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April 7: Family Filmgoer

Ages 10 and older

From Up on Poppy Hill (91 min., PG) A feature-length animation about high school romance in Japan in 1963. The story is by master animator Hayao Miyazaki. It’s directed by his son Goro Miyazaki. Both young lovers have experienced loss and grief. In addition, the adults around them have dark memories of World War II.

The middle ground

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (110 min., PG-13) The president is in trouble, and everyone’s favorite action-doll-inspired Army unit comes to the rescue. The mayhem hinges largely on high-tech firepower, and Ninja fighting with fists, feet, and blades. Injuries are rarely depicted graphically, but we do see dead fighters, and a close-up of a badly burned back. One scene strongly implies imminent torture. The script includes mild sexual innuendo and vaguely implied seminudity, as well as rare mild profanity.

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The Host (121 min., PG-13) There are no vampires or werewolves in this adaptation of a Stephenie Meyer novel. Apart from a few fistfights and some lethal but nongraphic gunplay, “The Host” contains little violence. The sexual innuendo is also understated, involving kisses and muted talk of longing. A child receives an injury that threatens his life. A rebel doctor uses a scalpel to bloodlessly cut alien creatures out of their human “hosts.”

The Sapphires (103 min., PG-13) Based on a true story of three Aboriginal sisters who form a singing group in Australia and entertain US troops during the Vietnam War. Characters smoke marijuana, though it’s only implied. The script includes moderate profanity and hints of unwed motherhood. The depiction of racial insults and segregationist laws against Aboriginal people is not pretty. Worse, Aboriginal children who looked white are shown being taken from their families to be raised as whites. War scenes are not graphic, though we do see people killed or injured.

Tyler Perry’s Temptation (111 min., PG-13) When a very rich client falls in love with his marriage counselor she wonders how happy her marriage is. Infidelity is strongly implied in steamy kisses, but all sexual situations are stylized, nonexplicit, and out-of-focus or camouflaged by mist. Characters use cocaine. Spousal abuse is discussed, and the film includes brief, nonlethal violence.


Evil Dead (91 min., R) This remake is not for anyone who’s not a fan of slasher-horror-zombie movies. The violence is super-gory: faces sliced open, bodies rent asunder, blood being vomited. The finale features nonstop carnage. A pet is found murdered, though its wounds aren’t graphically depicted.

The Place Beyond the Pines (140 min., R) Ryan Gosling plays a down-and-outer who runs afoul of a cop, played by Bradley Cooper. The movie features brief but intense scenes of violence. Certain characters use drugs. Many use strong profanity. There is a crude misogynist remark. Issues of depression, betrayal, and corruption figure throughout.

Jane Horwitz, Washington Post Writers Group.
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