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MOVIE STARS

Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Evan Rachel Wood and Justin Long in ”A Case of You.”

IFC Films

Evan Rachel Wood and Justin Long in ”A Case of You.”

New releases

½ The Best Man Holiday Nearly 15 years after his entertaining directorial debut, “The Best Man” (1999), writer-director Malcolm D. Lee reunites his nine fractious, inseparable, and very funny college chums for a holiday celebration. The characters have come a long way professionally and romantically, and they still deliver Lee’s sharp dialogue with pizzazz. Unfortunately, the fun fizzles long before the ending, which is prolonged, trite, and absurd. (122 min., R) (Peter Keough)

½ The Broken Circle Breakdown This Belgian tearjerker about husband and wife performers in a bluegrass band who must endure a potentially tragic crisis scores musically but falls flat as drama. The clichés and sentimentality are all the more egregious when compared to the emotional honesty and simplicity of the songs. Chopping the narrative into a chronological hodgepodge doesn’t make the film any less manipulative. In Flemish, with subtitles. (111 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

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A Case of You A mopey Brooklyn writer (Justin Long) falls for a free spirit (Evan Rachel Wood), stalks her on Facebook, and gives himself a makeover based on her posts. It’s a “Like” story, in other words, and cringe-y in the extreme. A few well-known faces (Vince Vaughn, Sam Rockwell) can’t keep this charmless rom-com from tanking. (89 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology Sophie Fiennes’s follow-up to 2006’s “The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema” once again allows Slovenian cultural critic Slavoj Zizek to playfully deconstruct movies and other media imagery from within. Imagine an affable and only slightly mad professor/entertainer provoking you to think way outside the box. (136 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

Previously released

12 Years a Slave It isn’t the story of an American tragedy. It’s the story of the American tragedy — this country’s original sin. The true saga of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free-born black man kidnapped from New York state in 1841 and sold into slavery in Louisiana, the movie’s to slavery what “Schindler’s List” was to the Holocaust: a mass-appeal reckoning. Directed by Steve McQueen (“Shame”). (133 min., R) (Ty Burr)

All Is Lost Two hours of Robert Redford on a boat in the Indian Ocean, and the boat’s sinking — what sounds like a recipe for boredom is, in the hands of its star and writer-director J.C. Chandor, a nearly perfect thing: An economic, elegant Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook that ever so subtly backs into Zen. See it on a big screen, please. (106 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Captain Phillips An extraordinarily gripping movie based on events that took place on the container ship Maersk Alabama in April 2009. Director Paul Greengrass creates an aura of urgency so powerful that we temporarily forget what we know and hold our breaths for two-plus hours of tightening suspense. Tom Hanks and the magnetic Barkhad Abdi star. In English and Somali, with subtitles. (134 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

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