Now that Halloween is over, it’s officially the holiday movie season. A time where Oscar hopefuls and Christmas movies take over the local multiplexes, this year there are almost as many sequels being released as in the summertime. But amidst the predictable holiday fare, there are a few that are standing out as must-see movies.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dec.21)
The extraordinary bestselling Millennium Trilogy is being remade by Hollywood for an American audience. This might sound off-putting to people who prefer to see the original Swedish versions, but this one might be too amazing to pass. Director David Fincher, coming off a terrific streak (“Zodiac,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “The Social Network”) promises to deliver a thriller unlike any you’ve ever seen before. After losing his credibility in a libel trial, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is recruited by billionaire Martin Vanger to solve the murder of his daughter Harriet, who disappeared 40 years ago. Vanger is certain that someone in the family killed her. Blomkvist brings in the girl that Vanger hired to do the background check on himself to be his assistant. Her name is Lisbeth Salander, a genius computer hacker with a love for mohawks, piercings, and eating disorders. Together they start investigating, and become targets themselves. Fincher has reteamed with cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and music composer Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, making “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” one of the biggest Oscar frontrunners of the season.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Nov. 18)
Part One of the finale of the massively successful franchise hits theaters next week. The hype for this “Twilight” film is ridiculously high among teenage girls and bored housewives. Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) decide to have a vampire baby, which doesn’t make Bella’s werewolf ex-boyfriend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) very happy. Heavy breathing and deep staring ensue.
Hugo (Nov. 23)
Martin Scorecese directing a children’s movie? Starring the girl from “Kick-Ass” and Borat himself in 3D? It’s less strange than it sounds. Based on Brian Selznick’s captivating and imaginative New York Times bestseller “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” the movie, set in 1930s Paris, tells a magical tale about a young orphan boy named Hugo (Asa Butterfield) who lives in a train station where he is constantly chased by the station’s inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen). Hugo tries to solve the mystery of a mysterious machine that his father (Jude Law) left him before he died. His new friend (Chloe Grace Moretz) holds the key to unlocking the machine’s secrets.
The Sitter (Dec. 9)
Jonah Hill of “Superbad” and “Moneyball” stars as a foul-mouthed babysitter in this upcoming comedy. A normal night of very unorthodox babysitting all goes very wrong after Noah (Hill) decides that having sex is more important than watching the kids. He takes them along to a party, and on the way, meets drug dealers, strippers and flatulent jokes.
The Muppets (Nov. 23)
The Muppets are back on the big screen for the first time in over 10 years. With their popularity dwindling, the Muppet gang teams up with three fans to save their old theater from oil tycoons and revitalize their careers. Not only will Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the Muppets be present, but the film also has an all-star human cast that includes Amy Adams, Neil Patrick Harris, Zach Galifianakis, Mila Kunis, Selena Gomez, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Black and Jason Segal, who also wrote the script. If that’s not enough, Bret Mckenzie of “Flight of the Conchords” wrote the majority of the movie’s songs.
Arthur Christmas (Nov. 23)
This year’s CGI Christmas adventure features James McAvoy as the voice of Arthur Christmas, Santa’s youngest son. In a world where Christmas is treated as a military operation, with elves moving in and out of houses, dropping off presents like some kind of task force. After getting tired of being overshadowed by his older brother Steve (Hugh Laurie), Arthur realizes that a little girl has been missed and thinks Santa has forgotten about her. No one but Arthur thinks it matters, so it is up to Arthur to save Christmas the old fashioned way: by using a sleigh and reindeer.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Dec. 16)
Sherlock Holmes is back, and better than ever. Both Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law return as Sherlock Holmes and Watson, respectively. Director Guy Ritchie has chosen to up the action with this new installment, which has Sherlock Holmes going against his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty.