★★★½ The LEGO Movie A witty, exuberant series of comic riffs on creativity, made with a mixture of CGI and stop-motion animation and using 3-D to invite us into its brightly knubbled world. It’s the first great movie of 2014 — really. Voice talent includes Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman, and Shaquille O’Neal as a tiny plastic Shaquille O’Neal. (100 min., PG) (Ty Burr)
★★ The Monuments Men A sadly misfired World War II drama about a ragtag team of curators in uniform searching for Nazi troves of stolen art. It’s a great story (and mostly true), but director-writer-star George Clooney can’t decide whether he’s making a caper comedy, a patriotic drama, or a historical adventure. With Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray. (118 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)
★Vampire Academy Someday they’ll find the right books to spark a new “Harry Potter” or “Twilight” franchise, but this take on Richelle Mead’s series will go the way of “City of Bones,” trying too hard to pack all the back story and borrowings into one film. At the title institution, Rose protects her friend, Lissa, a good vampire, from the forces of evil. But there’s no escaping the incoherent plot and dumb dialogue. (104 min., PG-13) (Peter Keough)Find an archive of movie reviews at www.boston.com/movies.