There must have been some debate over going with Code Name: Harriet as the title for this bizarre biopic about the anti-slavery icon – right down to the snappy spy theme that plays over Harriet Tubman meeting the costumed elites of the Underground Railroad. Harriet actually packs its running time with all kinds of weird stabs at making a modern crowd pleaser about the woman who helped rescue multiple slaves from Maryland in the 1850s. The film starts respectably enough as a quality production, and makes fine use of gospel hymns as a secret code amidst the slaves of the Brodess plantation. Once our heroine escapes her oppressors, however, the movie lurches into a wildly entertaining saga. That includes a surprisingly blatant Disney homage, plus a weird twist where the script embraces Harriet as a legitimate Joan of Arc figure who leads slaves to freedom through visions from God. (Tubman’s assessed with “possible brain damage” after explaining that illiteracy keeps her closer to heavenly voices.) Harriet suddenly veers into great filmmaking with serious emotional impact, including Janelle Monáe briefly stealing the film in her role as a freeborn activist. The disturbing scenes would make for a great climax, but that’s only at the 90-minute mark of a two-hour film – leaving room for some Django Unchained action, plus a blatantly sentimental ending for an inspired production that never becomes pandering.