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Merrimack Valley

November 30, 2013

Also in theaters

A.C.O.D. 3 stars. Adam Scott is the grown up son of parents long and acrimoniously divorced, trying to bring them together for his younger brother’s wedding. Catherine O’Hara and Richard Jenkins are especially terrific as the warring exes. A clever little comedy with some big performances. 1 hr. 28 R (profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY 2 stars. The old college friends from 1999’s Best Man (Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Terrence Howard and others) reunite for a long Yuletide reunion during which secrets come spilling out and old wounds get reopened. The ensemble sparkles in the comedic moments, and suffers in the artificially melodramatic ones. 2 hrs. 4. R (emphatic profanity, nudity, adult themes.) — David Hiltbrand

THE BOOK THIEF 2 1/2 stars. World War II melodrama about a German girl who learns to treasure words through her friendship with a Jewish refugee hiding in the basement. Adapted from the bestselling young adult novel, and compromised by production design that is too beautiful by half — the Holocaust has never looked so good. With Sophie Nélisse in the title role, and Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson as the foster parents she comes to love. 2 hrs. 11 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN 3 1/2 stars. The Belgian entry in the Academy Awards foreign language competition offers a time-hopping portrait of a couple’s romance and relationship. He’s a hipster bluegrass-obsessed musician, she’s a tattoo artist, and together they make music, literally — and then make a child. A child who, at 6, is diagnosed with cancer. A surprisingly moving, and musical, film. 1 hr. 51 R (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS 4 stars. Based on the real-life story of a U.S.-flagged cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates, with Tom Hanks in the title role as a steady-as-she-goes veteran forced to face his own mortality. Paul Greengrass (the second and third “Bourne” films, “United 93”) masterfully orchestrates the intense, suspenseful drama. 2 hrs. 14 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

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