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Movie Stars

Short reviews of what’s in theaters

New releases

The Monuments Men A sadly misfired World War II drama about a ragtag team of curators in uniform searching for Nazi troves of stolen art. It’s a great story (and mostly true), but director-writer-star George Clooney can’t decide whether he’s making a caper comedy, a patriotic drama, or a historical adventure. With Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray.
(118 min., PG-13) (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. (133 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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American Hustle The title is perfect for this exuberant con job of a movie: a sloppy, miscast, hammed up, overlong, overloud story that still sends you out of the theater on a bouncy little cloud of rapture. Director David O. Russell and stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence address the 1980s Abscam scandal, sort of. (138 min., R) (Ty Burr)

August: Osage County
A black comedy of prairie family dysfunction, stolidly adapted from Tracy Letts’s 2007 play. At its center, in one of her most flamboyant yet gimmicky performances, is Meryl Streep as cancerous, poisonous matriarch Viola Weston. A fine guilty pleasure rather than a great movie, with a cast that includes Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, and (thankfully) Chris Cooper. (121 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ Gloria From Chile, a multilayered, quietly charming portrait of a middle-aged divorcee, played with weary delight by Pauline Garcia. Director Sebastian Lelio celebrates the daily work it takes to keep dignity and humor intact when the day gets late and the men still act like babies. In Spanish, with subtitles. (110 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ Labor Day A somber-unto-silly star-crossed romance that casts Kate Winslet as a depressive single mother, Gattlin Griffith as her protective young son, and Josh Brolin as the manly escaped prisoner who takes them hostage and falls in love. Directed, inexplicably, by Jason Reitman (“Juno”), who tries to reverse-engineer a Nicholas Sparks movie and puts the pieces back together all wrong. (111 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Ride Along  Motor-mouthed Kevin Hart plays a security guard and combat-video-game obsessive with imminent plans to marry his live-in girlfriend, and big dreams of becoming a real policeman. Neither idea sits well with his prospective brother-in-law (Ice Cube), a truculent detective who offers him a dubious chance to prove his manhood by riding shotgun with him for a day. Hart’s yammering might not ignite every movie he does, but it sure gives this one a boost. (100 min., PG-13) (Tom Russo)

That Awkward Moment Awkward doesn’t begin to describe this hapless effort to combine a “Hangover”-like buddy movie with a trite romantic comedy. Three pals swear off relationships when one of them is estranged from his wife. Wouldn’t you know that’s when they bump into women who can’t resist guys who are conceited jerks? The result combines the worst of two bankrupt genres. (94 min., R) (Peter Keough)

An archive of reviews is at www.boston.com/movies.

An archive of reviews is at www.boston.com/movies.
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