Our top picks for Sundance's Next Weekend fest:
Talk about sympathy for the devil. Alexandre Moors' biopic of 17-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo (Tequan Richmond), the teenage Beltway sniper who helped his “dad” kill 10 people in three weeks, shows how the minor fell under the mental sway of mastermind John Allen Muhammad (a placid yet terrifying Isaiah Washington). We know how their story ends: Muhammad was executed and Malvo sentenced to six consecutive life sentences. But it's how their story started that proves most fascinating — it's a complex tangle of abandonment, anger and, astonishingly, love. Aug. 10, 10 p.m., Sundance Sunset; Aug. 11, 7 p.m., Cinefamily.
12 O'Clock Boys
Who are the baddest dudes in Baltimore? The 12 O'Clock Boys, a hundred-person-strong squadron of dirt bike racers who love to choke up the streets and cause a ruckus. Picture The Fast and the Furious on two wheels — or really, one, as kids like 13-year-old Pug prefer to ride their bikes reared up like a bronco. This documentary looks at an underground scene that's starting to spread across the East Coast. Do the Baltimore police like it? Of course not, but they're legally forbidden to give chase lest they endanger the public. Frightening the pack with helicopters, however, is fair game. Aug. 10, 4:30 p.m., Sundance Sunset; Aug. 11, 7:30 p.m., MOCA.
Inside the classroom, high school teacher Diana (Lindsay Burdge) is in control. Outside, she's under the sway of her student Eric (Will Brittain), who goads her into an affair that could ruin both of their lives — but probably will just end up ruining hers. Obsessive and seriously squirm-inducing, it's a detailed dissection of a love story that would have been safer if love (or at least an infatuation that feels awful close to it) weren't involved. Diana is a criminal, but Eric is the real villain: a callow, swaggering stud who seduces her as a self-dare. The resulting film is guaranteed to give Nancy Grace the vapors. Aug. 9, 9:45 p.m., and Aug. 11, 7 p.m., Sundance Sunset. —Amy Nicholson
See also: *A Sundance Festival in L.A.