2012 Holiday Movie Preview

A scene from This Is 40. Courtesy Universal Pictures.

The Hobbit officially kicked off the holiday movie season this weekend, but what about everything else opening over the next few weeks that doesn’t include wizards and dwarves? Here’s five other films just as epic in their own right as the bloated monster Peter Jackson has unleashed that you might want to make a note of seeing.

This is 40 (December 21) – Judd Apatow’s unofficial sequel to his 2007 hit dramedy Knocked Up, This is 40 revolves around the characters of Debbie and Pete (Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd) as they cope with getting old, trying to raise their kids properly, money issues, and a slew of other problems anyone over the age of 30 has. At over 2-hours long, this is Apatow’s most consistently funny film and is filled with lots of memorable scenes that will leave you in tears from laughing so hard (especially the cameo from Melissa McCarthy).

Django Unchained (Christmas Day) – A Quentin Tarantino revenge film starring Jamie Foxx as a slave on the hunt for his wife who has been taken by an evil Mississippi plantation owner is not your typical Christmas Day film. Yet, this brutal tale, which also stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Johnson, and Don Johnson, has major Oscar buzz and could get QT another gold statue for his collection. I’ve been anticipating this film since it was first mentioned and no turkey dinner will keep me away from seeing it opening day.

Les Misérables (Christmas Day) – It wouldn’t be the holidays without a big budget movie musical. And this adaptation of the Broadway play, directed by Tom ‘The King’s Speech’ Hooper, promises to be something special with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, and Hugh Jackman singing their hearts out (Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Helena Bonham Carter also star and sing). Word is that all the early screenings have left audiences in tears so you might want to pack some tissues before venturing out to see it. It’s also 157 minutes long so don’t try to see it back-to-back with The Hobbit (which is a numbing 169 minutes).

The Guilt Trip (December 21) – Barbra Streisand as Seth Rogen’s mother in a movie where the two of them go on a road trip together? Directed by the woman who made The Proposal and 27 Dresses? This could be surprisingly funny or extremely painful and incredibly annoying. Watching Rogen and Streisand during their press interviews it’s very evident they have great comedic chemistry so I’m hoping for the best with the outcome of this one.

Jack Reacher (December 21) - When the trailer for Jack Reacher (below) played before a film I saw recently the entire audience laughed very loudly at it. Here’s the thing — Jack Reacher is not a comedy! No, it’s a Tom Cruise action-thriller where he plays a homicide detective searching for a military sniper. Why did everyone laugh at it then? Because it looks absolutely ridiculous and could be a bigger dud than Cruise’s other film this year, Rock of Ages. Maybe it’s time for Cruise to call it a day. Or only make Mission: Impossible films from now on.

Also opening over the next few weeks are Monsters, Inc. 3D, Parental Guidance, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, and The Impossible.

What are you looking forward to seeing most this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Brian McKechnie

About Brian McKechnie

Brian McKechnie is the founder and editor of Criticize This! Email him at brian@criticizethis.ca.