Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures
Time to catch up on all the big new releases (and if you live in big city, an indie too). Already returned to Middle-earth with The Hobbit? Seen Daniel Day-Lewis' mesmerizing transformation as Honest Abe? Already watched Breaking Dawn Part 2 too many times? There are still plenty of movies to see!
But who should you see these flicks with? No doubt you are out of town, visiting family, friends, or that ever-important one that you'll soon be related to.
Check out our guide to films to see on Christmas day—or during the holiday week—and who best to see them with: bonding with dad, quality time with mom and a way to hang with your siblings but not have to talk to each other.
1. Les Misérables—See It With Your Wife, Your Friend Who Loves Musicials, Your Little Sister, oh Heck, Anyone: The critics might be mixed on Tom Hopper's big-screen adaptation of the long running Broadway musical, but we're betting you won't be. An epic production starring an A-list cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. The key is the much-publicized live singing—musicals are usually dubbed. The difference is astounding. Anne Hathaway's "I Dreamed a Dream" might just be one of the best onscreen singing moments in cinema history.
2. Jack Reacher—See It With Dad: Tom Cruise is not the 6'5" blond that author Lee Child described in his long-running Reacher series but that's OK. Cruise delivers his own brand of charisma as a former U.S. Army Police dude who lives off the grid, but comes out of hiding to take care of business—think Ethan Hunt meets Dirty Harry. What we dug most about this by-the-book procedural was director Christopher McQuarrie's bare-bones approach. The hand-to-hand fight scenes thrill, as does Werner Herzog as the heavily accented German baddie. Best of all, the film remembers how much fun a great car chase can be. We bet your pops does too.
3. This Is 40—See It With Your Significant Other: Judd Apatow's "sort of sequel" to Knocked Up focuses on married couple Pete and Debbie's (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann reprising their roles) hurdles of turning 40 while still living in an awesome home with adorable kids and other problems the 1 percent face. But that's what we expect from Apatow's brand of adults who are finally growing up. And hey, part of going to the movies is living through these well-offers, right? Megan Fox gives a good turn as Debbie's possible crook of an employer, Desi. Beyond all the Lost references and iEverything humor, 40 is about a mostly relatable modern family.
The Weinstein Company
4. Django Unchained—See It With Your Brother: Quentin Tarantino's latest revenge flick pits former slave Django (Jamie Foxx ) and bounty hunter Dr. Schultz (Christoph Waltz) against fiendish plantation owner Calvin (Leonardo DiCaprio). At 165 min, there are definitely a few pacing problems, but once Django gets his fly blue wardrobe all is good. Fans of Inglourious Basterds will recall Waltz's gift for speechifying. That is still his specialty. DiCaprio is the standout as a slave owner whose brutality is matched by his wit. As with all revenge fantasies, you almost wish the two opposing parties could put down their guns and get along. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen.
5. The Guilt Trip—See It With Mom, or an Undeserving Son: Seth Rogen asks smothering mother Barbra Streisand to accompany him across the country. Eight to 10 long days stuck together in a tiny, affordable rental car. (For us, only 90 minutes!) The Jewish-mom-and-son routine earns way more laugh per mile than you'd think. Rogen is sympathetic, but also pretty ungrateful as the only child. Streisand, however, hasn't been this engaging in years. A pit stop to eat a really big steak in one hour—thereby getting the meal for free!—is the highlight. Can you imagine your mom doing that?!
Sony Pictures Classics
6. Amour—See It Alone, and Be Depressed All Week: This year's winner at Cannes, Michael Haneke's beyond-serious drama about a retired couple living in France may be the most accurate portrayal of letting go ever put to film. After her first stroke, Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) finds herself in the care of her loving soulmate (Jean-Louis Trintignant). The pain is deliberately measured as Anne's loss of appetite—she's losing her will to live. These are their last days together. Sure to make you want to hug your loved ones a little harder.
(E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
Did we miss the flick you most wanted to see? Sound off in the comments!