Scott ventures away from the blood battlefields, “Napoleon” retreats into laughable exchanges of marital weirdness that are more “House of Gucci” than “Gladiator.” It makes for an awkward, disjointed epic with flashes of brilliance and flashes of utter nonsense. Details: 2 stars; in theaters Nov. 24.

“Fargo”: All hail showrunner Noah Hawley. He continues to accomplish the extraordinary with FX’s “Fargo,” channeling the tricky black comedy spirit of the Coen Brothers while making the Minnesota-set crime thriller all his own. Juno Temple is ideally cast as Dorothy “Dot” Lyon, a resilient stay-at-home mom whose past threatens her cushy life with car salesman hubby (David Rysdahl) and whose mom (Jennifer Jason Leigh in one of the best performances you’ll see this year) sneers at her and operates a lucrative bankruptcy collection firm. Enter renegade North Dakota sheriff Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm, also perfectly cast) who operates under his own laws and is a toxic male in every sense of the word. He wants Dot — at any cost. As in the previous seasons, Season 5 is based on a real case, and what makes it so exceptional is how Hawley spins it into a parable about the debts we think we are owed, and how some profit from those debts while some might even die from them. This season takes risks galore and comes up a winner every time. Details: 4 stars; Now available on FX and Nov. 29 on Hulu; with one episode dropping every week after.

“Leo”: While this Adam Sandler-backed feature fails to reach the level Netflix’s best animated features, such as “Nimona” and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” it’s still a charmer. Sandler voices 74-year-old lizard Leo while Bill Burr voices the turtle Squirtle. Leo deals with an existential crisis, believing he will die soon, and regrets having never ventured out of a classroom terrarium. He gets his chance when various students take him home and he eventually ventures outdoors. Sandler co-wrote the screenplay and the various songs, which seem wedged in and sometimes stop the action in its tracks. It’s no classic, but it is funny and endearing. Kids will love it. Details: 2½ stars; available on Netflix.

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“Rustin”: Colman Domingo’s impassioned performance as the overlooked and under-appreciated gay civil rights leader outshines this satisfying biopic that barely can contain his performance. Domingo’s Bayard Rustin, the primary designer of the landmark 1963 March on Washington, puts a fire in the belly of every calculated scene, so much so that Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe wisely hands over the film to him. Written by Julian Breece and Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, “Rustin” keeps its eye on the prize throughout, affording Rustin, whose role in the civil-rights movement was overlooked due to his sexuality, a rightful place in history. And with campaigns afoot nowadays to strip the contributions of gay and Black individuals from textbooks, “Rustin” winds up being a even bolder film than was likely intended. Details: 3 stars; now on Netflix.

“Fallen Leaves”: Aki Kaurismäki’s droll, deadpan dramedy — his 20th feature — is pure movie magic from its wry beginning to its satisfying end. It’s a compassionate yet unsentimental story about two lonely working-class people in Helsinki going through the routine of their humdrum existence where possibilities never get a chance to breathe. When the two spot each other at a karaoke bar — a joint where Holappa (Jussi Vatanen) gets blotto way too often — you’d expect the sparks to fly like it would in an American rom-com. Doesn’t happen. Kaurismäki seeks something deeper than that, and does so without ever forcing Holappa and grocery store clerk Ansa (Alma Pöysti), who eats alone at night while listening to depressing radio reports about the war in Ukraine, to instantaneously embrace happiness or even each other. “Fallen Leaves” is about wounded, downtrodden people finding a glint, a glimmer of something that might awaken their souls. And in a season of bloated running times, Kaurismäki’s tonally perfect feature runs a compact 81 minutes and makes every second count. Details: 4 stars; opens Nov. 24 at the Smith Rafael.

“Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain”: There’s an undeniable goofy, shaggy-dog charm to producer Judd Apatow’s original comedy. But the adult “Goonies”-like shenanigans grow tiresome as this “Saturday Night Live” sketch gets stretched till it snaps near the two-thirds point. That happens when a “cult” gets involved. Till then this formless exercise about three arrested development buddies — played with spirit by Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy — scurrying to get rich and find the so-called treasure. Conan O’Brien pops in as Ben’s obnoxious dad, but the scene stealers besides a bird of prey, are Meg Statler and X Mayo as two park rangers who want in on the action. There are some laugh-out-loud moments you won’t be able to resist, but it just gets sloppy in the end. Details: 2½ stars, now streaming on Peacock)

Contact Randy Myers at soitsrandy@gmail.com.

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