Boy Erased (R)
Boy Erased plays out as something like reportage. It documents with an incisive drabness the group sessions, garbled sermons and general shoddiness of Love in Action, the program that 19-year-old Jared (Lucas Hedges) gets enrolled in by his parents, played by Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe. Director Edgerton resists the impulse toward satire. Instead, he holds to Jared's perceptions, showing us how a thoughtful young man slowly learns that the adults in charge of his life know less about the world than he does. The dramatic through line is Jared's growing certainty that the only real sin he sees is Love in Action itself. There's not much for him to do in many scenes, though, other than to observe and look increasingly uncertain. When Jared finally erupts, Hedges nimbly navigates the character's hurt, fear and burgeoning pride -- his relief at having at last found his voice.