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Critics’ picks: Jake Gyllenhaal impresses in ‘Enemy’

1 Enemy: If you were impressed with Jake Gyllenhaal as the creep of the year in Nightcrawlers, then go back and check out this overlooked little thriller — in which he plays a guy who stumbles across his doppelganger — that was released earlier this year with little fanfare. It’s a dark, twisted tale that shows Gyllenhaal to be one of the era’s most underrated actors. On DVD.

— Cary Darling

2 D’Angelo, Black Messiah: Popping up after a 15-year hiatus, R&B iconoclast D’Angelo surprise-released his third studio album on iTunes last week. It’s a powerful piece of work, finely wrought and politically charged in the tradition of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On or Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come. Many a music critic probably fumed that their top 10 lists for 2014 were now irretrievably incorrect — Black Messiah is one of the year’s most intense records, in any genre.

— Preston Jones

3 The Trip to Italy on Blu-ray: One of the year’s most delightful (and little-seen) films, this re-teaming of stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon with director Michael Winterbottom walks a tightrope between charming and shattering, finding a way to weave riotous improvisation into a narrative about growing older and finding satisfaction in life. Here’s hoping the creative team sees fit to keep making new installments in perpetuity. The Trip to Italy, out Tuesday on Blu-ray, is sumptuously filmed, impeccably acted and the disc includes the film’s trailer and deleted scenes.

— Preston Jones

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