Sarah's Key is, for the most part, an exercise in reserve. We never see Hitler, never enter battle. Paquet-Brenner (Pretty Things, Walled In), rightly tells his Holocaust story as it now lives: through survivors and descendants.
Fright is way too quick on its feet to be slowed by clichés. David Tennant seizes McDowall's role as Peter Vincent, now a Criss Angel-style clown vampire slayer. Christopher Mintz-Plasse was born to play a high school nerd.
There are plenty of strong performances, and LaBeouf does a nice job of becoming the tough-skinned pragmatist. Mulligan is as earnest as ever, and Susan Sarandon and, particularly, Frank Langella make strong cameos.