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Movie capsules: Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Foreground (from left): Samuel Joslin, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast, Ewan McGregor, and Naomi Watts in “The Impossible.”

Jose Haro/Summit Entertainment and Telecinco

Foreground (from left): Samuel Joslin, Tom Holland, Oaklee Pendergast, Ewan McGregor, and Naomi Watts in “The Impossible.”

New releases

½ Bestiaire In this documentary, the fine Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté views animals at a Quebec safari attraction, their holding facilities, their human caretakers, and the paying visitors with a watchfulness that’s always exquisitely framed even as a knowing cruelty accompanies that beauty. But Côté applies his hand too heavily. The very act of spending an entire movie behind the scenes at a zoo is indictment enough. (72 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

Hitler’s Children In this documentary from Israeli director Chanoch Ze’evi, we hear from Hermann Goering’s great-niece, Heinrich Himmler’s great-niece, the grandson of the commandant of Auschwitz, and other descendants of Nazi war criminals. They discuss the legacy of family guilt they feel. The subject is powerful and arresting. The film is talky and slack. (83 min., unrated) (Mark Feeney)

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The Impossible A grueling, well-crafted true-life drama that takes one of the worst natural disasters in history — the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami — and reduces it to a really bad day at Club Med. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are excellent as vacationing Europeans in Thailand, as is Tom Holland as their eldest son. (114 min., PG-13)
(Ty Burr)

½ Texas Chainsaw 3D For $16 you can watch a movie care only that it got your money. For about $3, you can rent the 1974 original that spawned it. (95 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

Zero Dark Thirty Kathryn Bigelow’s brilliantly crafted ground-level procedural unfolds over a nine-year-period, from the early days of the war in Afghanistan to the midnight assault on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Jessica Chastain plays a CIA agent obsessed with the search; the early torture scenes intentionally make viewers confront their own response. (157 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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