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March 4 film picks

Quantrell Colbert

From left: Beverly Johnson, Phylicia Rashad, and Gabrielle Union in Tyler Perry’s “Good Deeds.’’

Kids 6 and older

The Lorax (94 min., PG) This animated version of the Dr. Seuss children’s classic has two goons who loom large and might scare kids under 6. An encounter with a foreboding wasteland is, well, foreboding. But nothing is really too scary here, even in 3-D.

Kids 7 and older

The Secret World of Arrietty (94 min., G) This adaptation of Mary Norton’s popular children’s book “The Borrowers’’ hasmoments of suspense that may upset very young viewers. A recurring theme about a boy having a possibly terminal heart ailment could worry some children. The ending, while basically happy, has a slightly bittersweet tone not common to Hollywood animated features.

Kids 10 and older

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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (133 min., PG) Action sequences and some of the weirder-looking intergalactic beings may disturb kids under 8 on a big screen in 3-D, but the battles and fights are all very stylized and non-gory.

The middle ground

Gone (85 min., PG-13) This thriller starring Amanda Seyfried includes midrange profanity and crude sexual innuendo. Scenes of fighting, car chases, and gunplay are intense, but not graphic. At one point we see what may be skeletal remains.

Good Deeds (111 min., PG-13) The latest film from director-writer-actor Tyler Perry includes a semi-explicit sexual situation that is fairly steamy for a PG-13. The script features rare midrange profanity and sexual slang. Characters make verbal references to promiscuity. In one upsetting scene, family-services personnel take away a character’s daughter.

R-rated

Act of Valor (106 min., R) Real Navy SEALs play Navy SEALs. Bad guys and SEALs are shot at point-blank range; there is a lot of blood, but the wounds are not graphic. We see a captured female CIA agent tortured. The dialogue contains a lot of profanity, including the F-word.

Project X (88 min., R) A trio of high-school nerds try to raise their coolness quotient by giving a party in this raunchy teen comedy that is not for under-17s. How raunchy? Nudity, steaming profanity, graphic sexual slang, drug use, and drinking, as well as less graphic but still R-ish sexual situations. Add to that major property damage.

Rampart (105 min., R) Teens 17 and older will be gripped by Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of a downward-spiraling cop. Harrelson’s character engages in beatings and shootings. He smokes constantly, drinks heavily, and abuses drugs. We see him involved in steamy sexual scenes; some contain partial nudity.

Wanderlust (98 min., R) Yuppies Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd end up in a Georgia commune. This spoof of alternative lifestyles comes down squarely on the side of middle-class values, but with a little flutter in celebration of nonconformity, too. The R reflects nudity, strong profanity, sexual slang, less graphic sexual situations, and drug use.

Jane Horwitz, Washington Post Writers Group.
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