You can now read 10 articles a month for free. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Movie Stars

Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Previously released

Blended Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are back together, this time as melancholy single parents whose families bond on an African vacation. Barrymore plays harried for a chunk of the story, reminding us that she’s a mom in real life now, and that it’s been a while since “The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates.” But the movie could use a lot more of her familiar infectiousness. It’s the glue that holds together Sandler’s earnest moments and his penchant for scattershot tomfoolery. (117 min., PG-13) (Tom Russo)

½ Chinese Puzzle Cédric Klapisch’s third film featuring everyman Xavier Rousseau is the weakest of the bunch. Here Xavier leaves his literary success in Paris to move to New York to be with his kids, who are in the custody of his ex-wife. Crazy stuff happens, proving once again that life is complicated, but also simple. In English and French, with subtitles. (117 min., R) (Peter Keough)

Continue reading below

½ Cold in July Michael C. Hall plays a small-town everyman pulled into some very bad doings with Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Stylish, over-plotted, entertaining, and more than a little confused, it plays like a throwback to ’80s crime thrillers with a little western DNA. Directed by Jim Mickle from a novel by the maverick East Texas writer Joe R. Lansdale. (106 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

½ The Dance of Reality
Of all the visionary filmmakers, Alejandro Jodorowsky might rank as the most antic and bizarre. And so he remains in this memoir of his childhood — the 85-year-old’s first feature in 23 years. But it is touching as well as disturbing, as he introduces a meditative tone to accompany the assaultive imagery. (130 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

½ Maleficent Angelina Jolie gives us a deeper, live-action look at Disney’s demon-horned “Sleeping Beauty” villainess. She’s joined in the effort by rookie director Robert Stromberg, the production designer on “Oz the Great and Powerful.” They’re determined to shed some light on this wicked fairy’s dark ways, but they ultimately lose their handle on delivering revisionism that fits. And while this is Jolie’s show — and she’s terrifically arch — the dearth of other compelling characters is surprising. (97 min., PG) (Tom Russo)

Million Dollar Arm A down-on-his-luck sports agent (Jon Hamm) tries to turn two Indian athletes (Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal) into pro baseball players. Your kids will probably like it a lot — and that’s all that really matters — but formulaic writing and overlength make for an uninspired inspirational tale. In English and Hindi, with subtitles. (124 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

½ A Million Ways to Die in the West A million ways to die — and about four jokes that work. Director, co-writer, and star Seth MacFarlane tries and fails to be the Bob Hope and/or Mel Brooks of his generation with a flabbily made western spoof that coasts on genre clichés and close-ups of sheep penises. With Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson. (116 min., R) (Ty Burr)

X-Men: Days of Future Past Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is sent back to 1973 to stop a coming apocalypse. The seventh X-Men movie upholds the series’ high batting average. With James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart, and others. (131 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

For movie coverage, go to www.bostonglobe.com/movies.
Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week