Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! Now get yourself to a movie theater. This holiday season is crammed with cinematic gifts, from the silly (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) to the sappy (P.S., I Love You). We’ve got epic fantasies (The Golden Compass), musical slasher films (Sweeney Todd) and animated biopics (Persepolis). We’ve got the work of famed directors like Francis Ford Coppola (Youth Without Youth), Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) and Woody Allen (Cassandra’s Dream). We’ve also got Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. Surely there’s something for everyone to savor.
Keep in mind that all opening dates are subject to change.
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Robin Williams
This semi-musical, semi-retelling of Oliver Twist finds a young musical savant searching for his birth parents in New York.
Stars: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey
Disney makes fun of itself with this half-live-action, half-animated story of a fairy tale princess stuck in modern-day New York.
Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott
A religious assassin finds himself trapped between Interpol and the Russian military.
I’m Not There
Stars: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett
Filmmaker Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) explores the life of musician Bob Dylan by sticking eight very different actors in the role.
Stars: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden
Stephen King’s tale of shoppers trapped in a supermarket by extradimensional monsters comes to life.
Stars: Regina King, Delroy Lindo
An all-star African-American cast tries to survive the holidays as the contentious Whitfield family.
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Jessica Alba
A young man suffers from “anesthetic awareness” during surgery and discovers that his doctors plan to murder him.
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney
Two adult siblings try to cope with the death of their father in this grown-up dramedy.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner
Julian Schnabel (Basquiat) directs this true-life drama about a French magazine editor who suffered a stroke, became totally paralyzed and managed to write his own autobiography.
Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera
This much talked-about indie comedy-drama about a teenage gal who gets knocked up and makes an unusual decision about her unborn child comes from the pen of stripper-
Stars: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy
A bitter teen in World War I-era England changes the lives of those around her by accusing her sister’s lover of a crime he didn’t commit.
The Golden Compass
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig
This epic adaptation of Philip Pullman’s sci-fi/fantasy trilogy sends a young girl on a quest across alternate reality England.
Grace is Gone
Stars: John Cusack
John Cusack is stuck in sappy mode as a father who takes his two young girls on a roadtrip after learning his wife has been killed in Iraq.
Stars: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta
After three years in the can, the new gangster thriller by Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Snatch) may (or may not) be hitting American theaters.
The Perfect Holiday
Stars: Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union
A young girl asks a department store Santa to find a new husband for her sexy but divorced mother. I’ll bet you can’t figure out where this is going.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Stars: Jason Lee, David Cross
Lee follows up the CGI/live-action bastardization of Underdog with this CGI/live-action bastardization of a 50-year-old novelty record.
I Am Legend
Stars: Will Smith
In this third adaptation of Richard Matheson’s sci-fi fright novel, Will Smith stars as a scientist who could well be the last man on Earth (except for all those pesky vampires).
The Kite Runner
Stars: Khalid Abdalla
After years living in California, a man returns to his troubled homeland of Afghanistan in this adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s award-winning novel.
Youth Without Youth
Stars: Tim Roth, Bruno Ganz
Francis Ford Coppola returns after 10 years to helm this romantic thriller about a professor who flees the Nazis while searching for the secret of eternal youth.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger
Cage’s history-minded fortune hunter is back, trying to clear the name of an allegedly murderous ancestor by stealing John Wilkes Booth’s secret diary.
P.S., I Love You
Stars: Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler
A sad widow tries to fulfill a 10-item “to do” list left behind by her dead husband.
Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter
Tim Burton (The Nightmare Before Christmas) directs this grisly musical about a murderous, turn-of-the-century barber.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Stars: John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer
Judd Apatow (Superbad) wrote and produced this silly biopic parody, mixing Walk the Line and Forrest Gump.
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem
Stars: Steven Pasquale, Shakeera Epps
It’s a bad day in small-town America when Aliens and Predators show up to duke it out once again.
The Bucket List
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman
Nicholson and Freeman are a couple of cute oldsters dying of cancer who decide to cross off a list of crazy things to do before they kick the bucket.
Charlie Wilson’s War
Stars: Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts
A Texas congressman’s covert dealings with ’80s-era Afghani rebel fighters have far-reaching repercussions.
The Great Debators
Stars: Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker
Washington stars in and directs this true-life drama about a teacher who inspires his underdog students to form a winning debate team. ... Yeah, it’s another one of those.
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Sean Penn
This stark, animated version of Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical comic book explores what it was like to grow up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.
The Water Horse
Stars: Ben Chaplin, Emily Watson
In this live-action family drama, a lonely Scottish boy finds a magical egg that hatches and grows into the legendary Loch Ness Monster.
There Will Be Blood
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano
Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights) adapts an obscure Upton Sinclair novel about life in the turn-of-the-century Texas oilfields.
Stars: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor
Woody Allen directs this sometimes funny drama about two loser brothers who stumble into a life of crime.