Brother, can you spare a part? “Chop Shop,” Ramin Bahrani’s second New York-set feature, after the impressive, observant “Man Push Cart” (2005), has a whiff of “The Bicycle Thieves” but also of dark-oiled brimstone in the story of a Alejandro (Alejandro Polanco), a 12-year-old boy who beds down in a huge junkyard in the Willet’s Point industrial neighborhood on the outskirts of Queens and gets work in hopes of improving the life of himself and his 16-year-old sister. Alejandro hustles and shills and learns a trade. Touching, lovingly detailed and often moving despite brutal conditions, “Chop Shop” rises above the convenience that the children are accepted in the midst of the thriving squalor. Still, Bahrani’s glimpse of the lowest rungs of American capital makes for a chilling parable. It’s at least twelve billion times better than any movie called “Bear Stearns” could ever be. Bahrani’s semi-documentary style is a quietly thrilling exploration of the limits of vérité. And the final shot? Yes. 84m. (Ray Pride)
“Chop Shop” opens Friday at the Music Box.