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Movies: May 17, 2013

Some quick hits on movies to see this weekend

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PG-13, 2 HRS., 8 MINS.
An old-fashioned drama about how Jackie Robinson broke the color line in professional baseball. B+Owen Gleiberman

And Now a Word From Our Sponsor
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 27 MINS.
Bruce Greenwood plays an advertising CEO who goes off the rails and begins to speak in lines from TV commercials (”I’m only here for the beer!”). The movie is just a poor man’s Being There, with a didactic theme (TV is colonizing our brains!) that gets old fast. (Also available on VOD) C+Owen Gleiberman

Dead Man’s Burden
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 33 MINS.
Life on the frontier is haunted by death in Jared Moshé’s sepia-hued Western about greed and family secrets. A young couple (Clare Bowen and David Call) want to sell their land to a mining company until the wife’s brother (Barlow Jacobs) rides in with different ideas. It’s slow going, but the ending lands like a sucker punch. B-Chris Nashawaty

Generation Um…
R, 1 HR., 33 MINS.
A different sort of role for Keanu Reeves, but not a different performance. He summons his usual pensive blankness to play a depressive wastrel who skulks through New York’s East Village, then turns a camera on his party-girl paramours (Bojana Novakovic and Adelaide Clemens). They have confessions to make that aren’t half as deep or dark as the movie thinks. (Also available on VOD) C-Owen Gleiberman

Girl Rising
PG-13, 1 HR., 41 MINS.
The documentary every mother, sister, and daughter should see, as well as the men who love and support them. Girl Rising tells the story of nine girls in various parts of the world (the Egypt, Ethiopia, and India vignettes are especially moving) who overcome wretched obstacles through education. Among those lending their voices to the narration are Meryl Streep, Alicia Keys, and a regrettably chirpy Selena Gomez. AKaren Valby

Iron Man 3
PG-13, 2 HRS., 9 MINS.
An ominously exciting comic-book spectacular. Shane Black’s direction is fast and furious, and Robert Downey Jr. uses his nattering to express a fevered anxiety. A-Owen Gleiberman

Kiss of the Damned
R, 1 HR., 37 MINS.
This film from Xan Cassavetes (daughter of actor-director John) stars Joséphine de La Baume as a beautiful bloodsucker and Milo Ventimiglia as her recently vamped lover. The result is much more stylish and erotically charged than a certain other big-screen vampire romance but, horror fans should note, equally light in the fright department. (Also available on VOD) BClark Collis

Mud
PG-13, 2 HRS., 10 MINS.
Matthew McConaughey is charismatic as an Arkansas fugitive aided by two teenage boys in Jeff Nichols’ leisurely life-on-the-river story. B+Chris Nashawaty

Oblivion
PG-13, 2 HRS., 5 MINS.
Tom Cruise is essentially the last man on earth in this postapocalyptic mash-up of older, better sci-fi brainteasers. C+Chris Nashawaty

Pain & Gain
R, 2 HRS., 9 MINS.
Michael Bay lightens up with a true-crime comic caper about three gym rats hatching a lame-brain kidnap plot in sun-soaked ’90s Miami. BChris Nashawaty

Sightseers
NOT RATED, 1 HR., 29 MINS.
In British director Ben Wheatley’s (Down Terrace) darkly hilarious film, a couple’s romantic vacation in the north of England is interrupted by a series of gruesome murders. The twist? It’s the lovers who are the homicidal maniacs. Stars and screenwriters Alice Lowe and Steve Oram are convincing as the central psychos, and Wheatley depicts the U.K. countryside as both picturesque and lethal. (Available on VOD 5/13) B+Clark Collis

Venus and Serena
PG-13, 1 HR., 39 MINS.
Maiken Baird and Michelle Major deliver the rare full-access sports doc that doesn’t feel like a whitewash. Tennis superstar sisters Venus and Serena Williams open up about their Svengali father, their personal lives, and their fierce will to destroy their opponents, while A-list fans like Chris Rock and Bill Clinton try to unravel their mystique. They’ve never seemed so likable…or human. (Also available on VOD) A-Chris Nashawaty