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Movies

MOVIE STARS

Movie capsules: Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise in a scene from “Oblivion.”

Universal Pictures via AP

Olga Kurylenko and Tom Cruise in a scene from “Oblivion.”

Previously released

½ 42 Writer-director Brian Helgeland’s ambitious biopic about Jackie Robinson is well-acted, handsomely made, and as shallow as a kid’s True Heroes picture book. As Robinson, newcomer Chadwick Boseman hits the script’s slow floaters and Harrison Ford is an enjoyable cartoon as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. It’s slick Hollywood pageantry, crowd-pleasing but hollow. (128 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Blancanieves Spanish director Pablo Berger applies the silent treatment of “The Artist” to the trend of modernized fairy tales such as “Mirror, Mirror” in this adaptation of “Snow White.” Here she’s an amnesiac bullfighter in a troupe of dwarf toreadors in 1920s Spain. Though it features a photogenic Macarena Garcia, in the title role, and a wicked Maribel Verdú, as the stepmother, Berger’s silent doesn’t have much to say. (104 min., PG-13) (Peter Keough)

½ The Company You Keep An improvement over director-star Robert Redford’s recent movies: A dramatic thriller about aging ’60s radicals that goes relatively easy on the moral lectures and gets back to storytelling. The pleasurably deep cast includes Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, and Richard Jenkins. (125 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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½ A Fierce Green Fire Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell offers an overview of more than five decades of environmental activism. Inspired by Philip Shabecoff’s book of the same name, the documentary keeps things loose and lively. It focuses on the birth of the environmental movement, toxic dumping at Love Canal, the emergence of “accidental” activists, the quest for alternative energy, and climate change. (101 min., unrated) (Loren King)

½ From Up on Poppy Hill The new animated drama from Japan’s Studio Ghibli is a lesser project, not surprising since the legendary Hayao Miyazaki only co-wrote the script while his son Goro directed. It’s a gentle fable about a young girl’s coming of age in 1962 Tokyo, fine but not a patch on “Spirited Away.” Sarah Bolger and Anton Yelchin lead the English-language voice cast. (91 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

Girl Rising This documentary offers nine real-life vignettes and many statistics about the ill treatment of girls in the developing world. It’s so well-intentioned you want to give it a hug. The price of good intentions is that it looks and feels like an extended public-service announcement. The vocal talent is rather astounding: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson (the one male voice). (104 min., PG-13) (Mark Feeney)

The Lords of Salem Rob Zombie injects his brand of trippy horror with some dark local color in a portrait of vengeful occult torment. Salem radio DJ Sheri Moon Zombie, the director’s wife, falls under the satanic influence of modern-day witches. There are echoes of “Rosemary’s Baby, ” and the movie grows visually and tonally crazier. There comes a point where inaccessibility breaks even the most potent genre spell. (101 min., R) (Tom Russo)

½ Oblivion It’s 2077, and Earth’s in tough shape. Tom Cruise patrols the devastation, fighting Scavengers, led by Morgan Freeman. Andrea Riseborough is his communications officer/lover. When Olga Kurylenko’s NASA ship crash lands, things get complicated. Like its star, the movie is clean, cold, efficient, increasingly overblown, and not a little inexplicable. (126 min., PG-13) (Mark Feeney)

The Place Beyond the Pines Director Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to 2010’s “Blue Valentine” is an ambitious triptych about men and sin and forgiveness, but it gradually caves in to over-plotting and pretensions. Ryan Gosling makes the first third into something very special and Bradley Cooper does what he can with the midsection. (140 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ Room 237 Rodney Ascher’s deadpan documentary is a consideration of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and what it means to a handful of people who have watched it a lot. A lecture on the Holocaust? A confession that Kubrick faked the moon landings? The film laughs people’s nonsense while marveling at the certainty of their faith. (102 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

To the Wonder The first Terrence Malick movie that’s a thoroughgoing misfire — a meditation on love and lost paradise that starts with breathtaking assurance and slowly crumbles into self-parody. Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko play lovers who flit back and forth from Europe to America, from rapture to disenchantment, and from interest to tedium. With Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams. (112 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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