Beast ★★★★

It's a Cinderella story if the princess felt love and life by grinding the glass slipper under her heel, and Jessie Buckley's breakout performance as Moll carries both the delicacy and ominous portent of a music box figurine knocked askew, decelerated and into a minor key. Yes, the psychological thriller aspects concern whether someone is a murderer, but it's pitched at less prurient aspects than it is the betrayal that someone capable of infusing so much life into your joyless existence could also so easily rob another of it. (Johnny Flynn's makeup, in which he boasts a scar that resembles an eye jammed back into place like an errant, ill-fitting puzzle piece, is just perfect.) On the fringe, too, the yoke of power in retribution and retaliation pulls in seemingly harmless men around Moll and shakes loose something monstrous. Twisty and transfixing, "Beast" shows no hesitation to walk out on a limb and at least brandish the saw even if it never finishes the cut.