Tommy Lee Jones directed and co-stars with Samuel L. Jackson in “The Sunset Limited,” an HBO movie based on the play by Cormac McCarthy (“The Road,” “No Country for Old Men”). Jones is a professor who struggles with despair so deep that he tries to commit suicide by jumping in front of the train in the movie’s title. Jackson is the janitor, a man of profound and committed faith, who rescues him and brings him back to his apartment for a conversation about God, purpose, meaning, and what we can know about life.
This is a rare production that is willing to engage on issues of faith. Whether you think of it as a literal conversation between two men or as a metaphor of a Jacob-like character wrestling with an angel, it is a moving experience — and a chance to see two of our greatest actors at their best.