Movie Stars

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.’’ Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.’’ (Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment)
July 1, 2010

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New releases
The Girlfriends (Le Amiche) Poised between his realist roots and the chic anomie of his ’60s heyday, Michelangelo Antonioni filmed this story of five well-off female friends in Turin in 1955. It’s adapted from a Cesare Pavese novella, but Antonioni’s direction is so assured the movie feels effortlessly cinematic. In Italian, with subtitles. (99 min, unrated) (Mark Feeney)

Love Ranch Have you been waiting for Helen Mirren to run the best little whorehouse in Reno? Have you been waiting for her to do so with a pile of blond hair, married to Joe Pesci, but desperately in love with an Argentine boxer — all in a movie directed by Dame Helen’s husband, Taylor Hackford? Well, you’re likely to have “Love Ranch’’ all to yourself. (117 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

Picasso and Braque Go to the Movies Arne Glimcher’s documentary lasts slightly more than an hour, and what a chaotic hour it is. The movie wants to argue the profound ways in which the cubist paintings of Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso were influenced by the arrival of motion pictures at the dawn of the 20th century. The film asserts much but fails to completely persuade. As a dissertation, it would have a terrible time defending itself. (65 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse The longest, oddest courtship in the history of the movies continues. She (Kristen Stewart) wants him. He (Robert Pattinson) wants to wait. This is the third movie in the series, and it mitigates its parable for sex, abstinence, and moral choices with hot vampires and overheated werewolves. Metaphors and parallels are squared almost evenly — bloodsuckers vs. their lupine adversaries, lust vs. chastity, talking vs. action. These movies are interesting without ever being good. (124 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)

Women Without Men As the country reels through political crisis, four women in 1953 Iran seek asylum from the cruelties of men in a mystical orchard. The feature directing debut of noted photographer and feminist Shirin Neshat mixes history and dream-logic, anger and hope, in striking fashion. In Persian, with subtitles. (95 min., unrated) (Ty Burr)

Previously released
8: The Mormon Proposition This documentary about how the Mormon Church bankrolled and masterminded passage of the 2008 California ballot initiative banning gay marriage is so one-sided that, after a while, you hardly care the side it’s on is the right one. Don’t expect the Salt Lake City booking to be held over by popular demand. (78 min., R) (Mark Feeney)

Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky Yes, it sounds more like a file in a card catalog. Nonetheless, the movie, directed by Jan Kounen, has moments of sustained rapture. It’s sexy and handsome and often dreamy. The unconventional French fashion designer (Anna Mouglalis) invites the humorless Russian composer (Mads Mikkelsen) to stay at her stately chateau. He writes. She designs. Then, things being what they are — conjecture, mostly — they start making love all over her house. In French and Russian, with English subtitles. (118 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

Cyrus Sad sack John C. Reilly falls in love with single mom Marisa Tomei but has to contend with her creepy stay-at-home son (Jonah Hill). Mark and Jay Duplass (“The Puffy Chair’’) bring their low-fi improv approach to the fringes of the big time, but the film’s drolly amusing when it could have been shockingly funny. (92 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Grown Ups It doesn’t try very hard for its laughs. Adam Sandler asked some of his funny friends — Chris Rock, Kevin James, David Spade, and Rob Schneider — to hang out with him for the time necessary to shoot this movie about childhood friends (and former preteen basketball champions) reunited for a weekend of family-friendly nonsense at a lake house. The women — Salma Hayek, Maya Rudolph, Maria Bello, and Joyce Van Patten — are more naturally funny in this movie than the men. (102 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work Whether you love Rivers or loathe the very thought of her, this is one of the smarter, more unexpectedly touching documentaries of the year. Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg approach their subject as a survivor rather than a well-rounded human being — a scarred show business shark helpless to do anything except move forward. (84 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Jonah Hex As a renegade Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter, Josh Brolin scowls through this mangled action western based on the DC comic book. It’s unclear how long this movie was meant to be. But at this length, it’s charred, bullet-riddled mulch. You can see the longer movie twitching around inside the shorter one. Even then, time refuses to fly. With Megan Fox and John Malkovich. (81 min., R) (Wesley Morris)

The Karate Kid A remake that works surprisingly well on the crowd-pleasing terms of the 1984 original. The location has changed to China and the movie’s all the better for it. Jaden Smith (Will’s son) is charmingly naturalistic in the lead; Jackie Chan plays it straight (mostly) as his mentor. They should’ve called it “The Kung Fu Kid,’’ though. (132 min., PG) (Ty Burr)

Knight and Day Super-spy Tom Cruise takes average gal Cameron Diaz for a frenetic action-adventure ride. High-octane summer piffle: stylish, funny, and brainless without being too obnoxious about it, and a newly liberated Cruise is its manic animating principle. Costarring Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Dano, and the city of Boston — at least, until the movie throws us over for Europe. (109 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

Ondine A fairy tale for grown-ups who need one, it’s one of director Neil Jordan’s gentlest movies, and one of actor Colin Farrell’s, too. He plays a small-town fisherman, the village clown, who pulls up a beauty in his net (Polish actress Alicja Bachleda) who may or may not be a selkie, one of the seal-women of Irish legend. (111 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)

Solitary Man A sweetly sour human comedy about an aging New York rascal convinced against all evidence that he still has what it takes. The role’s a field day for Michael Douglas; the mad gleam in his eye is as much the actor’s as the character’s. The rich cast includes Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer, and Mary-Louise Parker. (90 min., R) (Ty Burr)

Toy Story 3 In which Woody (Tom Hanks) and company ricochet from a day-care nightmare to the edge of hell and back. No, really. After an hour or so of going through the motions, this 3-D threequel rouses itself, rung by rung of visual invention, until it can stand close to the level of Pixar’s best. (103 min., G) (Ty Burr)

Videocracy Erik Gandini’s documentary makes spooky comedy of Italy’s addiction to celebrity. The lust for fame is no different in Italy than in other countries, except that the preference for a lack of talent and taste seems mandated by a head of state, prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. In Italian, with English subtitles. (81 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

Wah Do Dem A tedious exercise in indulgent obliviousness about an American hipster stranded in Jamaica with actual Jamaicans. Poor him. Poor them. Poor us. (76 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)

Winter’s Bone An Ozarks teenager (Jennifer Lawrence) sets out to find her jailbird dad before the county takes away her home. The desperate mountain milieu feels so real that you only slowly realize you’re watching a detective movie, as if Humphrey Bogart had been recast as a 17-year-old girl and dropped into the poorest corner of America. Directed by Debra Granik. (100 min., R) (Ty Burr)

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