Short reviews of what’s in theaters

New release

Fatal Assistance After billions of aid and a massive relief effort, the world has mostly moved on from the 2010 Haitian earthquake that killed some 250,000 and devastated an already struggling country. But the Haitians still suffer, the promised recovery has not happened, and in this uneven documentary a Haitian filmmaker tries to explain why. Unfortunately his artistic ambitions muddle the film’s message. In French and Creole, with subtitles. (99 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

Previously released

½ 12 O’Clock Boys A short, scrappy, ambiguous documentary about the poorer sections of Baltimore and the young men who get their kicks riding dirt bikes through the streets en masse, popping wheelies and dodging the police. Director Lotfy Nathan’s focus on a wannabe rider named Pug grows problematic as the film goes on. (75 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

½ About Last Night What began as David Mamet’s lacerating 1974 play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and was bowdlerized into the edgy but mainstream Brat Pack semi-classic “About Last Night. . .” (1986) has now become wholly generic, despite the non-novelty of an African-American cast. Kevin Hart is bumptiously funny, but that’s about it. (100 min., R) (Ty Burr)


½ Endless Love Shana Feste’s strategy in this remake of the 1981 potboiler consists of sleek bliss montages backed with treacly pop music intermittently broken by melodrama. Working-class hunk David and rich and vapid Jade know they are meant for each other, and not even her dad’s snobby neuroses or David’s checkered past will stand in the way of the title illusion. (105 min., PG-13) (Peter Keough)

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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. (100 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

½ Like Father, Like Son The skilled sentimentalist Hirokazu Kore-eda puts in a pleasing, subpar effort in this tale of two families, one rich and joyless, the other poor and full of love, who discover that their 6-year-old sons were exchanged at birth. With subtlety Kore-eda reaffirms the truths that money can’t buy love and you should spend more time with your kids. In Japanese, with subtitles. (121 min., unrated) (Peter Keough)

The Monuments Men A misfired WWII drama about a ragtag team of curators in uniform searching for Nazi troves of stolen art. It’s a great story, but director-writer-star George Clooney can’t decide whether he’s making a caper comedy, patriotic drama, or historical adventure. (118 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

RoboCop Aside from a few tart observations about current trends in robo-warfare, this remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 sci-fi classic is business as usual: an acceptably muscle-bound B-movie whose few fresh twists and solid supporting cast are drowned out by dull action and flavorless lead Joel Kinnaman. (118 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)


Winter’s Tale Akiva Goldsman takes a meat tenderizer to Mark Helprin’s novel, hammering away until all that’s left is romantic-fantasy mush. Colin Farrell plays a heroic burglar in pre-WWI Manhattan, Jessica Brown Findlay is the rich girl he loves, and Russell Crowe is a demonic gang leader after Farrell’s soul. (118 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

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