December 2011


December 2nd

In this modern retelling of classic Shakespeare, a banished hero (Ralph Fiennes) allies with a sworn enemy (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.

Our Take: Ralph Fiennes is directing this film himself, so the passion is clearly there – and we’re always open to the idea of modernized Shakespeare (if done right). Factor in the impressive Coriolanus trailer, and we’re officially enthused about this one.

We Need To Talk About Kevin

December 2nd (Limited)

The mother (Tilda Swinton) of a teenage boy who went on a high-school killing spree tries to deal with her grief — and feelings of responsibility for her child’s actions — by writing to her estranged husband (John C. Reilly).

Our Take: This film is building a serious buzz – mostly for the performance of Tilda Swinton, who is a great actor on her worst day. The subject matter is touchy, for sure, but we’re guessing that director Lynne Ramsay has managed to handle it the right way.

New Years Eve

December 9th

The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve. Ashton Kutcher, Zac Efron, Lea Michele, Jessica Biel, Sofía Vergara, Abigail Breslin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Taylor Swift, Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Frankie Muniz and Robert De Niro round out the ensemble cast.

Our Take: Another Hollywood ensemble film centered around a holiday. Is there somebody out there actually asking for these films to be made?

The Sitter

December 9th

A comedy about a college student (Jonah Hill) on suspension who is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, though he is fully unprepared for the wild night ahead of him.

Our Take: At first glance it looks like yet another raunchy Jonah Hill comedy – after seeing The Sitter red-band trailer it looks like another funny raunchy Jonah Hill comedy.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

December 9th (US)

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6’s echelons. Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds and Toby Jones co-star. Tomas Alfredson directs.

Our Take: Excellent cast, excellent director, thrilling slow-burn subject matter… Happy Holidays! An espionage thriller for thinking adults!

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked

December 16th

Playing around while aboard a cruise ship, the Chipmunks and Chipettes accidentally go overboard and end up marooned in a tropical paradise. They discover their new turf is not as deserted as it seems.

Our Take: Kids rejoice! Everyone else, roll your eyes and groan and hope you don’t get dragged to this.


December 16th (Limited)

The story of two sets of parents who decide to have a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a schoolyard brawl. After a couple of drinks, and circular rounds of conversation, civility begins to give way. Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz star. Roman Polanski directs.

Our Take: Polanski’s name elicits immediate and visceral recations from a lot of people. Putting the director’s personal life aside, this looks like an interesting single-setting film.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

December 16th

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and his sidekick Dr. Watson (Jude Law) join forces to outwit and bring down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris). Noomi Rapace co-stars.

Our Take: Who didn’t enjoy the first Sherlock Holmes? With the same cast, director, and some promising new talent involved, expectations for this sequel are high, to say the least.

Young Adult

December 16th

Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer (Charlize Theron) returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend (Patrick Wilson), who is now married with kids.

Our Take: We’ve heard little about this one, but Theron is pretty smart about the roles she chooses. Color us intrigued.

The Factory

December 19th

An obsessed cop (John Cusack) is on the trail of a serial killer prowling the streets of Buffalo, N.Y. but when his teenage daughter (Mae Whitman) disappears, he drops any professional restraint to get the killer. Jennifer Carpenter co-stars.

Our Take: This film was made almost three years ago and has been sitting on the shelf ever since. NOT a good sign.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

December 21st

A disgraced journalist (Daniel Craig) teams with a genius Goth hacker (Rooney Mara) to solve a decades-old mystery involving a missing girl and one of Sweden’s wealthiest and most powerful families, whose dark past may hold the key to a terrible secret. Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård and Joely Richardson star. David Fincher directs this American version of the bestselling novel by Stieg Larsson.

Our Take: This is NOT a remake of the Swedish film, but rather a re-interpretation of the book. That might still sound bad – if not for the presence of David Fincher at the helm. The Dragon Tattoo teaser trailer was awesome, and we have no doubt the full-length film will be the same.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

December 21st

The IMF is shut down when it’s implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, causing Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his new team to go rogue to clear their organization’s name.

Our Take: There would be little to get excited about here, if not for the infusion of new blood (Jeremy Renner) and a talented director in the form of Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Toy Story 3). As it stands, we’re willing to go on another Mission.

The Adventures of Tintin

December 23rd

Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock’s ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt. Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Cary Elwes, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost and Toby Jones provide the bodies for this motion-capture CGI creation by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

Our Take: The comic books were great pulp adventure material, and with names like Spielberg and Jackson on the marquee, we expect great things from this movie. Whether or not the motion-capture performances will be stunning or stunting is another debate.

The Darkest Hour

December 23

In Russia, a group of young adults struggle to survive after an alien invasion. Emile Hirsch, Rachael Taylor, Olivia Thirlby, Joel Kinnaman and Max Minghella star.

Our Take: If you’ve seen The Darkest Hour trailer, then perhaps you too were pleasantly surprised by this inventive take on the worn-out alien invasion premise.

We Bought a Zoo

December 23rd

A father moves his family to the English countryside to own and operate a zoo. Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Elle Fanning, Thomas Haden Church and J.B. Smoove star. Cameron Crowe directs.

Our Take: It’s hard to get enthusiastic about a Cameron Crowe movie at this point. Doesn’t matter how good the cast looks on paper.

War Horse

December 28th

Follows a young man named Albert (Jeremy Irvine) and his horse, Joey, and how their bond is broken when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of World War One. Despite being too young to enlist, Albert heads to France to save his friend. Steven Spielberg directs.

Our Take: Two words: Oscar. Bait.

That’s it for our 2011 Fall Movie Preview – which films are looking forward to seeing while you stay out of the cold? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Film Releases

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