OPEN­ING THIS WEEK

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HARD TO BE A GOD Sci­en­tists from Earth travel to a sis­ter planet where rain, fog, mud, and war are con­stants, filth is as uni­ver­sal as air, teeth are bad, lit­er­acy is a crime, and life is cheap. The cam­era fol­lows, and some­times stands in for, Don Ru­mata (Leonid Yar­mol­nik), one of the vis­it­ing re­searchers, who is ac­cepted, more or less, as a god on this bleak planet. There’s lit­tle dis­cernible story as Don Ru­mata moves through the monochrome muck. The film ex­tends over nearly three hours, but the bril­liant black-and-white cin­e­matog­ra­phy by Vladimir Ilin and Yuri Kli­menko, along with the over­whelm­ing en­vi­ron­ment cre­ated by di­rec­tor Alek­sei Ger­man and his team, make this re­mark­able epic si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­pel­lent and hard to turn away from. It’s a film buff’s film, a cult-clas­sic-to-be. Not rated. 177 min­utes. In Rus­sian with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

IN­FIN­ITELY PO­LAR BEAR

Su­perb per­for­mances, from a cast led by Mark Ruf­falo and the ex­quis­ite Zoe Sal­dana as his wife Mag­gie, lift this un­usual fam­ily com­edy/drama. Ruf­falo is Cameron Stu­art, the scion of a wealthy and pedi­greed Bos­ton clan whose bipo­lar dis­or­der (mis­con­strued by the younger daugh­ter as po­lar bear) has brought him and his fam­ily to the poverty level. When Mag­gie de­cides to pur­sue an MBA at Columbia to de­velop some earn­ing power, Cam takes on the rais­ing of the kids while she’s away. Writer-di­rec­tor Maya Forbes based this on her own story, and her own daugh­ter (Imo­gene Wolo­darsky) plays her young self. Cam can be im­pul­sive, vi­o­lent, em­bar­rass­ing, ir­re­spon­si­ble, and of­ten ex­hil­a­rat­ing fun. Forbes doesn’t skim over the dark side, but she brings home an in­tensely per­sonal, painfully funny, deeply touch­ing story.

Rated R. 90 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

JOUR­NEY TO ITALY The latest film in the Auteurs se­ries is Roberto Ros­sellini’s 1954 drama about a cou­ple from Eng­land (In­grid Bergman and Ge­orge San­ders) who travel to Naples to han­dle a re­cently in­her­ited es­tate. Their mar­riage goes through a rocky spell dur­ing this visit, and teeters on the brink of col­lapse. Not rated. 97 min­utes. In English and Ital­ian with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Not re­viewed)

A MUR­DER IN THE PARK

Rated PG-13. 93 min­utes. The Screen. See re­view, Page 68.

PA­PER TOWNS

The film ver­sion of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars was a hit in 2014, and now comes another adap­ta­tion of one of his young-adult nov­els. It’s once more a life-af­firm­ing, comin­gof-age ro­mance, this time about a young man (Nat Wolff) who helps his high-school crush (Cara Delev­ingne) get re­venge on her ex-boyfriend. When she then dis­ap­pears, he takes up a quest to find her. Rated PG-13. 139 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

PIX­ELS

Pac-Man, Don­key Kong, and other char­ac­ters from clas­sic video games are in­vad­ing the planet. The hour of the geek has ar­rived, as the only peo­ple who can stop them are for­mer ar­cade cham­pi­ons, played by Adam San­dler, Kevin James, and Peter Din­klage (Game of Thrones). Rated PG-13. 105 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. Screens in 2-D only at Jean Cocteau Cin­ema; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

SOUTHPAW

Jake Gyl­len­haal fol­lows up his ac­claimed per­for­mance of a jour­nal­ist who em­braces dark­ness (in Nightcrawler) by play­ing a boxer who falls into dark­ness af­ter his wife is mur­dered. Mired in drugs and de­pres­sion, he must step into the ring to earn enough money to get his daugh­ter back. For­est Whi­taker and Rachel McA­dams co-star. An­toine Fuqua (Train­ing Day) di­rects. Rated R. 123 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

3 1/2 MIN­UTES, 10 BUL­LETS

Not rated. 98 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. See re­view, Page 66.

VA­CA­TION

Ed Helms hops into the fam­ily ve­hi­cle once manned by Chevy Chase in this sort-of re­make of the 1983 film Na­tional Lam­poon’s

Va­ca­tion. He plays a grown-up Rusty Gris­wold, son of Chase’s Clark Gris­wold, who has in­her­ited his fa­ther’s knack for get­ting into goofy ad­ven­tures on the way to the amuse­ment park Wal­ley World. Christina Ap­ple­gate plays his wife. Opens Wed­nes­day, July 29, with a Tues­day preview at Re­gal Sta­dium 14. Rated R. 99 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

THE VAT­I­CAN TAPES

It’s been sev­eral months since we’ve had a ripoff of The Ex­or­cist. Di­rec­tor Mark Nevel­dine helps us meet our quota with this story of a woman (Olivia Tay­lor Dud­ley) who is in­fected by evil. Her only hope is in the heal­ing hands of Fa­ther Lozano (Michael Peña). Rated PG-13. 91 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14.

(Not re­viewed)

WOODY ALLEN RET­RO­SPEC­TIVE

Vi­o­let Crown and Jean Cocteau Cin­ema are show­ing Woody Allen films in ad­vance of the film­maker’s up­com­ing Ir­ra­tional Man. This week, two of Allen’s finest works — which don’t ap­pear on the big screen very of­ten — come to Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. At 7 p.m. on Tues­day, July 28, the 1986 dram­edy Han­nah and Her Sis­ters screens. Dianne Wi­est and Michael Caine won Academy Awards for their per­for­mances in this story, which stitches to­gether the di­ver­gent lives of an ex­tended fam­ily. At 7 p.m. on Thurs­day, July 30, Allen’s 1979 film Man­hat­tan takes cen­ter stage. This movie’s plot cen­ters around the com­pli­cated love life of a di­vorced TV writer (Allen, Diane Keaton, and Mariel Hem­ing­way star), but the real ro­mance on dis­play is be­tween Allen and New York City, con­veyed here through Ge­orge Gersh­win’s soar­ing mu­sic and Gor­don Wil­lis’ glo­ri­ous black-and-white pho­tog­ra­phy. Han­nah and Her Sis­ters: Rated PG-13. 103 min­utes. Man­hat­tan: Rated R. 96 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Ker)

Pac at­tack! Pix­els, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Vi­o­let Crown, Jean Cocteau Cin­ema, and DreamCatcher in Es­pañola

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