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New in theaters
Fateless (Unrated)

Director: Lajos Koltai. With Marcell Nagy, Harkányi Endre, Dimény Áron. (134 min.)

The Nobel Prize-winning Hungarian novelist Imre Kertész survived as a teenager in the Buchenwald concentration camp and ultimately came to describe his experiences in the novel "Fateless," which he has adapted for the screen. Lajos Koltai, the great Hungarian cinematographer making his directing debut, understands the uniqueness of Kertész's vision: This is a Holocaust movie that is so relentlessly observed and so aware of woe that it never feels like it belongs to a genre. As the boy, Marcell Nagy has a heartbreakingly expressive face. After his liberation from the camps, he describes the atrocities he has witnessed as memories of "happiness," and what he is really saying is that he feels blessed to be alive and, against all odds, joyous. (Starts Friday at the Film Forum in New York.) Grade: A
- Peter Rainer

Still in Release
Ballets Russes (Unrated)

Directors: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine. With Ballets Russes dancers. (118 min.)

All the history books in the world can't do justice to ballet. To really catch the experience, one must see the dancers perform. "Ballets Russes," directed by documentarians Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine, does an amazing job of unearthing footage of the famous ballet troupe from its beginnings in turn-of-the-century Paris through to its demise in the '60s. A number of the dancers from mid-century are still around, and the use of archival film alongside present-day interviews is awe-inspiring: These people may not be able to perform a plié anymore, but they still light up when they speak of their artistry. Grade: A-
- P.R.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (PG)

Director: Andrew Adamson. With Tilda Swinton, Jim Broadbent. (140 min.)

Adamson, the director of the "Shrek" films, has done a highly creditable job of visualizing C.S. Lewis's book about four children in the mythical land of Narnia, where animals talk. The film works surprisingly well both as a fantasy and as the Christian fable that Lewis intended. Grade: A-
- P.R.

Fun With Dick and Jane (PG-13)

Director: Dean Parisot. With Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni. (90 min.)

This update of the 1977 comedy from Dean Parisot, director of the hilarious sci-fi spoof "Galaxy Quest," stars Jim Carrey as an executive at an Enron-style company who, faced with bankruptcy, goes on a crime spree with his peppy wife. Most of it plays out as sub-medium-grade farce, but Carrey has some funny calisthenic bits where he appears to have the pliability of a rubber toy. Grade: C+
- P.R.


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