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New movie reviews: Critics' picks

Hiroshima Mon Amour

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

Among the many masterpieces of the French New Wave, Alain Resnais’s 1959 memory drama is easily the most passionate: a cross-cultural romance tinged by shame and regret.

Birdman

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

A washed-up Hollywood celebrity (Michael Keaton, bravely playing off his own iconography) seeks redemption in a backstage Broadway drama that takes glorious flight.

Listen Up Philip

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

The effortlessly self-absorbed Jason Schwartzman portrays a young literary lion, full of himself and close to insufferable in Alex Ross Perry’s smart spin on man-of-letters ambition.

Dear White People

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

On the campus of a prestigious university, African-American students are tested by racial buffoonery: Justin Simien’s feature is actually a vicious comedy—a winning one.

Stations of the Elevated

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Get thyself to Kings County, preferably by subway so as to feel the full impact of this lovely ode to the city’s graffiti-strewn past, here evoked with a minimum of plot or chat.

Whiplash

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Pounding out a fierce beat of personal obsession, Damien Chazelle’s jazz psychodrama is unmissable for Miles Teller’s whirling turn—and J.K. Simmons’s teacher from hell.

The Overnighters

  • Rated as: 4/5

A charitable North Dakota pastor tries to do the right thing in a town overrun by homeless job seekers in this impassioned documentary, blessed with timely subject matter.

Gone Girl

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

Transformed into the kind of wickedly confident Hollywood thriller you pray to see once in a decade, David Fincher's latest emerges as the stealthiest comedy since American Psycho.

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New movie releases

The Best of Me

  • Rated as: 3/5

The latest three-hanky slushfest from the pen of The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks is everything you feared.

Fury

  • Rated as: 3/5

Brad Pitt pulls along this gutsy, old-fashioned WWII epic by the sheer force of his charisma.

Camp X-Ray

  • Rated as: 2/5

Kristen Stewart leads with her chin—and she’s not just jutting it out in her glum-girl pose.

Rudderless

  • Rated as: 1/5

The woebegone directorial debut of actor William H. Macy goes very wrong very quickly.

Diplomacy

  • Rated as: 3/5

Volker Schlöndorff’s well-acted though fairly bland thriller fictionalizes a showdown over a Nazi plot to blow up Paris.

The Judge

  • Rated as: 3/5

The sort of film that shouts where it could whisper and stomps where it could tiptoe—and not always disagreeably.

St. Vincent

  • Rated as: 3/5

The most lovable curmudgeon in movies gets a valedictory lap in a crowdpleasing yet dangerously sentimental dramedy.

Kill the Messenger

  • Rated as: 3/5

Jeremy Renner is magnificent as a political journalist reduced from cock of the walk to besieged paranoiac.

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