Movies

Movie Stars

Movie capsules: Short reviews of what’s in theaters

Previously released

Amour A simple yet devastatingly profound story of an elderly French couple (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva) during the long, squalid months of the wife’s decline. Writer-director Michael Haneke (“Caché”) observes his subject with an unadorned style that takes on aspects of the holy. The movie avoids melodrama; instead, it’s just extraordinarily intimate. In French, with subtitles. (127 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

Escape From Planet Earth This 3-D animated feature casts Rob Corddry as extraterrestrial tech nerd Gary Supernova, a safety-minded worrier who mans the mission control board for the spacefaring exploits of his hotshot brother, Buzz Light- um, Scorch (Brendan Fraser). When Scorch is captured on our world, Gary has to head out into the field to save him. Colorful as the aliens-among-us comedy is to look at, Corddry is handed a role that’s beige as can be. (89 min., PG) (Tom Russo)

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½ John Dies at the End A loopy slacker horror farce that wants to play with your head — and time, and space, and paranoid conspiracy theories — so badly that it doesn’t care about making sense. Which doesn’t stop it from being a pretty good bad time, preferably when seen after midnight. Directed by Don Coscarelli from David Wong’s cult novel. (99 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. With Suraj Sharma and Irrfan Khan. (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. (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. With a never-haler Robert De Niro as Cooper’s gambler dad. (122 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 torture scenes make viewers confront their own response. (157 min., R) (Ty Burr)

An archive of reviews is at www.boston.com/movies.
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