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The Apparition When a young couple is haunted by a presence conjured during a university parapsychology experiment, they enlist an expert in the supernatural to try to save themselves. With Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan and Tom Felton. Rated PG-13, 90 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

Hermano (Brother) Two boys raised as brothers in a Venezuela slum strive to escape poverty by becoming professional soccer players. With Fernando Moreno, Eliu Armas and Ali Rondon. Directed by Marcel Rasquin. In Spanish with English subtitles. Not rated, 97 minutes. — LAT

The Last Ride (***) rated PG-13, 102 minutes. Near the end of 1952, a young man, Silas (Jesse James), lands a job driving a fragile entertainer from Alabama to West Virginia and Ohio. Only late in the trip does the youngster come to realize he carries country music legend Hank Williams (Henry Thomas). Their ride proves eventful if somewhat somber. Interesting interpretation by director Harry Thomason of Williams’ fabled last days. At the Angelika Dallas. — Boo Allen

Hit and Run A former getaway driver ditches a witness protection program to drive his girlfriend to Los Angeles so she can land her dream job, but federal agents and criminals are on their trail. With Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Bradley Cooper and Tom Arnold. Directed by Shepard and David Palmer. Rated R, 95 minutes. — LAT

Thunderstruck Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant plays himself in this family-friendly basketball fantasy about a teenage fan (Taylor Gray) who magically switches talents with Durant. Rated PG, 90 minutes. — The Dallas Morning News

2 Days in New York (*) Remarkably misguided “comedy” about a visit by three Parisians (Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau and Alexandre Nahon) to New York to see Marion, who lives with her boyfriend. The couple is played by an annoying Chris Rock and an even more annoying Julie Delpy, who co-wrote the empty script and provided the amateurish direction. Language problems, cultural misapprehensions, and racial gaffes are all milked for minimum effect. Rated R, 96 minutes. At the Angelika Dallas. — B.A.




The Bourne Legacy (***) This fourth film in the Bourne franchise may seem heady and intentionally disorienting and hard to follow at first — until you realize it’s really about drug addiction. That may help as you compare it with the first three films in the series that starred Matt Damon. Jeremy Renner stars as Aaron Cross, who finds he’s the target of a legitimate threat when the supersecret government spy program he’s a part of hastily gets shut down. Turns out, Jason Bourne was not the only person who was given a whole new identity and transformed into a killing machine. With Rachel Weisz. Rated PG-13, 135 minutes. — Associated Press

The Campaign When a long-running congressman commits a public gaffe ahead of an election, two wealthy CEOs arrange for a puppet candidate to challenge him. With Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis and Katherine LaNasa. Directed by Jay Roach. Rated R, 85 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

The Dark Knight Rises (**1/2 ) Director Christopher Nolan directs the last of his three Batman films with Christian Bale again playing the dark knight. A villain (Tom Hardy) steals a nuclear weapon and threatens to blow up Gotham, while several other plot points play out in this overwritten opus. Anne Hathaway, as an undesignated Catwoman, and Marion Cottillard appear as eye-candy femme fatales. A mediocre movie, not bad — just not as good as earlier versions. Rated PG-13, 164 minutes. — Boo Allen

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days An adolescent boy tries to survive summer misadventures in such fraught situations as swimming at the public pool and going camping. With Zachary Gordon, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris and Robert Capron. Rated PG, 94 minutes. — LAT

The Expendables 2 After a seemingly routine mission goes awry, a band of mercenaries seek revenge against an adversary and stumble onto a global threat. With Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren. Directed by Simon West. Rated R, 103 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

Hope Springs (****) The first produced script from television writer and producer Vanessa Taylor (Alias, Game of Thrones) explores the complicated dynamics that develop over a long-term relationship with great honesty and little judgment. Kay (Meryl Streep) and Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) live a sexless life in a comfortable Nebraska suburb. When Kay finally decides she’s sick of their complacent routine, she insists Arnold join her for a week of intensive couples therapy with a renowned psychologist (Steve Carell). Rated PG-13, 99 minutes. — AP

Ice Age: Continental Drift (**1/2) There’s considerably less drift in the latest in a long line of lucrative cartoons from Blue Sky Studios and their friends at Fox. It’s all sight gags and action beats, which tends to cover the shortcomings these assembly-line farces are infamous for. Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), Sid, the innocent but accident-prone sloth (John Leguizamo, always funny) and Sid’s Granny (Wanda Sykes) are adrift on an iceberg. That’s when they meet the pirates. Rated PG, 94 minutes. — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (**1/2) Adapting a short story by Ahmet Zappa (son of Frank), writer-director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April) tries for old-fashioned wholesomeness only to flounder amid a well-intended but sappy tale of a childless couple mystically granted a test run at parenthood. Hedges assembled an impressive cast, led by Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as parents to a mystery boy (CJ Adams) who comes into their lives, and the actors buy into the story’s conceits wholeheartedly. But a movie’s in trouble when the characters are just as unbelievable as the premise. Rated PG, 104 minutes. — AP

ParaNorman (**1/2) No one wants to tell 60 puppet makers that their months of toil were ill spent. But the frequently wondrous and whimsical visuals far surpass the disappointingly slipshod story of an 11-year-old boy named Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) who can see and speak to the dead. ParaNorman is from the creators of 2009’s Coraline, and bears much of the same fantasy-horror spirit. It also has some of the comic elements of the British studio

Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit). Norman’s uncle (John Goodman) bequeaths to him the duty of pacifying a witch that has haunted their town for 300 years. After failing in the ritual, Norman and an improvised gang flee from zombies. The running around town takes up much of the film. Rated PG, 92 minutes. — The Associated Press

Sparkle In Motown-era Detroit, a talented young singer tries to balance a new romance with her manager, her family life and her ambition to become a star. With Jordin Sparks, the late Whitney Houston, Derek Luke and Mike Epps. Directed by Salim Akil. Rated PG-13, 111 minutes. — LAT

Step Up Revolution Newly arrived in Miami, an aspiring dancer falls for the leader of a local dance crew, and together they battle a wealthy developer. With Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Misha Gabriel and Peter Gallagher. Rated PG-13, 97 minutes. — LAT

Total Recall In the future, a factory worker’s role-playing mental vacation as a super-spy goes awry, leaving him a hunted man and blurring the lines between reality and fantasy. With Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston. Directed by Len Wiseman. Rated PG-13, 118 minutes. — LAT

2016: Obama’s America This documentary, directed by conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, looks at influences in President Barack Obama’s past and what the United States might be like in four years if he is re-elected. Rated PG, 89 minutes. — TDMN