There’s still more to come on Christmas Day, mind you, but today’s opening slate will keep you busy until then …
American Hustle: In which the director of The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook gets the casts of those films to yell at each other in Seventies drag. Honestly, a more accurate title would been David O. Russell’s Cavalcade of Shouting and Sideboob. It’s less confused as to what this movie is really about.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay unleash their unreconstructed alpha moron on cable news circa 1980, with the absurdist glee of a Tim & Eric sketch. When it works, it works great … but at a full two hours, it gets a little exhausting. John felt much the same way.
Good Vibrations: This scrappy little Irish gem is Belfast’s answer to 24 Hour Party People, and it’s in serious danger of getting lost amidst all the studio awards bait. If it sounds like something you’d enjoy, go enjoy it this weekend.
Haunter: After Cube , Cypher, Nothing and Splice, Vincenzo Natali takes on his first ghost story, and it’s … well, it’s not the best fit, but it does have its moments.
Her: Spike Jonze’s curious love story — in which lonely Joaquin Phoenix installs an operating system with the voice of Scarlett Johansson, and promptly falls for it — is a rich, thoughtful and ultimately moving meditation on the inherent narcissism of romance, and something you’ll be thinking about long after the credits roll.
Inside Llewyn Davis: The only thing wrong with Joel and Ethan Coen’s marvelous character study is that Carey Mulligan is in it, giving a really awful performance. And yet the rest of the movie is so good that I can’t hold it against them. I mean, they did cast her, but still; any film containing this scene is one of the year’s best, by definition.
Maidentrip: Glenn is quite taken with this documentary of plucky young Laura Dekker, who sailed herself around the world at age 14. The treatment sounds really intriguing, and I’m hoping to carve out some time to catch it over the holidays.
Nicky’s Family: The story of WWII hero Sir Nicholas Winton, “Britain’s Schindler”, is recounted by documentarian Matej Minac with perhaps a little too much worship, according to Rad.
Walking with Dinosaurs: Hey, remember Disney’s computer-animated family adventure Dinosaur? 20th Century Fox sure hopes you don’t, because then you’d find this new computer-animated family adventure — starring the voices of Justin Long and Karl Urban, among others — awfully familiar. Rad remembers, though. Rad remembers.
And that’s everything. Well, everything that’s relevant today, at least. Because there’s a lot more coming next week, just you wait.