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AMER­I­CAN PAS­TORAL

Au­thor Philip Roth’s Pulitzer-Prize-win­ning 1997 novel gets a film adap­ta­tion cour­tesy of Ewan McGregor, who makes his di­rec­to­rial de­but. McGregor stars as Sey­mour Levov, a 1960s busi­ness­man who em­bod­ies the Amer­i­can dream un­til it crum­bles when his daugh­ter (Dakota Fanning) falls in with an ex­trem­ist po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion. Jen­nifer Con­nelly por­trays his wife, a for­mer beauty queen. Rated R. 108 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

DR. STRANGE

The em­i­nently watch­able trio of Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, Tilda Swin­ton, and Chi­we­tel Ejio­for ush­ers au­di­ences be­yond the veil in this ex­pertly pitched adap­ta­tion of the trip-o-delic comics cre­ated by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Cum­ber­batch’s Dr. Stephen Strange, an ar­ro­gant sur­geon who en­rolls at a meta­phys­i­cal dojo after sus­tain­ing in­juries to his hands, is a flawed but lik­able hero and a re­luc­tant con­vert to the “mys­tic arts.” Though there are tid­bits for the Marvel faith­ful, the movie re­fresh­ingly keeps ref­er­ences to the brand’s end­less tie-in prod­ucts to a min­i­mum. It’s also the rare film that truly ben­e­fits from com­puter an­i­ma­tion and 3-D cin­e­matog­ra­phy, which are well suited to its pandi­men­sional set­tings. Cum­ber­batch and com­pany keep things lively, de­liv­er­ing the snappy di­a­logue with pre­cise comic tim­ing. Per­haps the most en­ter­tain­ing char­ac­ter has no lines at all, be­ing a mag­i­cal cloak. Rated PG-13. 115 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; Dream­Catcher. (Jeff Acker)

GIMME DAN­GER

In a year in which enough rock stars have passed away that we’ve come to bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ate those still alive, di­rec­tor Jim Jar­musch of­fers a doc­u­men­tary about Iggy Pop and the Stooges. In it, the band’s story is cleanly told yet just shaggy enough to have some of the en­ergy that made them fa­mous. At front and cen­ter is Iggy him­self, a de­light­ful in­ter­view sub­ject with a bright smile and more than 50 years of per­spec­tive. He walks us through his life and ca­reer from age five, when he learned about the im­por­tance of un­pre­dictabil­ity and brevity through The Howdy Doody Show, up through his 2010 in­duc­tion to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There was never much in-fight­ing in the Stooges, which is usu­ally grist for the rock-doc mill, but Jar­musch’s film is full of fun facts (in their nascent years, the band ac­tu­ally called Moe Howard of the Three Stooges and asked per­mis­sion to call them­selves the Stooges), heart, and proper con­text for a band that in­spired punk rock and ev­ery­thing that flowed from it. Rated R. 108 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Robert Ker)

HACK­SAW RIDGE

Mel Gib­son re­turns to the di­rec­tor’s chair for the first time since 2006’s Apoca­lypto to tell this World War II tale about an Army medic named Des­mond Doss (An­drew Garfield) who re­fuses to fight or kill peo­ple. Doss is de­rided for his paci­fism by his peers, but when he saves many of their lives and be­comes the first con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tor to be awarded the Medal of Honor, he earns their re­spect. Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weav­ing, and Sam Wor­thing­ton co-star. Rated R. 131 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

HAN­NAH: BUD­DHISM’S UN­TOLD JOUR­NEY

From nearly the first frame, this doc­u­men­tary drops view­ers right into its nar­ra­tive, in­form­ing us of the Chi­nese in­va­sion of Ti­bet, the Cul­tural Rev­o­lu­tion, and the loss of more than one mil­lion Ti­betan lives. From that dev­as­ta­tion, the film piv­ots to the cul­ture’s re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, telling the story of Han­nah Ny­dahl, a Dan­ish woman who, in the 1960s and ’70s, learned about Ti­betan Bud­dhism and helped spread it around the world. The pace of the movie never slows, and there’s fas­ci­nat­ing footage of Ny­dahl’s mis­sion and of the world’s cul­tures, though it’s edited too quickly to con­tem­plate or even ap­pre­ci­ate. Rushed along with dis­tract­ing mu­sic, what should have been an in­spir­ing story ul­ti­mately feels less like a spir­i­tual jour­ney and more like an in­for­ma­tion dump. Not rated. 90 min­utes. The Screen. (Robert Ker)

A MAN CALLED OVE

Rated PG-13. 116 min­utes. In Swedish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. See re­view, Page 39.

MICHAEL MOORE IN TRUMPLAND

Not rated. 73 min­utes. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. See re­view, Page 41.

PAN’S LABYRINTH

Di­rec­tor Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 fairy tale for adults brims over with won­der and hor­ror. Ofe­lia (Ivana Ba­quero) is a young girl who is up­rooted from a happy life just after the Span­ish Civil War. She re­treats into a fan­tasy world to es­cape her wicked step­fa­ther, the sadis­tic Capt. Vi­dal (Sergi López). The par­al­lel sto­ries of re­al­ity and sur­re­al­ity are grip­ping, the act­ing is ter­rific, and the spe­cial ef­fects are top-notch. The film won Academy Awards for cin­e­matog­ra­phy, art di­rec­tion, and makeup. Rated R. 118 min­utes. In Span­ish with sub­ti­tles. Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Ker)

TROLLS

For those who have hoped that the crazy-coiffed, wide-eyed, mul­ti­col­ored troll dolls get an an­i­mated movie run through with ra­dio hits, then your wait is over — Justin Tim­ber­lake and Gwen Ste­fani are among the ac­tors lend­ing both voice work and mu­sic here. Anna Ken­drick voices the cheer­ful Poppy, who joins up with Branch (Tim­ber­lake) to save their friends from gi­ant mon­sters. Zooey Deschanel, John Cleese, and Rus­sell Brand also lend their voices. Rated PG. 92 min­utes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. Screens in 2-D only at Dream­Catcher. (Not re­viewed)

UGLY, DIRTY, AND BAD

Ital­ian di­rec­tor Et­tore Scola’s 1976 com­edy cen­ters on the large Maz­za­tella fam­ily, whose mem­bers live in poverty, crammed to­gether in a small shack. When fam­ily pa­tri­arch Giac­into (Nino Man­fredi) loses the use of one eye and re­ceives a mas­sive in­sur­ance pay­out that he then re­fuses to share, the other fam­ily mem­bers plan ways to off the old-timer and get their hands on the cash. Not rated. 115 min­utes. In Ital­ian with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Not re­viewed)

Nu­clear fam­ily: Jen­nifer Con­nelly and Ewan McGregor in Amer­i­can Pas­toral, at Re­gal DeVar­gas

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