Last updated: March 14. 2013 9:35PM - 990 Views

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21 AND OVER — When a straight-A college student’s two best friends take him out for his 21st birthday the night before an important medical-school interview, what was supposed to be a quick beer becomes a night of humiliation, overindulgence and utter debauchery. R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking. 93 mins. Two stars.

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD — A parody of itself, right? That’s the only way to explain this ridiculously over-the-top, repetitively numbing fifth film in the “Die Hard” franchise. R for violence, language. 97 mins. 2 stars

ARGO — Ben Affleck stars in, and directs, the far-fetched but nonetheless factual tale of a CIA plot to extricate six U.S. embassy workers from Tehran as the 1979 Iran hostage crisis unfolds. 120 minutes. R for violence, profanity, adult themes. Four stars

DARK SKIES — As the Barret family’s peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them. PG-13 for violence, terror throughout, sexual material, drug content and language – all involving teen. 95 mins. 1 star

DEAD MAN DOWN — A rising gangland player has infiltrated the crime empire run by a ruthless kingpin with the single purpose of making him pay for destroying his once-happy life. As he meticulously orchestrates his vengeance from his high-rise home, he watches and is watched by a mysterious young woman who lives in the apartment across from his. R for violence, language throughout and a scene of sexuality. 110 mins. Two stars

ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH — A nerdy alien has to go to Earth to save his super-studly space-exploring older brother, who has been captured by the U.S. government. PG for action, mild rude humor. 95 mins. Two stars.

IDENTITY THIEF — Melissa McCarthy is the brash wild card with an off-kilter sense of humor and a dangerous streak. Jason Bateman is the initially bemused but increasingly frustrated straight man. These opposites are stuck on a cross-country road trip together. R for sexuality and language. 107 mins. Star and a half.

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER — In the make-believe middle ages of the children’s tale “Jack and the Beanstalk,” it’s highly unlikely that anyone ever said, just before attempting some feat, “I got this.” But it’s this little anachronism — a slight nod to modernity without pushing it too far — that makes the updated retelling, “Jack the Giant Slayer,” a breezily enjoyable blast of sword-wielding fantasy. PG-13 for intense fantasy action violence, some frightening images, brief mild language. 114 mins. Two and a half stars.

THE LAST EXORCISM, PART II — As Nell Sweetzer tries to build a new life, the evil force that once possessed her returns with even more horrific plans. PG-13 for horror, violence, terror, brief language. 88 mins. Two stars.

OZ, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL — Screenwriters Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire manage just enough whimsy to make the movie’s two hours pass without irritation. And director Sam Raimi was the right guy to make this emerald-tinted world pop off the 3-D screen. But the cast, plainly packed with second or third choices, lets it down. PG for action, scary images and brief mild language. 130 mins. Three stars.

QUARTET — Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut — smartly — with this charming and poignant adaptation of the Ronald Harwood stage play about four old friends in a home for retired musicians. Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly star. PG-13 for adult themes. 98 mins. Three stars

SAFE HAVEN — Simple pleasures are in the forefront in another sweetly treacly tale from the “beach book” author who gave us “The Notebook,” “Dear John” and “The Last Song.” PG-13 for thematic material involving threatening behavior, violence and sexuality. 115 mins. Two stars.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK — A head-spinner of a movie about love, pain, reinvention and rehabilitation. R for profanity, sex, drugs, violence, adult themes. 120 minutes. Four stars.

SNITCH — As a businessman scrambling to find a way to get his son’s federal prison sentence reduced, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has to play fear, tough love, pity and panic – and he’s a bit in over his head. But that’s the point of this straight-no-chaser thriller “inspired by a true story.” The pacing is off, and too many scenes lack dramatic punch and play like filler. But Johnson is pretty good at being a guy in over his head, sharing scenes with flinty pros like Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt and Barry Pepper. PG-13 for drug content and sequences of violence. Two and a half stars.

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