Movie •••½ Picture/Sound •••• Extras ••••
Tsotsi may hail from South Africa, but its straightforward crime-and-redemption story - which helped win it the 2005 Oscar for Best Foreign Film - is as traditional (and enjoyable) as anything from the heyday of the Hollywood studio system. Images are remarkably crisp, both in the wide-open spaces and in the poverty-filled Johannesburg shantytown locations. Colors are nicely saturated without compromising the muted color palette. The immersive multichannel mix helps bring the streets to life, and the contemporary African music is rich and vibrant. Generous extras include two alternate endings that will inspire debate, a wonderfully detailed commentary by writer/director Gavin Hood, an on-set featurette, and a music video. Best of all is a dialogue-free short film, closely related to Tsotsi, that further demonstrates Hood's obvious talent and the sheer power of the visual medium. [R] Tsotsi-Taal, Dolby Digital 5.1; letterboxed (2.35:1) and anamorphic widescreen; dual layer.

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