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The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure A group of friends try to recover five magical balloons in time for a surprise birthday party. With Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd and Chazz Palminteri. Rated G, 83 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

The Possession The divorced parents of a 10-year-old girl are troubled by her increasingly erratic behavior, which seems to be linked to an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. With Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick. Directed by Ole Bornedal. Rated PG-13, 91 minutes. — LAT




The Avengers (***) Superheroes from Marvel Comics unite to face an otherworldly foe (Tom Hiddleston) in this assembling of franchise warriors: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) and the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Joss Whedon wrote and directed, delivering a satisfying, if exhausting, rendition of good versus evil. Rated PG-13, 142 minutes. — Boo Allen

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. With Rachel Weisz. Rated PG-13, 135 minutes. — The 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. — LAT

Celeste and Jesse Forever (***) Sporadically funny but ultimately slight romantic comedy built on the single premise of a married couple (Andy Samberg and co-writer Rashida Jones) who work better apart than together. Once apart, their relationship becomes close enough to annoy friends and family. But inevitably, feelings for other people begin to complicate matters. Lee Toland Krieger directs, letting his likable actors carry the load. Rated R, 91 minutes. — B.A.

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. — B.A.

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. — LAT

Hit & Run (***) Dax Shepard puts his friends, fiancee Kristen Bell, even his own vehicles to good use in this fun little car-chase comedy that's quite infectious — the good time clearly had by the filmmakers rubs off on the audience. Shepard plays a former getaway driver now in witness protection, who winds up pursued by his old bank robbery gang when he hits the road to get his girlfriend (Bell) to an interview for her dream job in Los Angeles. Rated R, 99 minutes. — AP

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

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (**) Halfway into the third animated tale about New York City zoo animals on their overseas adventures, Alex the lion (voiced by Ben Stiller) tells some new circus friends that their act was not too entertaining for families “because you were just going through the motions out there.” So, too, for Madagascar 3, which goes through a lot of motions. The result: A cute story about zoo animals running off to join the circus becomes overwhelmed by a blur of color and animated acrobatics. Rated PG, 92 minutes. — AP

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. His 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, and the running around town takes up much of the film. Rated PG, 92 minutes. — AP

Premium Rush (***1/2) Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a Manhattan bike messenger given the job of delivering an envelope through the city’s crowded streets during rush hour, all while being chased by a rogue cop (Michael Shannon) and several other parties. Director and co-writer David Koepp delivers a non-stop thriller, long on action and visuals but also with an involving plot. Rated PG-13, 91 minutes. — B.A.

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

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