Saturday, December 17, 2011

New In Theaters - December 20th - 25th, 2011

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton, Josh Holloway,
Michael Nyqvist, Vladimir Mashkov, Lea Seydoux & Anil Kapoor
Directed by Brad Bird for distribution by Paramount Pictures

The Plot: Framed for an international incident, the "IMF" team is disbanded and forced to find the real culprit while on the run from the authorities.

The Final Word: Following the success of the “Mission: Impossible 3,” a fourth installment in the action franchise was really an easy decision even if it did take five years to hit theaters. Helmed by Brad Bird in his live-action directorial debut, the film (based on the long-running TV series) reunites audiences with Ethan Hunt and his ever-changing team, including a new character played by Jeremy Renner who is rumored to be taking over the franchise from Cruise going forward.

Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost,
Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones & Mackenzie Crook
Directed by Steven Spielberg for distribution by Paramount

The Plot: An intrepid reporter and his dog join a sea captain in a quest for a sunken treasure ship’s haul.

The Final Word: Already a hit internationally, the movie opens in the USA this week with a built in audience familiar with the animated character’s adventures. Although while Tintin has always been a hit overseas, he’s not as big domestically, but with Spielberg and “Lord of the Rings” guru Peter Jackson running the show, Paramount is going to give this every chance to succeed.

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård,
Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen & Joely Richardson
Directed by David Fincher for distribution by Columbia

The Plot: A journalist enlists a disturbed computer hacker to help him solve the mysterious disappearance of a long-missing heiress.

The Final Word: Based on the best-selling novels that have taken the world by storm, the David Fincher directed adaptation is finally ready to unspool in theaters. Truthfully, if you aren’t already aware of the buzz behind the film, you probably aren’t going to see it, no matter what is written about it.

Starring: Zana Marjanović, Goran Kostić, Rade Šerbedžija,
Vanesa Glodjo & Nikola Djurićko
Directed by Angelina Jolie for distribution by FilmDistrict

The Plot: The relationship between a Bosnian solider and a female prisoner of war plays out during the deadly Balken conflict of the 1990’s.

The Final Word: While the Oscar winning Angelina Jolie isn’t starring in the pic, she is making her directorial debut with it and that’s a story within itself The vastly talented actress hasn’t definitely not gone for an easy project her first time out of the gate, but she has gone for one with a plot she’s passionate about, given her long-standing charity work with the war torn area from which the movie takes place.

Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church,
Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning & John Michael Higgins
Directed by Cameron Crowe for distribution by 20th Century Fox

The Plot: A single father buys a zoo in a desperate attempt to shake up his and his family’s life.

The Final Word: Cameron Crowe broke through in 1996 with “Jerry Maguire” and he’s been unable to launch a similarly successful blockbuster since that time. While he’s had a few solid hits, he hasn’t been able to match “Maguire’s” pop culture appeal, but some believe “Zoo” could be that vehicle. Based on a true story, the movie has been generating Oscar buzz for Damon and may be just the picture Johansson has been looking for to re-start her momentum going into next year’s “Avengers.”

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella
Rachael Taylor & Joel Kinnaman
Directed by Chris Gorak for distribution by Summit Entertainment

The Plot: Five youths find themselves fighting for their lives when they become stranded in Moscow following a devastating alien attack.

The Final Word: Because nothing says holidays like an internationally set battle again aliens in 3D. Not sure much more needs to be said on this one.

Starring: Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup,
Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch & Toby Kebbell
Directed by Steven Spielberg for distribution by DreamWorks

The Plot: Forcibly separated from his owner, a horse ends up on a harrowing journey across Europe during World War I.

The Final Word: Every few years Steven Spielberg breaks away from the world of fantasy and adventure that he undisputedly owns, to make a film dripping in Oscar-bait. Adapted from the Tony winning play, which itself was adapted from a very successful book, “Horse” is the type of movie Academy voters dream about rewarding, which means you are going to hear a lot about it for the next three months.