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Family-friendly films

THE BUTLER

Anne Marie Fox/The Weinstein Company via AP

THE BUTLER

The middle ground

Austenland (97 min., PG-13) Jane Austen devotee Keri Russell heads to England for a holiday built around the novelist’s work. The movie abounds in sexual innuendo. There are implied trysts and a muscled actor who displays his torso like a Chippendale dancer.

Getaway (90 min., PG-13) An auto action movie starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and a Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake.The many car chases appear massively destructive. Drivers aren’t shown being hurt or killed, but the body count has to be high. Anonymous bad guys do seem to get hurt when gunplay occurs later in the film. A woman is roughed up but not seriously injured. The script includes moderate profanity.

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The Grandmaster (108 min., PG-13) A biopic about kung fu master Ip Man. The martial arts fighting, while highly stylized, is bone-cracking by implication. A character uses opium and deliberately overdoses.

The Butler (126 min., PG-13) The transformational nature of the civil rights movement weaves throughout director Lee Daniels’s story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a butler at the White House from the Eisenhower through the Reagan administrations. Re-creations of sit-ins and civil rights marches are violent and stomach-churning. Characters use midrange profanity, racial slurs, drink, and smoke.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (120 min., PG-13) An adaptation of the YA series by Cassandra Clare. The violence, while not bloody, gets intense for a PG-13. It involves flamethrowers, blades, and a vampire-killing gun. A woman slams an attacker’s head with her fridge door. An attack dog’s head splits open as it becomes a reptilian demon, then regenerates after it’s blown up. Someone makes humping motions and jokes about it. Cadaverlike beings, their mouths sewn shut, watch over the City of Bones. The protagonists are attacked by vampires in one scene, but rescued by werewolves. A not-very-credible brother-sister incest theme pops up. Swarming ravens turn into demons.

R-rated

Closed Circuit (96 min., R) A thriller about two British lawyers who defended a Turkish man charged with a terrorist bombing. Graphic injuries are not shown following the bombing, but the scene is deeply unsettling. A prisoner is shown hanged in his cell, but it isn’t suicide. The accused man’s young son is stalked by anonymous killers, as are the lawyers, but any brief mayhem is not graphic. The dialogue contains occasional strong profanity.

The Spectacular Now (100 min., R) A teenager comes close to wrecking his life, in this adaptation of Tim Tharp’s novel. A couple of teen sex scenes, one with some explicitness, earn the R, along with a lot of profanity, including frequent use of the F-word. In a scary moment, a character gets out of a car on a highway and is injured. It’s subtly hinted that another character may use drugs.

The World’s End (109 min., R) A group of middle-aged English men set off on a pub crawl that turns into an alien-robot war. Crude language and profanity lace the dialogue, and the characters drink themselves blotto. There is mildish sexual innuendo. The last third of the film features horror-style violence, including the skull-shattering, beheading and be-arming of alien-possessed humans who bleed blue and whose heads crack like pottery.

You’re Next (94 min., R) A family weekend in the country turns horror-movie bad. Killings are graphically gory, with the sounds of skulls cracking, skin tearing, and blood choking the victims. Besides crossbows and machetes, weapons include kitchen knives, a meat-tenderizing mallet, and an electric blender. A married couple has a nonexplicit sexual moment with partial nudity. The script includes strong profanity.

Jane Horwitz, Washington Post Writers Group.
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