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Movies

MOVIE STARS

Movie Stars

Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard.”

Frank Masi, SMPSP

Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard.”

Previously released

½ A Good Day to Die Hard It took 25 years and five films, but the “Die Hard” series has finally devolved into joyless sludge. John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Moscow to rescue his son (Jai Courtney) and gets caught up in Kremlin mayhem. The movie has two problems: It’s terribly directed and it makes no sense. (97 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Jack the Giant Slayer In director Bryan Singer’s clever 3-D version of the folk tale, Nicholas Hoult is earnest, leather-hoodied Jack, who heads up the beanstalk with Ewan McGregor’s knight to rescue a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) imperiled by power-hungry Stanley Tucci — and giants, of course. Less is more might have improved the motion-capture creatures, but their initial reveal is fairly stunning, and the beanstalk is a show-stealing effects element. (114 min., PG-13) (Tom Russo)

½ John Dies at the End A loopy slacker horror farce that wants to play with your head — and time, and space, and conspiracy theories — so badly that it doesn’t care about making sense. Which doesn’t stop it from being a pretty good bad time, preferably when seen after midnight. (99 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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Let My People Go! A sendup of Jewish and gay culture and identity, which isn’t exactly novel. Nebbish French immigrant Reuben (Nicolas Maury) works as a mailman in Finland, where he lives in domestic bliss with his lover Teemu (Jarkko Niemi). A farcical misunderstanding sends Reuben back to Paris and his crazy, caricatured family. Despite some laughs, it’s so broad and predictable that it reaffirms more stereotypes than it upends. In French, with subtitles. (87 min., unrated) (Loren King)

Phantom Writer-director Todd Robinson generates some engrossing tension with a crazy-provocative premise, speculating that a vanished Soviet Cold War submarine was the test vessel for a cloaking device, and that the episode nearly triggered World War III. But the plot is dragged down by a script filled with awkward exposition and blunt audience cues. Ed Harris is the service-weary submarine commander in charge; David Duchovny is an enigmatic tagalong clearly up to something. (97 min., R) (Tom Russo)

½ A Place at the Table Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush’s documentary about hunger and related issues in America is earnest and worthy and scattered. It’s also surprisingly slick (among the activists interviewed is Jeff Bridges). The visuals are bright, the graphics cutesy, the folk score tinkly. It’s by T-Bone Burnett and The Civil Wars. (84 min., PG) (Mark Feeney)

½ Rubberneck Alex Karpovsky, best known as Ray in HBO’s “Girls,” co-writes, directs, and stars in a creepy little number about a shy Cambridge lab tech obsessed with a co-worker (Jaime Ray Newman). Half suspense drama and half brooding character study, the film has a low-budget feel and a strong dash of local flavor. (84 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

½ Snitch Dwayne Johnson plays a father who cooks up a plan to reduce his son’s imminent drug sentence by helping the feds make mitigating arrests. Nobody is going to confuse this with “Les Misérables,” but “Snitch” gets a decent amount of drama (and action, of course) out of the argument that there’s paying for a crime, and then there’s overpaying. With Susan Sarandon. (112 min., PG-13) (Tom Russo)

Stoker An uncredited psychosexual remake of Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt,” with Mia Wasikowska as a young woman whose charming, evil Uncle Charles (Matthew Goode) comes to visit. Korean cult director Park Chan-wook makes his Hollywood debut, and the movie’s stunningly shot and deeply creepy before the script Explains Everything. With Nicole Kidman. (98 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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

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