Movie Stars

Movie capsules: Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Robert Downey Jr. returns as the hero in “Iron Man 3.”
Walt Disney Pictures
Robert Downey Jr. returns as the hero in “Iron Man 3.”

New releases

½ Iron Man 3 The weakest in the series, it suffers from confused plotting, flat-footed exposition, and more pure, noisy nonsense than even a comic-book movie should have to put up with. Yet whenever Robert Downey Jr. cuts through the claptrap, it’s still the most subversive Marvel franchise around. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, and Ben Kingsley. In 3-D. (130 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

Previously released

The Angels’ Share Socially conscious British auteur Ken Loach divides his time between familiar hardscrabble territory and a breezier narrative landscape in a hybrid charming enough to satisfy even the trenchant-commentary crowd. Reforming hooligan Paul Brannigan leads a group of Glasgow have-nots who make an unlikely bid for “have” status by plotting a Scotch whiskey distillery heist. (101 min., unrated) (Tom Russo)

Arthur Newman Weary of his drab life with its nowhere job, failed marriage, boring girlfriend, and estranged teenage son, a middle-aged sad-sack fakes his death, changes his identity, and hits the road, hooking up with a hot chick with secrets of her own. Dante Ariola’s debut feature demonstrates that a new name does not necessarily mean new ideas. (101 min., R) (Peter Keough)


The Big Wedding Quaint and crass get together — or would that be “bump uglies”? — with awkward, thoroughly flat results in a tonally clueless ensemble comedy. Long-divorced Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton decide to pretend they’re still married to facilitate their son’s wedding ceremony, an idea that doesn’t sit well with De Niro’s current mate, Susan Sarandon. With Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, and Robin Williams. (90 min., R) (Tom Russo)

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Hava Nagila (The Movie) This short but lively documentary examines the “kitschy and profound” song’s cultural and historical origins. Director Roberta Grossman and writer Sophie Sartain approach their subject in a style that also balances the kitschy and the profound as they trace the historical roots of the music to the shtetls of the Ukraine, then to Palestine, and finally to the US, where it was popularized by entertainers such as Harry Belafonte and Connie Francis. Through this one song, the documentary manages to offer an enlightening study of cultural assimilation. (73 min., unrated) (Loren King)

½ Mud Matthew McConaughey gratifyingly continues to explore his wayward mid-career path in this haunting but over-ambitious and overlong drama from talented writer-director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter”). The star plays a mysterious fugitive who changes the lives of two young boys (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, both excellent) in rural Arkansas. Sam Shepard and Reese Witherspoon costar. (130 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ My Brother the Devil Sally El Hosaini’s London set, gangstas-in-the-hood family melodrama about two Arab brothers at odds with society and each other subverts some stereotypes about Islam and has moments of authentic realism but falls victim to uninspired, conventional filmmaking. What might have been an outstanding example of the genre settles for earnest uplift. (111 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

Pain & Gain Three dimwitted bodybuilders (Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie) believe kidnapping, extortion, and murder will help them live the American dream. A tone-deaf, intensely unpleasant true-crime comedy that plays like “Fargo” for idiots, the movie’s final proof that Michael Bay is a director of great mechanical skill and no discernible talent. (120 min., R) (Ty Burr)

An archive of reviews is at