Five pics that could surprise buyers at Sundance

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"Animal Kingdom"
Director: David Michod
(World dramatic competition)
A gritty revenge tale set in the Melbourne underworld, "Kingdom" could be the well-executed crime drama that acquisitions execs often are unable to find at Sundance.

"Four Lions"
Director: Chris Morris
(World dramatic competition)
A Sacha Baron Cohen-esque comedy about terrorism? British comedian Morris dares tell the story of four jihadists whose deadly plans devolve into farce. If it works, look for a progressive-minded distributor like Magnolia to take notice.

"Lucky"
Director: Jeffrey Blitz
(U.S. documentary competition)
Every year there are a handful of docs that tap the zeitgeist. This look at what happens when ordinary people win the lottery could echo Americans' ambivalent relationship with money amid a grueling recession. And Blitz ("Spellbound") won the dramatic directing award in 2007 for "Rocket Science."

"Space Tourists"
Director: Christian Frei
(World documentary competition)
Swiss-born Frei hitches a ride with Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist, who dropped $20 million to train with the Russian space program before booking passage to the International Space Station. With Virgin Galactic still a few years away, this may be the closest moviegoers can get to deciding whether or not they have the right stuff.

"Tucker & Dale vs. Evil"
Director: Eli Craig
(Midnight screening)
A horror send-up about two country bumpkins headed to the familiar cabin in the woods,
"Evil" could lure a genre buyer looking for the next "Scream." But the no-name cast might limit appeal.

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