Movie stars: Short reviews of recent movies

From left: Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan in “One Direction: This Is Us.”
Christie Goodwin/TriStar Pictures  
From left: Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan in “One Direction: This Is Us.”

New releases

Austenland A rich comic notion — a lovelorn “Pride and Prejudice” fanatic (Keri Russell) visits a Jane Austen theme park — gets a depressingly cartoonish treatment from first-time director Jerusha Hess. Any spoof has to be at least as smart as the thing it’s spoofing, but this one’s twice as dumb. With Jennifer Coolidge, so cringe-inducing you laugh in shame. (97 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

Closed Circuit London has a reputation as a city where surveillance technology is especially pervasive. So you hear this political thriller’s title, and you instantly start to imagine the creepy possibilities — none of which are explored by this familiar bureaucratic conspiracy exercise. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are lawyers and ex-lovers pulled into an unsurprising mystery as they defend a Muslim immigrant accused in a marketplace bombing. (96 min., R) (Tom Russo)

Getaway Ethan Hawke plays a washed-up race car driver who discovers his wife has been kidnapped, then gets a call from a mystery strings-puller ordering him to steal a Ford Shelby and get moving. Selena Gomez is the car’s peeved owner, who ends up along for the ride. It’s hard to remember another action entry that expends so much energy on frenetic blacktop choreography with so little to show for it. (90 min., PG-13) (Tom Russo)


The Grandmaster Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai’s evocative biopic of legendary kung fu master Ip Man makes up for what it lacks in the conventional narrative with its poetic imagery and emotional depth. A treat for martial arts fans and for those enamored of Wong’s lush imagery, existentially damaged characters, and abiding mood of ennui and sorrow. In Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese, with subtitles. (108 min., PG-13) (Peter Keough)

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I Declare War Adolescents playing a souped-up game of Capture the Flag slip in and out of imaginary and real conflict as their personal foibles and preoccupations get the better of them. But the characters don’t come across as real kids, and the premise sags into contrivance and clichés. (94 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

½ The Lifeguard Kristen Bell plays a woman who panics as the big 3-0 approaches, moves back to her hometown, and winds up in an affair with a 16-year-old boy (David Lambert, who’s 20 and looks it). In writer-director Liz W. Garcia’s hands, it’s a drama both ickily exploitive and emotionally lugubrious. With Mamie Gummer. (98 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ One Direction: This Is Us The big-screen concert documentary seems likely to please this boy-band’s fans but doesn’t bother trying to win over anyone else. The members come off as charming, likable goof-offs, but there’s little differentiating them beyond their hairstyles. (92 min., PG) (Marc Hirsh)

½ Short Term 12 A quietly overwhelming drama set in a residential facility for troubled teenagers, Destin Cretton’s film emphasizes low-key moments of humanity. Brie Larson stars as a staffer with issues of her own; Cretton has padded her backstory out from his superior 2008 short version, but this is still a tough, lovely film. (96 min., R) (Ty Burr)


Thérèse In Bordeaux in the 1920s the discontented wife of a wealthy bourgeois commits an act that might not be in her best interests in Claude Miller’s beautifully shot but listless and unfocused adaptation of François Mauriac’s novel. Audrey Tautou, miscast in the lead, gives an affectless performance punctuated by cigarettes. In French, with subtitles. (110 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

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