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    Movie stars: Capsule reviews

    New Releases

    ½ American Reunion For anyone wondering where actors like Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, and Tara Reid have been, this third “American Pie” sequel is like lifting a rock and discovering they’ve just been pretty much waiting for this. Most of what’s here is thanks to Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge, and especially Seann William Scott, who can still find fresh lunacy in the Steve Stifler character. (113 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

    ½ Jiro Dreams of Sushi This documentary about Jiro Ono, Tokyo sushi chef generally acknowledged as the finest on the planet, touches on both the mysteries of gastronomic art and the human flaws that can come from the daily striving for perfection. It’s a foodie’s delight, best seen on a full stomach. In Japanese, with subtitles. (81 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

    Losing Control How cute is the science here? Well, the heroine (Miranda Kent) manages to fall into a vat of liquid before she goes to a party. This is the sort of affair in which a salad spinner is used as a centrifuge. Like the heroine, the writer and director Valerie Weiss has a PhD from Harvard. That doesn’t stop her from making a generic romantic comedy. (91 min., R) (Wesley Morris)


    The Pruitt-Igoe Myth A documentary about the massive St. Louis housing project whose demolition, in 1972, just 20 years after residents moved in, made it a byword for urban-planning failure. The myth, presumably, is that the project’s failure was inevitable. Given a postwar America without racism, suburbanization, and inadequate funding for public housing that’s surely true. But such a movie would be fantasy, not documentary. (83 min., unrated) (Mark Feeney)

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    Thin Ice A “Fargo” retread that doesn’t go very far. Greg Kinnear plays a sleazy insurance salesman trying to con a valuable violin from a Wisconsin farmer (Alan Arkin?). It’s fitfully amusing until Billy Crudup sinks it with an aggressively broad performance as Kinnear’s psychotic partner in crime. (93 min., R) (Ty Burr)

    Previously Released

    ½ 21 Jump Street We have lots of terminology for what happens when two male stars appear to have the platonic hots for each other. What Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have in this very funny, unusually perceptive action-comedy scrambles, transcends, and explodes all of that. They play nincompoop narcs undercover at a high school. The movie may not be consciously exploiting the evolution of male buddydom in Hollywood, but it has redrawn the boundaries. (106 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

    Intruders Two children from different countries — Spain and England – are both tormented by a faceless boogeyman that seems evoked by their scribblings. Their parents, including Clive Owen, are hapless to help them. Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (“Intacto”) does his best with a muddled premise that, while neatly wrapped up, is neither a satisfying exploration of the supernatural nor a thoughtful look at parental responsibility. In English and Spanish, with subtitles. (100 min., R) (Ethan Gilsdorf)

    The Kid With a Bike A young boy (Thomas Doret) is abandoned by his father. It sounds tragic in outline, and Belgium’s Dardenne brothers film it in their usual minimalist style, but this Cannes prizewinner is, remarkably, about hope — about the connections people forge when the ones they’ve been given desert them. With Cécile de France. In French, with English subtitles. (87 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

    The Lorax This animated film’s deviations from Dr. Seuss’s 1971 book don’t stray terribly far from its spirit. A boy hears the tale of a cursed industrialist who implores him to plant the world’s final tree. It’s for a girl, but it’s still heroic. Despite some schmaltz and pandering, this is still a nifty feat whose activism comes mostly from its excellent musical numbers. With the voices of Zach Efron and Taylor Swift. (94 min., PG) (Wesley Morris)

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