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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 03/11/2011

New movies: 'Red Riding Hood,' 'Mars Needs Moms'

By Jess Righthand

Aaron Eckhart plays a no-nonsense Staff Sgt. in the new film "Battle: Los Angeles." (Richard Cartwright)

In this week's movie releases, aliens attack Los Angeles, a retelling of a classic fairytale goes awry and a little boy learns about the power of family by traveling to outer space. Here's what Post critics had to say:

"Battle: Los Angeles" (PG-13) "H.G. Wells did it better. This movie spends so much yawn-inducing time on variations of the same combat scenario that its final showdown feels rushed." -- Mark Jenkins

"Red Riding Hood" (PG-13) "For the strenuous effort [director Catherine] Hardwicke puts in to juice up 'Red Riding Hood' with hormonal lust and psychosexual meaning, the movie remains an oddly wan, bloodless affair. My, what big pretensions it has. And not a cogent idea in its pretty little head." -- Ann Hornaday

"Mars Needs Moms" (PG) "Simon Wells and his creative team travel nearly 250 million miles through outer space to unearth valuable life lessons about parenting and the strength of family... 'Mars' works well, and precious few improvements are necessary." -- Sean O'Connell

"The Kids Grow Up" (Unrated) "'The Kids Grow Up' is both a close examination of family tectonics and a more universal depiction of a cultural moment... Personal without falling into solipsism, revealing without succumbing to exploitation, achingly sad, but suffused with tenderness, optimism and warmth." -- Ann Hornaday

"Phil Ochs: There but for Fortune" (Unrated) "Phil Ochs never felt comfortable with the dark, at times deeply personal lyrics that Dylan is known for. It's kind of funny in a way, but also sad, that Ochs's life story -- told poignantly in this movie -- finally achieves the kind of tragic poetry he never fully created in his art." -- Mark Jenkins

By Jess Righthand  | March 11, 2011; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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