FILM CLIPS: Battle: Los Angeles, Carancho, The Last Lions, Mars Needs Moms and Red Riding Hood. Take your pick.

New Releases: Battle: Los Angeles, Carancho, The Last Lions, Mars Needs Moms, Red Riding Hood.

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  • Matanza Cine
  • Ricardo Darin and Martina Gusman star in Carancho. A film by Pablo Trapero.



OPENING FRIDAY
BATTLE: LOS ANGELES 2 stars (PG-13) Aaron Eckhart plays a Marine staff sergeant who leads his platoon against space invaders in this gritty sci-fi action film that aims more for Black Hawk Down than Independence Day. With lots of firepower but little character development, Battle: Los Angeles plays like a very expensive, two-hour U.S. Marines recruiting film, but its approach to the tactical perspective of troops on the ground keeps the jingoism in check. — Curt Holman

CARANCHO (NR) Argentina’s superb actor Ricardo Darín stars in this gritty crime drama as an ambulance-chasing lawyer whose relationship with a burned-out paramedic is complicated by Buenos Aires’ subculture of traffic accidents and insurance fraud. It looks like a worthy successor to the 1970s New York dramas of Martin Scorsese and Sidney Lumet.

THE LAST LIONS (PG) A lioness travels Botswana’s Okavango Delta in this documentary from National Geographic. The narrator is Jeremy Irons, who voiced Uncle Scar in The Lion King, which seems like some kind of inside joke.

MARS NEEDS MOMS (PG) A nine-year old boy (Seth Green) learns to appreciate his mom (Joan Cusack) after she’s abducted by aliens and he has to leave the planet to save her. This 3-D, CGI family feature was based on a children’s book by “Bloom County” creator Berke Breathed, and produced by the people who brought you The Polar Express.

RED RIDING HOOD (PG-13) Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first Twilight film, helms this Brothers Grimm-inspired thriller about a snowy village stalked by a werewolf. The cast includes Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Virginia Madsen, Julie Christie and Amanda Seyfried as the girl n da hood.

DULY NOTED
FOUR LIONS 4 stars (R ) English satirist and journalist Chris Morris directs this ingenious comedy about a bumbling group of would-be Islamist terrorists from Sheffield, England. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, Suite 240 University Center. March 14-20, 11 a.m., 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 p.m. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.- Holman

KAMOME DINER (NR) A new diner in Finland attracts both curiosity-seeking locals and expatriate Japanese in this comedy about people forming connections that cross cultures. Japanese Film Festival. Free-$7. Sat., March 18, 8 p.m. Rich Theatre, High Museum, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.high.org.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1990) The Plaza Theatre programs the first live-action film (inspired by the animated TV series, which was inspired by a comic book parody of Daredevil) about the pizza-snarfing martial artists on the half shell. Cowabunga? March 16, 9:30 p.m.; March 18, midnight; March 19, 3 p.m. $8. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.