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Movie stars: new releases

★★ ½Chico & Rita A likable but awfully clichéd star-crossed romance set along the post-WWII Havana-New York jazz axis, this Spanish-made film - a 2012 Oscar nominee for animation - features terrific music, passable artwork, and characters who stubbornly refuse to become more than sketches. In Spanish, with subtitles. (94 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

★★★ In Darkness The true story of Polish Jews who lived for 14 months, until the end of the WWII, in the sewers beneath the city of Lvov. It’s an astonishing tale, but Agnieszka Holland’s film (recently nominated for a foreign language Oscar) boxes it up a little too slickly. In Yiddish, Polish, and German, with subtitles. (145 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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★★★Kill List A scuzzy little cross between a crime movie and a horror freak-out that gets under your skin and stays there. Two slovenly British hit men (Neil Maskell and Michael Smiley) take a job that leads to domestic strife and apocalyptic doom. Co-writer/director Ben Wheatley has made a Nicolas Roeg movie on the cheap, but it’s not for the squeamish. (95 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

★★★ The Lorax This animated film’s deviations from Dr. Seuss’s 1971 book don’t stray terribly far from its spirit. A boy hears the tale of a cursed industrialist who implores him to plant the world’s final tree. It’s for a girl, but it’s still heroic. Despite some schmaltz and pandering, this is still a nifty feat whose activism comes mostly from its excellent musical numbers. With the voices of Zach Efron and Taylor Swift. (94 min., PG) (Wesley Morris)

★★ Project X A Pasadena blowout turns into a horny, druggy apocalyptic scene culminating in riot police, news choppers, and a gentleman with a flamethrower. The mayhem echoes footage of the Arab Spring and the 1990s upheaval in South Los Angeles. Here, you see similar destruction and anarchy used to bestow eternal popularity upon one boy (Thomas Mann) and think, “What a waste.’’ (88 min., PG) (Wesley Morris)

★★ ½Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie Unlikable protagonists Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim skip town to make back a billion dollars they owe to a movie mogul. Their stupid plan: resurrecting a dead mall. Filled with uncredited A-list performances (Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis), this gross-out comedy is either a bold, thinly veiled critique of our current economic mess or simply a celebration of bad taste. Either way, at times it can be shockingly and terribly hilarious. (94 min., R) (Ethan Gilsdorf)

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