Christmas Weekend Movies: Too Many Choices

As the last big movie push for the year, this week’s releases are spread throughout the entire week. One movie opened Tuesday night, two open and one expands Wednesday, two open and two expand on Friday, and three open on Sunday. If you’re a film-lover looking to catch up and see everything over the holiday break (assuming you get one), then you’re going to be a very busy bee. For this multi-day edition of Weekend Movies, we’ll cover the releases day-by-day to help you plan your viewing schedule.


For some reason, David Fincher wanted to get an early start on the game by releasing his version of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘ a few hours earlier than originally planned. Showings began at 7 PM Tuesday night across the nation. As the box office numbers roll in, it will be interesting to see how the “feel bad movie of Christmas” performs. The huge worldwide fan base that made the book series a hit is expected to flock to theaters to see the American adaptation, but those unfamiliar with books may not have the desire to see the graphic rape and torture scenes (that earn the series half its hype) during this feel-good time of the year. Check out my review from last week.


Having opened several weeks ago in many European markets, the Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson joint collaboration, motion capture animated flick ‘The Adventures of Tintin‘ finally opens on U.S. soil. Basely upon a widely-popular foreign comic series, the film takes us on an ‘Indiana Jones’-style journey with central character Tintin, a young journalist always looking to crack the next big story, and his dog Snowy. With the option of 3D or 2D, ‘Tintin’ is fitting for any children you might show ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ to. Check out my review.

Opening today in limited release is ‘Albert Nobbs‘, an odd British period piece about a woman (Glenn Close) who disguises herself as a man in an attempt to get ahead in the workplace. When she meets another woman doing the same thing, she gets the idea that she must marry a woman so that no one will question her femininity. If you’ve seen the trailer for ‘Albert Nobbs’, you might expect a quirky lightweight girl-power drama, but in reality it’s exactly the opposite. Beware. Click here to read my review.

After five lucrative days exclusively showing on IMAX and other premium screens across the U.S., you can now catch ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol’ on any screen. However, like I said in my review last week, since portions of the film were shot in IMAX, the bigger screen you see ‘Ghost Protocol’ on, the better.


After a several-year absence, director Cameron Crowe returns to the big screen with his adaptation of the non-fictional novel ‘We Bought a Zoo‘. The film stars Matt Damon as a recently-widowed father of two trying to get his feet back on the ground after his wife’s untimely passing. To help the children get grounded, he decides that they need a drastic change of life, so he moves them to a dream house that just so happens to be located in a zoo. ‘We Bought a Zoo’ is the rare type of inspirational, feel-good comedic drama that critics love just as much as general audiences. With its light PG rating, it’s perfect for the season.

Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey‘ is receiving a small release this weekend. I know very little of Jolie’s directorial debut other than that it takes place during the Bosnian War, was filmed in Bosnia, and features a lot of grisly content like rape and graphic war violence. Sounds just as uplifting as ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.

Building off a lot of awards buzz, ‘The Artist‘ and ‘My Week with Marilyn‘ expand to more theaters on Friday. Both get my recommendation. Josh Zyber gave ‘The Artist’ a 5-star review, and I gave ‘Marilyn’ a 4.5-star review.


Although I’ve enjoyed Timur Bekmambetov’s last few films, I’m worried for ‘The Darkest Hour‘, solely because it’s been restricted from all advance press screenings in my region – and Summit is known for showing all of its movies multiple times prior to release. The trailer shares certain alien invasion imagery with ‘Skyline’ (odd lights slowly falling from the sky), but I’d like to believe that Bekmambetov wouldn’t produce a movie that bad. Perhaps I’m wrong. If any of you see this over the weekend, let us know what you think. I, for one, am intrigued.

Steven Spielberg’s second movie of the week, ‘War Horse‘, isn’t opening as widely as ‘Tintin’. That’s probably because most people won’t want to watch a movie whose central character is a horse that gets shipped to Europe during World War I on Christmas. Mirroring the wartime experiences of men sent to the frontline, ‘War Horse’ takes us on the multi-year journey of the little horse who could.

Last but not least, one of the year’s very best films, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close‘ is getting a small six-screen release for awards consideration. Don’t worry, it expands wide on January 20th, 2012. This emotional rollercoaster follows a kid who lost his father (Tom Hanks) in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. The father and son used to go on journeys together looking for clues and hints to odd mysteries. Now, a year after the attack, the boy finds a clue that his father left for him, the key to the biggest mystery yet. Bring your hankies because it’s going to get emotional.

With so many options available, which movie(s) are you going to see over the holiday?


  1. We are talking about going to go see Alvin and the Chipmunks. I am actually pretty excited – I was afraid that I was going to have to wait until it came out on Blu-Ray to see it, but then one of my friends with kids invited me. I loved the previous two!

    I wasn’t too excited about We Bought A Zoo at first, but now that I am learning more about the movie, I may go see it.

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