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Movie Stars: Capsule reviews

Vincent Rottiers and Christa Theret in “Renoir.”

Samuel Goldwyn Films

Vincent Rottiers and Christa Theret in “Renoir.”

New releases

Bert Stern: Original Madman Bert Stern recorded and defined pop culture and celebrity in the ’50s and ’60s with his photography, much of it compiled here. That alone would make Shannah Laumeister’s documentary a must-see, not to mention the details of the wild ups and downs of his life, told from the now octogenarian Stern’s recollections. Too bad Laumeister indulges in the least interesting part of his biography: his relationship with her. (89 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

In the House Voyeurism class is in session throughout this latest film from French provocateur Francois Ozon (“Swimming Pool”). Fabrice Luchini plays a persnickety high school writing instructor whose tedium is broken only by essays from a new student (Ernst Umhauer), an enigmatic kid fixated on an unremarkable classmate and his parents. The film’s willful lack of a payoff is almost as strange as one of those essays. In French, with subtitles. (105 min., R) (Tom Russo)

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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)

½ Kon-Tiki This Oscar-nominated Norwegian drama (in English) re-creates Thor Heyerdahl’s famous 1947 crossing of the Pacific — 4,300 miles in 101 days — on a balsa-wood raft. It’s rousing and epic and undercut by compromises onscreen and off. Twelve-year-old kids of all ages will love the shark attack, even if it never happened. With Pål Sverre Hagen. (101 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

No Place on Earth In this documentary Janet Tobias tries to tell two stories, one about an American spelunker who finds mysterious artifacts in a vast cave while investigating his family background in Ukraine, the other about those who left those items behind, Jews who survived the Nazi occupation by hiding underground. She fails to explore the connections between the two narratives, and so does justice to neither. (82 min., PG-13) (Peter Keough)

Renoir A leisurely-paced drama about the final years of Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet), bewitched by his last great model (Christa Theret) as his son, the future filmmaker Jean Renoir (Vincent Rottiers), returns from WWI. Dramatically trite but, as shot by cinematographer Mark Ping Bing Lee (“In the Mood for Love”), visually rapturous. In French, with subtitles (111 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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