Perhaps the whole Christmas dinner with the family isn’t your thing, or maybe your religion requests that you stay as far away from the jolly fat man as possible (if that’s the case, we’re jealous) — but either way, there’s a reason why so many hotly-anticipated films open in theaters on Christmas Day … and it’s not so Santa’s elves would have something to do once their long shift finally ended.
Believe it or not, but a lot of people choose to spend their Christmas (which, in some circles, is just another day off from work) at the movies. And if you’re one of those people, then feel free to use the handy cheat sheet after the jump to help you decide what to see.
Bedtime Stories What’s It About: Adam Sandler tones down his typical potty mouth humor for this family-friendly Disney flick about a hotel handyman whose fanciful bedtime stories (which he uses to entertain his niece and nephew) suddenly come to life. What’s The Buzz: Adults may find this watered-down Sandler somewhat of a bore, but plenty of special effects and imagination should satisfy those little ones itching to escape the same old animated flick.
The Spirit What’s It About: In his directorial debut, Frank Miller (300, Sin City) brings this popular graphic novel — about a rookie cop who returns from the dead to fight crime — to the big screen, with plenty of funky style and beautiful, mysterious women (like Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and Sarah Paulson). What’s The Buzz: Unfortunately, early word from critics is not good (33 percent at Rotten Tomatoes), as it appears Miller forgot to bring the substance with his giant plate of style.
Revolutionary Road What’s It About: Based on the sort of novel that ruins marriages, Revolutionary Road reunites Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a 1950’s couple who move to the suburbs and realize just how much they hate their lives … and each other. What’s The Buzz: With this much hurt and grief in one film, it’s obviously an awards contender — but one might think twice before choosing this flick for date night.
Valkyrie What’s It About: Based on a pretty cool (and dangerous) true story, Bryan Singer directs this film about a group of German army colonels who, during World War II, attempt an assassination plot against Adolf Hitler. What’s The Buzz: Although you have Tom Cruise wearing a silly eye patch, and a strong cast who deliver nothing but English and British accents (even though they’re all playing Germans), we’ve heard there’s still a satisfying amount of thrills and chills to be found here.
Marley & Me What’s It About: Believe it or not, but here we have yet another film based on a popular novel – only this one follows the trials and tribulations of one couple (played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston) and their lovable Golden Retriever, Marley. What’s The Buzz: Cute, familiar animal antics and a few scenes that are bound to tug at your heartstrings.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button What’s It About: David Fincher directs this fantastical tale about a man (Brad Pitt) who’s born old and subsequently ages backwards, becoming younger while all those around him — including the women he loves — grow older. What’s The Buzz: A three-hour running time and stunning visual effects make this one a strong Oscar contender, not to mention that whenever Fincher and Pitt team on a film, they seem to produce another fan favorite (see: Fight Club and Seven).