Kids 6 and older
Escape From Planet Earth (89 min, PG) An animated comedy about a muscle-bound celebrity astronaut and his derring-do on other planets. Several scenes show him and his brother in danger — frozen in cylinders or nearly falling to their deaths from space. Some of the interplanetary creatures play to American ethnic stereotypes.
The middle ground
Beautiful Creatures (124 min., PG-13) Strange doings in a Southern town, based on the best-selling fiction series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Acts of witchcraft are not graphic. The film includes occasional profanity and one implied teen sexual situation. Nothing explicit occurs. There’s a potentially lethal shooting. Without preaching, the film says that good or evil is always a choice.
Safe Haven (115 min., PG-13) A young woman on the run falls for widower Josh Duhamel. A couple of flashbacks imply the possibility of murder and, later in the film, drunken spousal abuse. A child falls off a dock and must be rescued. The budding couple spend the night together, but aside from much kissing and removing of outer garments, nothing is shown.
Snitch (112 min., PG-13) Businessman Dwayne Johnson goes undercover among drug dealers to save his son. Action scenes include a couple of heavy gun battles, but without a lot of blood or graphic injuries. It’s strongly implied by bruises and stitches on his face that the son undergoes beatings and perhaps worse in jail. Families are shown at risk, with one child briefly abducted. The script includes midrange profanity. Themes about divorce and how it can alienate children figure prominently.
A Good Day to Die Hard (97 min., R) Bruce Willis, as super-cop John McClane, rides again. The movie consists mostly of eardrum-shattering gun battles and explosions, and road-destroying, metal-shearing car chases and crashes. Wounds are mostly less than graphic, but not always. One character late in the film falls into a helicopter rotor, which produces a cloud of blood. The dialogue includes strong profanity.
Identify Thief (108 min., R) Cyber-bandit Melissa McCarthy gets accountant Jason Bateman’s vital information. Crude, explicit sexual slang and strong profanity earn the R, along with comically explicit sexual situations, though no nudity. The mayhem in the film is more comic than graphic, albeit with gunplay, fisticuffs, car chases, and crashes.
Side Effects (106 min., R) Therapist Jude Law has Rooney Mara for a patient. A drug he prescribes may have led to a murder. How can he clear his name? The film is ambiguous and ominous in the way it portrays depression. It includes a graphic stabbing death with considerable blood. Characters engage in a fairly explicit sexual situation with nearly full nudity, and a couple of others that are more understated. Characters misuse prescription drugs and utter occasional strong profanity.
Jane Horwitz, Washington Post Writers Group.