‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ not so great, and other new movies

Lots of movies opening today, ranging from a new take on the land called Oz, to a beautiful drama about a gay Israeli soldier turned doctor, trying to find happiness. Starting with the big one of the week, which will probably be a winner at the box office, but is a loser in Ann Hornaday's eyes: "Oz the Great and Powerful" earned its one-star rating for many reasons, not the least of which is a lead (James Franco) who just can't pull it off.

Oz the Great and Powerful opens today.

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.

What not to watch: A sampling of recent one-star-and-under films

"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey," a documentary about Arnel Pineda, a Filipino cover band singer who suddenly found stardom as the lead singer of Journey, was a darling of the festival scene; Hornaday says "meh." Although the story is fascinating, the filmmaker rarely probes "more deeply than the narrative [Pineda] and his bandmates provide."

"Greedy Lying Bastards" is "the newest entry in a growing list of global warming documentaries" that Michael O'Sullivan calls "part infomercial, part call to man the barricades."

Stephanie Merry calls "Yossi" a "delicately bittersweet Israeli drama," and gives it three stars.

The history lesson wrapped around romantic melodrama in the three-and-a-half star "Emperor" "remain stubbornly dry," writes Mark Jenkins.

The documentary "Koch," about the former New York mayor, is ultimately a tale of "humanity, not power," O'Sullivan writes.

Finally, O'Sullivan calls "Lore," a "powerful and haunting drama." It tells the tale of a German girl who must rely on a young Jew -- the sort of person she had been trained to hate -- to survive.

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