North Shore Flick Chick: What Not to Miss in March

Better clear your calendar, because this month’s movie schedule is overloaded with must-sees in a belated antidote to the winter blahs.

Save the dates, and spring forward with these flicks (not just for chicks)!

March 7

300: Rise of an Empire (R)

If this sequel is anything like its predecessor, there will be blood and special effects like you’ve never seen…as well as tight abs and dueling Roman God-like men who must moonlight as romance novel cover models. (Move over, Fabio.) In other words, there’s something for everyone in this blockbuster, which will be released in 3-D (‘cuz we all need a closer look at those abs).

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (PG)

I have no idea who Mr. Peabody or Sherman are. But now that everyone has been to “Frozen,” and “The LEGO Movie” has moved into its final weeks in theaters, the aforementioned characters are set to take center stage in this release from DreamWorks Animation and the director of “The Lion King.” Ty Burrell (“Modern Family”), Max Charles (“The Amazing Spider-Man”), Stephen Colbert (yay!), Allison Janney (who also did “Phineas and Ferb”), Ellie Kemper (“Bridesmaids”) and Stephen Tobolowsky (“Californication”) voice the leads in this kid-pleaser.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (R)

Wes Anderson fans have been lying in wait for this screen gem featuring the famed writer/director’s regular cast (plus a few new additions) including Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson and Ralph Fiennes. The concierge at a famous European hotel turns to his young protégé for assistance after a priceless Renaissance painting goes missing in this quirky comedic drama. (In anticipation of this release, Chicago’s Music Box Theatre is hosting the Wes Anderson Anthology through March 6 featuring “Bottle Rocket,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and every other film featuring his unique brand of humor.)

March 14

Veronica Mars (PG-13)

Ask and ye shall receive: Funded at least in part by a Kickstarter campaign for fan dollars ($5.7 million, to be exact), this much-anticipated movie follows TV’s Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), all grown up and about to graduate law school. When her old flame (Jason Dohring) is arrested for murder, Mars returns to her super-sleuth roots to solve the crime. Actor Enrico Colantoni returns as Veronica’s dad…bonus!

Bad Words (R)

Jason Bateman makes his directorial debut with this naughty comedy about a 41-year-old man determined to win the National Quill Spelling Bee, despite his age and at any cost. When faced by his first real competitor in the otherwise easy-to-beat field of youngsters, Bateman unexpectedly befriends the kid. R-related laughter ensues.

One Chance (PG-13)

The Weinstein Co. brings us this true story of opera singer Paul Potts.You may remember how this ordinary bloke rose to fame on “Britain’s Got Talent,” where he was discovered by Simon Cowell, inspiring millions on national TV. This is his story—a little cheesy, to be sure, but who doesn’t like cheese? (Please pass the Brie.)

March 21

Divergent (PG-13)

Not to be confused with that other one-word movie coming out in May and starring one of the most famous women on the planet, “Divergent” features new “it” girl Shailene Woodley (“The Spectacular Now”) as an unintentional rebel (at least initially—think Katniss, but sweeter) in a post-apocalyptic world. This sci-fi thriller is based on the first of three novels by Veronica Roth, paving the way for a possible big-screen trilogy (yes, another one).

Muppets Most Wanted (PG)

It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! The Muppets are back, baby, with a huge supporting cast that includes Salma Hayek, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Ray Liotta, Celine Dion, P. Diddy and others. This time, Kermit the Frog is in the dog, er, big house after his identity is stolen by a less green and decidedly mean doppelgänger. Commence the Muppet-style mayhem!

March 28

Sabotage (R)

Believe it or not, this looks good. The pulse-pounding trailer for “Sabotage” reveals an aging but no less muscular Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose accent does not distract from his role as the leader of a DEA task force tackling a drug cartel that will stop at nothing to survive. Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard, Josh Holloway, Joe Manganiello and Dawn Olivieri also star in this film from the writer of “Training Day.” (Nothing funny to say about this one, folks. It looks pretty hardcore.)