★★½ Admission A pleasant comedy about the scramble to get into college. Tina Fey dials down the wackiness to play a Princeton admissions officer wooed by crunchy high school director Paul Rudd. Director Paul Wietz juggles plotlines and tries to keep us from noticing he’s made a movie that’s primarily about disappointment. (107 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)
★★½ The Croods Our notion of the modern Stone Age family gets tweaked in the latest bit of 3-D rock candy from DreamWorks Animation. It’s a prehistoric world that’s a lot like ours, with a cutely brutish cavegirl (Emma Stone) butting heads with her overprotective dad (Nicolas Cage). The movie entertainingly conveys what a struggle survival is at the dawn of man, but the finale misses its chance at something more resonant. (98 min., PG) (Tom Russo)
★★★ Ginger & Rosa The new movie by Sally Potter (“Orlando”) is a coming-of-age memory play set in a 1962 London of Ban the Bomb marches and parental betrayals. It’s made special by Elle Fanning, who gives a luminous performance in the lead. With Christina Hendricks, Alessandro Nivola, and Alice Englert. (90 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)
★★ Olympus Has Fallen Gerard Butler does “Die Hard” as a Secret Service agent left to rescue the president (Aaron Eckhart) from North Korean terrorists who’ve taken the White House. But this is no Bruce Willis smirkfest. We’re halfway through before director Antoine Fuqua starts giving Butler the occasional dark quip, and by that time it’s an insufficient weapon. Pop jingoism isn’t easy to stir once you’ve established an echoes-of-9/11 vibe that’s so deflating. (119 min., R) (Tom Russo)
★★★ On the Road A surprisingly effective adaptation of the Jack Kerouac classic. Brazil’s Walter Salles (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) directs with a solid eye for period and landscape, and he has a great Dean Moriarty in Garrett Hedlund. With Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst, and Kristen Stewart. (124 min., R) (Ty Burr)
★★ The Silence Writer-director Baran bo Odar fails to tap into the soul of Nordic noir with his adaptation of Jan Costin Wagner’s novel. He substitutes style and a convoluted narrative for atmosphere and angst in a story about a girl’s disappearance that stirs memories of a similar event that occurred years before. In German, with subtitles. (119 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)
★★★½ Spring Breakers Director Harmony Korine (“Gummo”) comes of age with this mesmerizing vision of teenage apocalypse. Former TV innocents Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Selena Gomez play college girls who rob a diner and head to St. Pete, where they hook up with a sleazy gangbanger (James Franco). The film’s an outrageous provocation, shocking and exhilarating and tender in equal measure. (94 min., R) (Ty Burr)Find an archive of reviews at www.boston.com/movies.