New Releases To Break Up Tedium of Family Time

December 22, 2011

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New in theaters by Friday:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Director: David Fincher
Starring: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer
Good if you want to see: the book you read on the plane brought to life for the second time--now edgier, and in English, and with shockingly convincing fake pubes!

The Adventures of Tintin
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: CGI Jamie Bell, CGI Andy Serkis, CGI Daniel Craig, CGI Simon Pegg, CGI Nick Frost
Good if you want to see: the beloved comic character finally given hollow eyes and not-quite-right flesh creator Hergé always intended.

We Bought a Zoo
Director: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning
Good if you want to see: Matt Damon buy a zoo.

In the Land of Blood and Honey
Director: Angeline Jolie
Starring: Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic
Good if you want to see: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider's melodramatic look at a romance between a beautiful civilian and an opposition soldier during the Bosnian War--because who knows the anguish of what it's like to have a passionate romance strained by political lines better than Team Jolie?

Albert Nobbs
Director: Rodrigo Garcia
Starring: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson
Good if you want to see: Glenn Close play a cross-dressing servant, as if Mrs. Doubtfire didn't already adequately say HELL-OOOO to that subject matter.

Pina
Director: Wim Wenders
Good if you want to see: choreographer Pina Bausch's work explored in a documentary that uses 3D to allow her choreography to play out in different layers of the frame. Which sounds like such a waste compared to how Michael Bay made all these sweet explosions whiz out at you in Transformers 2.

PLUS, on Christmas Day, some other stuff opens:

War Horse
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, a horse
Good if you want to see: what a great fucking horse this horse is, according to Steven Spielberg.

The Darkest Hour
Director: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor
Good if you want to see: an alien invasion! But they aren't just aliens, guys: it turns out these aliens are electricity or something!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Director: Stephen Daldry
Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow
Good if you want to see: 9/11 finally given the mawkish, cloying perspective of a precocious boy investigating a key left by his father, who was killed in Tom Hanks Tower #2.

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