Battle of the Year
PG-13, 1 Hr., 49 Mins.
This break-dancing underdog flick is maudlin and hopelessly clichéd — although we didn’t mind seeing Chris Brown get punched in the face. D+ —Keith Staskiewicz
PG-13, 1 Hr., 32 Mins.
James Gandolfini gives a teddy bear performance in this beautifully bittersweet romantic comedy about two single parents who find love. A- —Chris Nashawaty
PG-13, 1 Hr., 30 Mins.
A small-town cook (Catherine Frot) becomes the personal chef for the president of France (Jean D’Ormesson) in a pleasant dramedy inspired by a true story. There’s no character development to speak of, just sumptuous shots of French cuisine. (Truffles! Foie gras! More truffles!) Which is to say, don’t expect to laugh or cry, but be prepared to drool. B —Adam Markovitz
Inequality for All
PG, 1 Hr., 25 Mins.
Robert Reich, a secretary of labor under President Clinton, leads us through a sharp-eyed essay-meditation on the rising trend of income inequality. The nation’s top 400 earners now take in as much as the bottom 150 million, and Reich makes an ardent case that this glaring disparity — unseen since 1928 — is sweeping away the ”moral foundation stone” of America. B+ —Owen Gleiberman
Insidious: Chapter 2
PG-13, 1 Hr., 45 Mins.
A lazy (and not terribly scary) rehash of every other possession movie you’ve seen. Watch The Conjuring again instead. C- —Chris Nashawaty
Metallica Through the Never
R, 1 Hr., 32 Mins.
Metallica, those thrash virtuosos of doom, get the grand 3-D opera they deserve: a godless-apocalypse-meets-Vegas spectacle, full of fireballs and electric chairs. With its hell-bent rhythmic changeups, the music channels a dark freedom, and James Hetfield is still the boyish biker-jock; he teases the crowd into a feeding frenzy of raw metal power. The hybrid concert/fiction film didn’t need its ”plot,” with Dane DeHaan as a roadie on a suicide mission. Hetfield and snarly drummer Lars Ulrich are storybook characters enough. A- —Owen Gleiberman
Mother of George
R, 1 Hr., 46 Mins.
This moody-minimalist drama syncs you up to the wounded heart of Adenike (The Walking Dead‘s Danai Gurira), a Nigerian immigrant in Brooklyn. She’s married to Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé), but the two can’t conceive a child. So Adenike begins to push herself toward an unseemly solution. Gurira acts with fire and pride and, at times, a despair bordering on instability. B+ —Owen Gleiberman
PG, 1 Hr., 51 Mins.
How did a ramshackle studio in an ”undescript little town” in Alabama produce some of the most indelible rock and soul music of the 20th century? A-list alums including Aretha Franklin, Mick Jagger, and Bono gamely attempt to answer that in this charming, reverently shot ramble. But mostly, they (and the unsung engineers and session players who made the place tick) just tell great stories. (Also available on VOD) A- —Leah Greenblatt
R, 2 Hrs., 23 Mins.
When the daughter of Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) goes missing, he tries to torture a suspect into confessing. A —Owen Gleiberman
R, 2 Hrs., 3 Mins.
During its white-knuckle racing scenes, Ron Howard’s Formula One drama is tense and thrilling. Off the track, it hits a few potholes. B —Chris Nashawaty
Shepard & Dark
Not Rated, 1 Hr., 32 Mins.
Treva Wurmfeld’s intimate documentary traces the 50-year friendship between prickly playwright Sam Shepard and his sunny, weed-toking buddy and pen pal, Johnny Dark. As the two men pore over decades’ worth of letters, photographs, and home movies, both good times and bad bubble back up to the surface, giving the film an unguarded honesty. B+ —Chris Nashawaty
Short Term 12
R, 1 Hr., 36 Mins.
A drama of astonishing emotional purity that has the novel setting of a group foster home. A —Owen Gleiberman
Thanks for Sharing
R, 1 Hr., 52 Mins.
Mark Ruffalo plays a recovering sex addict in a movie that can’t decide if it’s a serious drama or a raunchy comedy. C —Chris Nashawaty