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Movie Stars

Recent movie reviews

Previously released

★ ★ ★ Best of Enemies It was pundits as pugilists when ABC had conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and liberal Gore Vidal debate each other during the 1968 political conventions. Above and beyond political differences, the two detested each other — and, boy, did it show. Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s documentary is, like its subjects, smart and lively. Unlike them, it’s also even-handed. (88 min., R) (Mark Feeney)

★ ★ ★ ½ Cop Car Sometimes all you need for a near-perfect movie is the title vehicle, a couple of adventurous kids, and Kevin Bacon. Set in an empty Colorado flatland, Jon Watts’s ingenious black-comic contraption of a story exalts both innocence and experience while embracing the hard world that defeats both. (86 min., R) (Peter Keough)


★ ★ ★ ½ The End of the Tour Jason Segel in a career-changing (and very good) performance as the late novelist David Foster Wallace, on a book-tour road trip with a Rolling Stone journalist played by Jesse Eisenberg. A talky, touching portrait of an artist obsessed with getting to the reality behind words. Wallace would probably have hated it, but you don’t have to. (106 min., R) (Ty Burr)

★ ★ ★ ★ Listen to Me Marlon
A spooky, moving meditation on Marlon Brando, told almost entirely in the late actor’s own words. Director Stevan Riley edits hours of audio recordings made by Brando over the course of his life together with films clips, news reports, archival footage. The result feels fresh, even revelatory — a work of elegiac bio-doc impressionism. (103 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

★ ★ ★ The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Surprise: The latest reboot of a boomer TV show is an effervescent throwback to retro-spy thrillers like the original Bond films. American Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Soviet Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) team up to foil stylish Nazi baddies. That Guy Ritchie’s movie is almost instantly forgettable is part of its pleasure. With Alicia Vikander. (116 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)


★ ★ ★ Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation The fifth “M:I” action extravaganza is a step down from 2011’s “Ghost Protocol,” but under writer-director Christopher McQuarrie’s guidance it unfolds with fluid old-school pleasure — you settle into it like a favorite chair. Star Tom Cruise remains the action principle in its purest onscreen form. With Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg. (130 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

★ ★ ★ ½ Ricki and the Flash
A lovely, messy human comedy from Jonathan Demme. Meryl Streep gets to indulge her hambone streak as a brassy rockergrrl called back to the family she abandoned long ago; Kevin Kline and Mamie Gummer (Streep’s daughter) underplay against the star beautifully. Think “Stella Dallas” remade by Jean Renoir. (102 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

★ ★ ★ ½ Shaun of the Sheep Aardman Studio’s stop-action animation draws on the classic elements of cinema — objects, motion, and sound. This fable about a restless sheep tired of the barnyard routine combines these basics into elaborate gags that provoke laughs even as it demonstrates the sad inevitability of becoming part of the flock. (84 min., PG) (Peter Keough)

★ ★ ½ Straight Outta Compton Many stories can be told about the ’80s rap group N.W.A., as each member is iconic in his own right. This is a mash-up of them all, and it ignores the politics in lieu of petty conflicts, hedonism, and schmaltz. Nonetheless the music prevails, its message even more provocative today. (147 min., R) (Peter Keough)


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