Movie stars

Movie capsules: Short reviews of what’s in theaters

A scene from "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga."
Music Box Films
A scene from "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga."

New releases

½ Beautiful Creatures A teenage boy (Alden Ehernreich) discovers his new girlfriend (Alice Englert) is a witch. Adapted from the first of four “Caster Chronicles” novels, but it may play better if you’re not a convert. As “Twilight” knock-offs go, this has its pleasures, mischievous banter and two happy hams named Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson among them. (124 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

½ A Good Day to Die Hard It took 25 years and five films, but the “Die Hard” series has finally devolved into joyless sludge. John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Moscow to rescue his son (Jai Courtney) and gets caught up in Kremlin mayhem. The movie has two problems: It’s terribly directed and it makes no sense. (97 min., R) (Ty Burr)

½ Happy People: A Year in the Taiga If Siberia didn’t exist, Werner Herzog would have had to invent it. Since it does exist, he directed this documentary with Dmitry Vasyukov. It focuses on several fur trappers. The title isn’t ironic. Herzog, who narrates, loves, and envies the trappers’ elemental existence and connection to nature. In English and Russian, with subtitles. (94 min., unrated) (Mark Feeney)


½ The Last Reef 3D: Cities Beneath the Sea Another nature doc where exotic creatures squiggle and swim in front of your face, daring you to grasp at them. But this film wants to do more than impress with its underwater photography and 3-D effects. It’s a cautionary tale about the fragility of the reefs and the risks posed by development and rising temperatures. The visuals are great, but the message needs more urgency. (40 min., unrated) (Loren King)

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½ Safe Haven Nicholas Sparks’s latest passably ambles along in generic-melodrama mode before finally insulting audience intelligence one time too many. Julianne Hough (“Rock of Ages”) plays a domestic-violence fugitive trying to start over in a sleepy coastal town, where she catches the eye of widowed dad Josh Duhamel. Some three-hankie stuff, but a back story kisses dramatic adequacy goodbye, and the movie heaps on a final flourish that’s stunningly ludicrous. (115 min., PG-13) (Tom Russo)

½ Tabu In modern-day Lisbon, a woman (Teresa Madruga) listens to a tale of an adulterous affair that takes place in colonial Mozambique and features Ana Moreira and Carloto Cotta as sexy but delusional lovers. Portugal’s Miguel Gomes has made a black-and-white fever dream whose undertow sucks you in as often as it strands you on shore. In Portuguese, with subtitles. (118 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

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