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Movies

Movie Stars

Movie Stars

Igor Zaripov and Erica Linz star in “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D.”

Mark Fellman/Paramount Pictures

Igor Zaripov and Erica Linz star in “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D.”

New releases

Barbara An exiled East Berlin physician (Nina Hoss) has just arrived in a provincial hamlet on the Baltic Sea, where she quietly plots her escape to West Berlin while seeing patients and avoiding the advances of a brawny doctor (Ronald Zehrfeld), who’s been conscripted by the Stasi to pass along intelligence on her. The movie’s quiet power comes from its air of meticulously maintained suspicion. In German, with subtitles. (105 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)

½ Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D This moderately enjoyable film makes good use of 3-D technology but lacks the awe-inspiring visual and aural aplomb of Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil’s live shows. The story, told without dialogue, concerns a gamine who follows a handsome aerialist into another universe where the audience is treated to a compilation of acts from Cirque’s Las Vegas shows, including “O,” “Kà,” “Mystere,” “Zumanity,” and “The Beatles’ Love.” (91 min., PG) (Loren King)

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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)

Jack Reacher The former supersoldier of Lee Child’s novels is now Tom Cruise, and his mission in this maiden outing involves clearing the name of a man accused of killing five people. The deaths are terrible, but the stakes are so low. Cruise works hard, as usual. But he is so desperate to save us from atrocity and mediocrity that he has forgotten to save himself. (131 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)

Rust and Bone From Jacques Audiard (“A Prophet”), a twisted yet surprisingly ordinary love story about a kickboxing single dad (Matthias Schoenaerts) and a killer whale trainer (Marion Cotillard) whose legs get bitten off. Cotillard’s fearsome intensity and the glowing Antibes vibe make it worth seeing. In French, with subtitles. (120 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ This Is 40 A “sort-of sequel” to 2007’s “Knocked Up” that focuses on that film’s supporting characters, Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), as they grapple with a stalled marriage. Judd Apatow has made a contradiction in terms — a personal Hollywood comedy — that has good coarse laughs without ever coming to a point. (134 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Previously released

½ The Central Park Five A scrupulous, singeing documentary by Ken Burns, his daughter Sarah, and her husband, David McMahon, that reconstructs the notorious series of events that occurred in the spring of 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)

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding If you simply can’t wait for the third season of “Downton Abbey” to begin, and you need to experience English people all clenched up on the day of two people’s nuptials, try Julia Strachey’s novel about a bride-to-be (Felicity Jones) and her cold feet. This movie adaptation has a lot of nattering but little tension, wit, or heat. With the usually wonderful Elizabeth McGovern, so-so as the brides’s mother. (92 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

Flight A so-so movie with Denzel Washington as a commercial-airline pilot in hot water after he crash-lands a plane while drunk, high, hung over, and horny. The movie doesn’t do much that you couldn’t anticipate just by seeing the trailer. But you know what’s still worth $15 plus the cost of a baby sitter, popcorn, and parking? Two hours with Washington at the height of his everything. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. (138 min., R) (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 McKellan’s Gandalf and (joy) Andy Serkis’s Gollum return. The 48 fps digital version in theaters looks like high-end video. In 3-D. (169 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Hyde Park on Hudson A work of historical embroidery about Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s possible affair with his sixth cousin, Margaret Suckley, this paints the 32d president as both a creepy sexual predator and a heck of a guy. It’s as tone deaf as movies get. Bill Murray is quite good, but Laura Linney gives a defeated performance in an impossible role. (94 min., R) (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 in a cast full of mean, mouthy, small-time thugs. (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 The Sessions It sounds like a bad joke: A man in an iron lung hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity. But the achievement of this simple, intensely moving drama (based on a true story) is the clarity with which it portrays a good soul in an inert body. John Hawkes and Helen Hunt give rich, unshowy performances as the leads. (95 min., R) (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. With a never-haler Robert De Niro as Cooper’s dad. (122 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 There’s a lot of standing around in this movie. In this series there’s always a lot of standing and waiting and sitting and hoping — for vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson) to kiss human Bella (Kristen Stewart), for him to make transformative love to her. But this fifth and mercifully final installment features so much idle anticipation, it’s unclear whether we’re watching a movie or an Apple product launch. (116 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)

Find an archive of reviews at www.boston.com/movies.

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