In this week’s new releases, Michael Fassbender stars as a gifted but troubled artist who hides behind a giant fake head in “Frank;” the film receives three stars. Audiences should be prepared to cry during “If I Stay,” a story of a teenage girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who must choose between life and death after a tragic car crash leaves her comatose.
★★★ “Frank” (R) “Like ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ by way of Nick Hornby and Wes Anderson, ‘Frank’ traces Jon’s adventures into the land of art and fellowship with gentle, joyful sweetness that borders on the precious. Jon tries to get at the root of Frank’s issues, but he, like the audience, must finally accept him as the personification of childlike joy and liberated truth.” -- Ann Hornaday
★★1/2 “If I Stay” (PG-13) “Viewers who luxuriated in a good cry after ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ may be gratified to know that it’s not time to stop sobbing. The perfect bookend to a tear-stained summer, ‘If I Stay’ has arrived in theaters with the same good taste, modest cool factor and shameless tear-jerking that made its predecessor such a multi-hankie hit.” -- Ann Hornaday
★★★★“Rich Hill” (Unrated) “The new documentary is only one film, but its stories of three Midwestern boys ages 13 to 15 are just as poignant, and may leave you awake at night wondering about these young men’s futures. ‘Rich Hill’ doesn’t just make you feel like you know these boys; it makes you care about them.” -- Michael O’Sullivan
★★ “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” (R) “Like the first movie, ‘Dame’ is a series of vignettes, and the name of the game in these stories is revenge.” -- Stephanie Merry
★★★ “The Kill Team” (Unrated) “‘The Kill Team’ is expertly edited, at one point overlaying interviews with the men who participated in the war crimes with B-roll of infantrymen milling about, weapons in hand. And it’s all set to a brilliantly spare and evocative soundtrack. It’s a beautiful way to lose faith in humanity.” -- Stephanie Merry
★1/2 “When the Game Stands Tall” (PG) “‘When the Game Stands Tall’ is a less than vigorous attempt to win over anyone besides the most die-hard consumers of sports cliches.” -- Michael O’Sullivan
★ “Life After Beth” (R) “‘Life After Beth’ is an aimless, slight and ultimately off-putting example of a clever title in search of a movie. The search, in this case, never comes to fruition in anything other than cliches and facile, clunky plotting.” -- Ann Hornaday