Writer-director Bill Condon won positive reviews for Gods and Monsters (1998), his gay-themed drama about film director James Whale. In contrast to that rigidly conceived movie, this biopic of pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) might be described as thoughtfully inconclusive. Apart from some unexaggerated notations about American puritanism in the 1940s and ’50s, it’s more a work of exploration than a thesis, and Condon mainly avoids sensationalism. The period detail is better than in most Hollywood movies, and the secondary cast (Laura Linney, Chris O’Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliver Platt, and Dylan Baker) isn’t bad. R, 118 min. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Pipers Alley, River East 21, Wilmette.

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