For those of you who might be wondering what to do during the Christmas holidays, one option you have is hitting up the movie theaters. It may only be a few hours but sometimes the right movie will keep your imagination engaged for much longer than that. For those few hours acting talent such as Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, James Franco, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Marion Cotillard, Jamie Foxx, the late Robin Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Reese Whitherspoon, Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Eddie Redmayne, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, and Matthew McConaughey will help lead you into the world of make believe and entertainment.
Last year we did not see a ton of family fun fare but this year seems a little different! Here’s what new movies will be out or come out this holiday season.
On December 26th:
Into the Woods
Rated PG; 124 min – Comedy | Family | Fantasy | Musical
A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.
Starring Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt
Rated PG-13; 137 min – Action | Drama | Sport | War
A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.
Director: Angelina Jolie
Stars: Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway
Rated R; 112 min – Action | Comedy
Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
Directors: Evan Goldberg | Seth Rogen
Cast includes James Franco, Seth Rogen, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan
Rated R; 134 min – Action | Biography | War
Metascore: 62/100 (based on 7 early reviews so far)
A Navy S.E.A.L. recounts his military career, which includes more than 150 confirmed kills.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Max Charles
Rated PG-13; Biography | Drama
Metascore: 61/100 (after 4 early reviews)
A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.
Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman
Two Days, One Night
Rated PG-13; 95 min – Drama
Metascore: 92/100 (Check out that great score from 10 early reviews)
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Fabrizio Rongione, Pili Groyne, Simon Caudry
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But that’s the day of or after Christmas. There will obviously be flicks in theaters already when Christmas rolls around, like The Hunger Games. Right? Let’s see what comes out just before the big day…
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Bilbo and Company are forced to be engaged in a war against an array of combatants and keeping the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure. and obliterating all of Middle-Earth.
Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett
Rated PG; 118 min – Comedy | Drama | Family | Musical
Annie is a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan. But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.
Cast includes Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Rated PG Adventure | Comedy | Family | Fantasy
Larry spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.
Stars include Dan Stevens, Robin Williams, Rebel Wilson, Owen Wilson
Rated R; 111 min – Crime | Drama | Thriller
Metascore: 61/100 (7 early reviews)
A literature college professor and high stakes gambler runs afoul of a loan shark and his bodyguard-like gangsters while he has an affair with one of his students.
Cast: Jessica Lange, Mark Wahlberg, Brie Larson, Sonya Walger
Rated R; 150 min – Biography | Drama | History
Metascore: 97/100 (12 reviews)
An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner’s life.
Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Paul Jesson, Dorothy Atkinson, Marion Bailey
– – –
Movies coming out on December 12th, 2014:
Rated R; 148 min – Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery | Romance
Metascore: 84/100 (from 13 early reviews)
In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Acting talent includes Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro
Exodus: Gods and Kings
Rated PG-13; 150 min – Action | Adventure | Drama
The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.
From Ridley Scott
It stars Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Sigourney Weaver
Rated R Comedy
Metascore: 93/100 (5 reviews)
A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.
Directed by Chris Rock
It Stars: Adam Sandler, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg
– – –
Movies coming out on December 5, 2014
Rated R; 89 min – Horror
An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid only to find themselves hunted by an insidious creature.
Stars: Garsha Arristos, Joseph Beddelem, Omar Benbrahim, James Buckley
Rated R; 115 min – Biography | Drama
Metascore: 75/100 (8 reviews)
A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern
Rated R; 111 min – Thriller
Metascore: 50/100 (4 reviews)
This conspiracy thriller is set in the early 80’s, the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea and the authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline from depths of 500 meters. A professional diver, Petter, obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world’s most dangerous mission. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who’s pulling the strings. Gradually he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake.
Stars Wes Bentley, Stephen Lang, Aksel Hennie, Stephanie Sigman
– – –
Movies that are out now and will probably still be in theaters by December 25th:
The Imitation Game
Rated PG-13; 114 min – Biography | Drama | Thriller | War
Metascore: 71/100 (31 reviews)
English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, helps crack the Enigma code during World War II.
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Allen Leech
Penguins of Madagascar
Rated PG; 92 min – Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Family
Metascore: 53/100 (30 reviews)
Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.
Voice cast : Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon
The Theory of Everything
Rated PG-13; 123 min – Biography | Drama | Romance
Metascore: 72/100 (45 reviews)
A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.
Stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior, Sophie Perry
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Rated PG-13; 123 min – Adventure | Sci-Fi
Metascore: 64/100 (44 reviews)
When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson
Rated R; 134 min – Biography | Drama | Sport | Thriller
Metascore: 82/100 (38 reviews)
Wrestler Mark Schultz forms a relationship with his new sponsor, millionaire John du Pont, as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul – a union that leads to unlikely circumstances as both men feel inferior to Mark’s revered brother, Dave.
Stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave
Big Hero 6
Rated PG; 102 min – Animation | Action | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Sci-Fi
Metascore: 75/100 (34 reviews)
The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
Voice cast includes Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller
Rated PG-13; 169 min – Adventure | Sci-Fi
Metascore: 74/100 (46 reviews)
A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in an attempt to find a potentially habitable planet that will sustain humanity.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy