Movie Stars

Irma Brown, W.J. Solha, and Gustavo Jahn in Kleber Mendonça Filho’s “Neighboring Sounds.”
Cinema Guild
Irma Brown, W.J. Solha, and Gustavo Jahn in Kleber Mendonça Filho’s “Neighboring Sounds.”

New releases

½ The Comedy Rick Alverson continues the movies’ long tradition of funny fat guys, except that his putative star, Tim Heidecker, is merely fattish and funny only to himself. Heidecker plays a rich 35-year-old whose boredom leaves him only leisure-class provocation. The movie, which is set mostly in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a critique of white-guy privilege, of hipsterism, of how men conduct themselves in comedies. It’s apt and smart. But it’s small. (94 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

½ Deadfall An A-list cast fights a B-movie script and goes down hard. Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde play armed incestuous siblings on the run in wintry northern Michigan; Charlie Hunnam is a young boxer who comes between them. With Kris Kristofferson and Sissy Spacek, both looking embarrassed. Not quite awful enough to be fun. (95 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ My Worst Nightmare

Isabelle Huppert plays an icy museum director who falls in love with the Belgian sleaze bag — played by Benoit Poelvoorde — who’s done repair work on her palatial Paris apartment. A movie like this needs almost no further explanation since, as movie-comedy love goes, this is old-testament ancient. But the movie has more writing than you’d get in an American version of similar material. In French, with subtitles. (99 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

Neighboring Sounds


A slice-of-life drama set in a high-rise neighborhood in Recife, Brazil, this observant, eerie film unfolds like a casual nightmare in the light of day. Writer-director Kleber Mendonça Filho graduates from short films as a talent to watch; somewhere, Luis Bunuel is smiling. With Gustavo Jahn and Maeve Jinkings. In Portuguese, with subtitles. (131 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

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½ Playing for Keeps A lousy, mis-prioritized romantic comedy with Gerard Butler as a washed-up Scottish sports star who drives mothers crazy when he begins coaching his son’s soccer team. All he wants is another shot at his ex (Jessica Biel), who’s not nearly as lively as Judy Greer, Uma Thurman, or Catherine Zeta-Jones, who play the lusty moms. (95 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)

Previously released

Flight A so-so movie with Denzel Washington as a commercial-airline pilot in hot water after he crash-lands a plane while drunk, high, hung over, and horny. The movie doesn’t do much that you couldn’t anticipate just by seeing the trailer. But you know what’s still worth $15 plus the cost of a baby sitter, popcorn, and parking? Two hours with Washington at the height of his everything. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. (138 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

½ Killing Them Softly

A bleakly comic, brutally Darwinian gangland saga that at times comes close to being this year’s “Drive.” Writer-director Andrew Dominik jettisons novelist George V. Higgins’s Boston settings for a generic urban wasteland during the 2008 economic collapse. Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, and James Gandolfini stand out in a cast full of mean, mouthy, small-time thugs. (97 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Life of Pi  Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s best-selling novel is a marvel of contradictions: a movie about the magnificence of nature that’s largely computer-made, a two-character epic, a 3-D extravaganza that takes place inside a 20-foot lifeboat. The movie shouldn’t work at all, but it does. Keep kids under 10 at home, though. (127 min., PG) (Ty Burr)


½ Lincoln In the weeks following his reelection, Abraham Lincoln (a remarkable Daniel Day-Lewis) fights to get the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery passed. A terrifically entertaining film that, against all odds, makes politics exciting again. Steven Spielberg is in top form, Tony Kushner’s script is full of crackling talk, and there are scene-stealing turns from Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, and James Spader. (149 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ Silver Linings Playbook  Bradley Cooper finally gets a role that gives his oily charm some vulnerability. He plays a mental patient living in Philadelphia with his parents, hung up on his estranged wife and spending time with an equally unstable woman (Jennifer Lawrence). The movie whizzes and stings. Its director is David O. Russell, who’s become Hollywood’s most instinctive maker of ensemble dramatic comedies. (122 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

½ The Waiting Room

Peter Nicks’s observant but warm documentary spends 24 hours in Highland Hospital, which serves Oakland’s Alameda County. It’s a public-service facility and, according to a nurse, a place of last resort. What’s captured is a great deal of stress and worry and wincing — and that’s just on the faces of the staff. Nicks isn’t lobbying. He’s storytelling. The aggregation of those stories is its own editorial. (82 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)