Movie Stars

May 26, 2010

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New releases

759: Boy Scouts of Harlem A documentary following Troop 759 from 125th Street (or thereabouts) to a camp in rural New York state, where the expected activities are performed. The movie has no thematic crux. It’s happy to look, but not terribly interested in thinking beyond what it’s shown. As a collection of snapshots, “759’’ takes on a kind of promotional air. It feels like a commission from the Boy Scouts of America. (70 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

Casino Jack and the United States of Money Alex Gibney (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room’’) may be one of the most entertaining polemicists out there, but the immense Jack Abramoff scandal almost defeats him. The movie gets it right one tentacle at a time, but the larger picture of a D.C. culture of naked greed takes longer to coalesce. (118 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Daddy Longlegs In this alternately engaging and maddening character study, Ronald Bronstein’s Lenny looks like an elongated Ben Stiller and acts like no one’s idea of a dad. Ben and Joshua Safdie, the young writer-directors, are like anti-Coens. Their debut feature is all jangly looseness. There’s also real emotion in it. Just look at the frequently anxious faces of Lenny’s two boys (Sage and Frey Ranaldo). (99 min., unrated) (Mark Feeney)

Looking for Eric A change of pace for the fierce British social realist Ken Loach (“The Wind That Shakes the Barley’’): a shaggy-dog comedy with a dollop of magic realism. Steve Evets plays a Manchester loser whose life turns around when he starts talking to his poster of football great Eric Cantona and it starts talking back. Featuring Cantona as himself. (117 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

The Lost Skeleton Returns Again/ Dark and Stormy Night Writer-director Larry Blamire follows up his retro spoof “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra’’ with a jungle-adventure sequel, and also delivers a throwback to mystery-manor pictures of the ’30s. The films are at their best when sticking with dry-witted foolish interplay and deadpan stares rather than exaggerated winks and nudges. (“Skeleton,’’ 92 min.; “Stormy,’’ 93 min.; unrated) (Tom Russo)

OSS 117: Lost in Rio It’s 1968, and OSS 117 (Jean Dujardin) is France’s top secret agent. Less annoying than Austin Powers, he’s even dumber than Maxwell Smart. This sequel to a 2008 French spy spoof is dopey, but not entirely stupid. Dujardin’s unflappable jerk seems like distant kin to Nicolas Sarkozy. In French, with subtitles. (99 min., unrated) (Mark Feeney)

Princess Kaiulani The story of the elegant young Hawaiian royal who campaigned against her country’s annexation by the United States in the 1890s. Under Marc Forby’s direction, it’s a banal waxworks parade that wastes a raw but compelling performance by Q’orianka Kilcher (“The New World’’). She deserves better and so do we. With Barry Pepper. (98 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

Shrek Forever After The fourth and supposedly final installment of the series brings back all your favorites for another round of medieval adventure filled with twisted pop-culture references. Even in 3-D, the franchise is as tired as its slime-green star (Mike Myers), who ditches fatherhood to regain his ogre mojo for a day. If this really is the final chapter, may the witty Shrek we once loved finally rest in peace. (95 min., PG) (Janice Page)

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