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Movie Stars

Movie Stars

Barbra Streisand stars in “The Guilt Trip.”

Sam Emerson/Paramount Pictures

Barbra Streisand stars in “The Guilt Trip.”

New releases

½ The Guilt Trip Barbra Streisand as a noodgy mom and Seth Rogen as a stressed out son in a tiny car driving across America. It’s silly, predictable, and surprisingly sweet — the sort of thing you can and probably should take your own mother to. The stars are believable as parent and child, but who’s the father, Fozzie Bear? (95 min.,
PG-13) (Ty Burr)

Previously released

½ Anna Karenina  Joe Wright’s adaptation of the Tolstoy classic staggers under the weight of a dazzling, hermetically sealed visual style that fails to connect with our emotions; the entire movie seems to take place in a snow globe. The cast, led by Keira Knightley, is good, although Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Vronsky may be too much the boy-toy. With Jude Law. (130 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ The Central Park Five

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A scrupulous, singeing documentary by Ken Burns, daughter Sarah, and her husband, David McMahon, that reconstructs the notorious series of events that occurred in spring 1989 after a young white investment banker was beaten and raped while running in Central Park. The film focuses on the five teenagers — four black, one Hispanic — who were rounded up, sentenced, and convicted after falsely confessing to the crime. (119 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

½ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Title notwithstanding, almost exactly as expected. More Middle-earth — the first third of Tolkien’s prequel story to “The Lord of the Rings” — Peter Jackson’s film has lots of sound and fury and not enough narrative momentum. Ian Mc-Kellan’s Gandalf and (joy) Andy Serkis’s Gollum return. The 48 fps digital version in theaters looks like high-end video. With Martin Freeman. In 3-D. (169 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Killing Them Softly A bleakly comic, brutally Darwinian gangland saga that at times comes close to being this year’s “Drive.” Writer-director Andrew Dominik jettisons novelist George V. Higgins’s Boston settings for a generic urban wasteland during the 2008 economic collapse. Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, and James Gandolfini stand out. (97 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Life of Pi Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel is a marvel of contradictions: a movie about the magnificence of nature that’s largely computer-made, a two-character epic, a 3-D extravaganza that takes place inside a 20-foot lifeboat. The movie shouldn’t work at all, but it does. Keep kids under 10 at home, though. With Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan. (127 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

½ Lincoln In the weeks following his reelection, Abraham Lincoln (a remarkable Daniel Day-Lewis) fights to get the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery passed. A terrifically entertaining film that, against all odds, makes politics exciting again. Steven Spielberg is in top form, Tony Kushner’s script is full of crackling talk (and lots of it), and there are scene-stealing turns from Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, and James Spader. (149 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Silver Linings Playbook Bradley Cooper finally gets a role that gives his oily charm some vulnerability. He plays a mental patient living in Philadelphia with his parents, hung up on his estranged wife and spending time with an equally unstable woman (Jennifer Lawrence). The movie whizzes and stings. Its director is David O. Russell, who’s become Hollywood’s most instinctive maker of ensemble dramatic comedies. With a never-haler Robert De Niro as Cooper’s gambler dad. (122 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

An archive of reviews is at www.boston.com/movies.
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