Movie Stars

Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Aurélien Recoing (left) and Laurent Lucas star in “The Jewish Cardinal.’’
Aurélien Recoing (left) and Laurent Lucas star in “The Jewish Cardinal.’’

New releases

Belle A beautifully filmed exercise in set design, this period picture about a little-known historical anecdote doesn’t survive its tasteful trappings. Dull dialogue doesn’t help a potentially illuminating story about a biracial heiress in 18th-century England whose lineage allows her the privilege of class but doesn’t spare her the indignities of racism. (105 min., PG) (Peter Keough)

½ Beneath the Harvest Sky A heartfelt but overlong and portentous drama about a good kid (Callan McAuliffe) and his bad-boy best friend (Emory Cohen) involved in potato harvests and Oxycontin-running on the Maine-Canada border. Writer-directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly overreach, but there are good things here, including a Maine that’s the exact opposite of a tourist map. (116 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

Fed Up Though it covers much the same ground as other recent films about the abuses of the food industry, and employs the conventional devices of talking heads, charts, statistics, and individual case studies, this documentary puts together a cogent argument with a rousing spirit that justifies its title. (99 min., PG) (Peter Keough)


½ For No Good Reason A documentary about the artist Ralph Steadman, best known for his ’70s collaborations with Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Johnny Depp visits Steadman at his home in the English countryside. The interaction between actor and illustrator is charming. Steadman’s charming, too, which makes the contrast with the splattery ferocity of his art all the more striking. (89 min., R) (Mark Feeney)

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The Jewish Cardinal Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a close adviser to Pope John Paul II, was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism at age 14 in Nazi-occupied France. Though artistically unambitious, this biopic dramatizes the cardinal’s struggles to remain loyal to both his Catholic and Jewish identities while maneuvering through the inner politics of the papacy. In French, with subtitles. (90 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return A 3-D animated musical sequel to “The Wizard of Oz,” based on a book by “Oz” creator L. Frank Baum’s great-grandson, with songs by Bryan Adams. The enterprise looks and feels as shaky as it sounds. The animators struggle to take us anywhere truly captivating, or even clearly defined. With Lea Michele (“Glee”) as Dorothy, and Martin Short as Wicked Witch substitute the Jester. (88 min., PG) (Tom Russo)

½ Locke A drama about a guy in a car, told in real time. What sounds dead on arrival is magnificently taut in its suspense and nearly existential in its portrait of a good man alone in a moving metal box, improvising his way out of disaster. The great changeling actor Tom Hardy stars; Steven Knight writes and directs. (85 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Neighbors A crassly funny, not entirely irrelevant comedy about new parents (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) waging war with the fraternity next door. A watershed, sort of, in which a generation of Judd Apatow bad boys trembles on the verge of adulthood, looks back, and sees the soulless face of Zac Efron gaining on them. (96 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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