Inception This is basically a caper film. Instead of robbing a rich man’s casino, Leonardo DiCaprio and his extraction team raid the man’s subconscious to plant a thought in his head. Writer and director Christopher Nolan uses cinematic devices to evoke or rework the mechanics of dreams. He expends little apparent effort, even in the orchestration of the film’s centerpiece heist. It lasts for 80 minutes, involves at least two dreams within one dream, and goes off with nary a hitch on Nolan’s part. (148 min., PG-13) (Wesley Morris)
The Kids Are All Right Or: Heather Has Two Helicopter Mommies and One Sperm-Donor Daddy. LA couple Annette Bening and Julianne Moore go a little crazy when their teenage kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) track down their biological father (Mark Ruffalo). Beautifully written and impeccably acted, Lisa Cholodenko’s comedy of boho-bourgeois manners is very nearly a masterpiece — a family movie in the truest sense. (104 min., R) (Ty Burr)
The Law Jules Dassin’s strange, occasionally shocking, underappreciated 1959 film returns, and the opportunity to see what Gina Lollobrigida could do with a crooked smile or a roll of her eyes — let alone a simple street dress — is well worth the price of entry. She plays a village woman scheming to be with the engineer (Marcello Mastroianni) who’s just come to town. In French, with subtitles. (122 min., unrated) (Wesley Morris)
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice There’s no magic to speak of, and very little connection to “Fantasia.’’ At least once, Nicolas Cage waves his arms and Alfred Molina goes flying across a bathroom (why do so many action sequences involve urinals?), and the Merrill Lynch bull statue stampedes around Wall Street. But a movie in which spells are cast is not the same as a movie that casts a spell. (109 min., PG) (Wesley Morris)
Standing Ovation A poorly constructed derivative of “High School Musical’’ and “Step Up’’-type fare. Besides the copious amounts of made-for-TV kitsch, this film further preaches that money and fame can solve all problems, and it fails to provide the kind of sincerity that redeems better films of its kind. (108 min., PG) (Taylor Adams)
Wild Grass At 88, the legendary French director Alain Resnais has earned the right to make whatever movie he wants. That doesn’t mean you have to watch it. André Dussollier and Sabine Azéma play two strangers who take turns stalking each other; it’s a smug deconstructionist parlor game that pulls apart the pieces of “romantic comedy.’’ In French, with subtitles. (104 min., PG) (Ty Burr)
An archive of movie reviews can be found at www.boston.com/movies. Theaters are subject to change.