A look at movies now in theaters
28 WEEKS LATER ** (R) Inferior sequel to “28 Days Later” that’s bloody and without interesting characters or good suspense. Zombie movie on the aftermath of a plague where violence rules.
ANGELA * (R) Gabfest about a loser who learns the value of self-love. A tedious self-help manifesto set in Paris. In French, with subtitles.
AWAY FROM HER *** (PG-13) A rich and complicated love story about a retired professor and his wife with Alzheimer’s disease. Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent are superb as they carry on a moving relationship, with surprising complexities.
BUG * (R) Ludicrous and grotesque psychodrama about an abused waitress who gets swept up in the paranoid delusions of a Gulf War drifter. Starring Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr.
CRAZY LOVE ** (PG-13) A somewhat sickening but entertaining documentary about the violent and bizarre obsessive love of a man Burton Pugach, who threw lye on his girlfriend’s face and then married her. Director Dan Klores tells the story of Linda and Burton Pugach.
DAY WATCH ** (R) Dazzling but confusing supernatural film with bloodsucking and body swapping unfolding in a decrepit present-day Moscow. Second in a trilogy based on the novels of Sergei Lukyanenko. In Russian, with subtitles.
DISTURBIA ** (PG-13) Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” is remade as a teenybopper thriller that’s less entertaining than staring out a rear window. Shia LaBeouf performs well as a disturbed high school student.
GRACIE ** (PG-13) Fact-based, feel-good but formulaic movie about a girl who makes it onto the boys’ varsity soccer team. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, starring Carly Shroeder.
HOSTEL 2 ** (R) Hot young American women in Rome are targeted by a serial killer. Even bloodier than the 2005 original.
HOT FUZZ *** (R) The smartalecks who brought you “Shaun of the Dead” turn their sights on cop action, and the result is clever and subversive.
KNOCKED UP **** (R) Writer-director Judd Apatow weds romance and raunchiness into a comedy about two strangers and an unexpected pregnancy. Packed with laughs and heart.
THE LIVES OF OTHERS *** (R) Gripping thriller about crippling fear in the waning days of Communist East Germany. The ending comes with a perfect, profound moment that satisfies like few others. (Kendall Square)
MR. BROOKS ** (R) Kevin Costner is riveting as a businessman and serial killer in this disturbing thriller that plays on voyeuristic instincts. Starring Demi Moore, William Hurt and Dane Cook.
THE NAMESAKE ** (PG-13) An Indian family in New York faces cultural adjustments and generational conflicts. Captures the essence of the best-selling novel on which it’s based, but it is somewhat predictable. Directed by Mira Nair.
OCEAN’S THIRTEEN ** (PG-13) All-star cast of charming scoundrels and thieves return in a confusing and absurd story that’s still fun. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin.
ONCE *** (R) A deeply affecting love story between an Irish busker and a young Czech immigrant singer that won raves at Sundance. Starring Glen Hansard of the Irish rock band The Frames, who wrote most of the songs.
PARIS, JE T’AIME *** (R) Eighteen vignettes by different directors celebrate the spirit of Paris in ways that add depth to its people and neighborhoods. Directors include the Coen Brothers and Gus Van Sant, and stars include Nick Nolte, Elijah Wood, Gina Rowlands, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. (Kendall Square)
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END ** (PG-13) Way too long and rambling and as overdone as a pitch-black steak – but tons and tons of fun. Captivating performances by Johnny Depp and the supporting actors.
SHOW BUSINESS: THE ROAD TO BROADWAY *** (PG) Fascinating, intelligent and intimate documentary about the creative process behind “Wicked,” “Avenue Q” and two other Broadway shows. Directed by Dori Berinstein, who seems to know everyone in theater.
SHREK THE THIRD ** (PG) Incredible animation, but the once witty story has become unoriginal. Voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews and Justin Timberlake.
SNOW CAKE ** (Unrated) Contrived but affecting drama of a high-functioning autistic woman (Signourney Weaver) and her relationship with a man traumatized by a car accident (Alan Rickman). (Kendall Square)
SPIDER-MAN 3 *** (PG-13) Some die-hard fans may complain about taking liberties with some characters, but this is everything a giant, special-effects-filled blockbuster should be – it’s an original blast.
STEEL CITY *** (R) A regretful alcoholic father tries to do penance for running out on his sons, now troubled adults. A moving, somber drama starring John Heard, Tom Guiry and Clayne Crawford.
SURFS UP *** (PG) A charming, enjoyable ride featuring cute animated surfing penguins. Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel amd James Woods provide the voice talent.
WAITRESS *** (PG-13) A cute and quirky tale about a Southern waitress who dreams of opening a pie shop and escaping from her abusive husband. Witty, smart and uplifting, but keep the tissues handy. Keri Russell and Andy Griffiths are wonderful.