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This film publicity image released by Disney-Pixar shows Mike Wazowski voiced by Billy Crystal scene from 'Monsters University.' (AP Photo/Disney-Pixar)

This film publicity image released by Disney-Pixar shows Mike Wazowski, voiced by Billy Crystal in a scene from "Monsters University." (AP Photo/Disney-Pixar)

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Updated: July 23, 2013 6:06AM



Now playing at a theater near you:

Before Midnight ★★★ 1/2

The third movie in the Richard Linklater series is not only as good as the first two. Julie Delpy gives Celine a new hardness here, an edge that we saw only a bit in the previous film. And Ethan Hawke is extremely effective as a man who adores his partner but is increasingly frustrated with her. It all comes to a head in a humdinger of a fight — just Jesse and Celine in a hotel room, plus a bottle of wine that doesn’t get drunk. It gets poured, though, and you’ll be so frazzled, you’ll want to reach through the screen and chug it down yourself. (Rated R, 109 min.)

The Bling Ring ★★★

Given that the film, currently ruling the box office, is about Americans encouraged by their government to indulge their homicidal urges one night a year — we’re talking about “The Purge” — it’s tempting to hail the clueless young burglars in “The Bling Ring” as veritable humanitarians. After all, they’re not out to kill or even hurt anyone. All they want is your designer shoes, your cute tops, your Rolex watches, your cash. And if you’re not a hot young celebrity they’ll leave you alone anyway. It’s obvious that Coppola knows this milieu, what these kids wear and how they speak. Coppola has chosen newcomers for leads, and gives her most famous cast member, Emma Watson, a supporting role. (Rated PG-13, 130 min.)

The Internship ★★ 1/2

There are really three movie stars headlining this movie: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, and Google. Actually, it’s a surprise Google doesn’t get top billing over the humans, so adoringly is the company displayed. But if you can get past this Mother of All Product Placements, you’ll likely find yourself chuckling a lot during Shawn Levy’s silly but warmhearted film, with a script by Vaughn and Jared Stern. (PG-13, 119 minutes.)

Man of Steel ★★

It has been a black eye for Hollywood that throughout this, the unending and increasingly repetitive age of the superhero blockbuster, the most iconic son of the comics has eluded its grasp like a bird or, if you will, a plane. Zac Snyder’s joyless film, leaden as if composed of the stuff of its hero’s metallic nickname, has nothing soaring about it. This is not your Superman of red tights, phone booth changes, or fortresses of solitude, but one of Christ imagery, Krypton politics and spaceships. Beefy Brit Henry Cavill inherits the cape, with Russell Crowe and Ayelet Zurer serving as his Krypton parents, and Kevin Costner (back among the corn stalks) and Diane Lane as his earthly ones. When General Zod (Michael Shannon) comes to Earth, Clark Kent must embrace his previously hidden away powers. (Rated PG-13, 144 min.)

Monsters University ★★★

Pixar’s prequel to 2001’s “Monster’s University” is neither a bold return to form nor another misfire following “Brave” and “Cars 2,” but a charming, colorful coming-of-age tale that would be a less qualified success for all but Pixar. The profusion of sequels is indeed dismaying for a studio that so frequently has prized originality. Our expert “scarers” to be — the wisecracking pipsqueak Mike Wazowski (the perfectly paired Billy Crystal) and the burly James B. Sullivan (John Goodman) — are college freshmen with high aspirations in Monster University’s prestigious Scare Program. Director Dan Scanlon, a veteran Pixar storyboard artist, populates the collegiate life with rich detail and sly but not forced references. (Rated G, 103 min.)

World War Z ★★★

“World War Z,” the long-awaited Brad Pitt thriller, cleverly melds that real-life threat of global pandemic into the more fanciful zombie premise. Once you’ve settled back into your seat after a good snarling zombie chase, there’s nothing like the thought of a SARS outbreak to get the blood racing again. Despite the much-discussed production delays and budget overruns, this movie, based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks (son of Mel), is pretty much what you’d want in a summer blockbuster. As Gerry Lane, a former U.N. investigator called upon to save the planet, Pitt is a calm, intelligent presence amid the insanity. The most impressive scene is at the beginning, as the streets of Philadelphia are suddenly overrun by packs of wild, raging zombies. (PG-13, 116 min.)



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