Aardman Animations, the company behind the much-loved Wallace & Gromit series, trade clay for CGI in this 2011 holiday toon. Seems Santa Claus runs an efficient, high-tech operation these days, delivering toys to all the good girls and boys all over the world in record time. But when a tiny computer glitch leaves one poor little girl without a present, it's up to Santa's son Arthur to save the day. Among the great voice cast are James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton, Michael Palin, Robbie Coltrane and Eva Longoria. (Who let the American in there?)97 minutes PG.
Poor, misunderstood mad scientist Gru (Steve Carell) tried to go legit in the last Despicable Me movie, but this newest animated outing finds him fired from his job as a superspy. A timely reunion with his long-lost (and incredibly successful) twin brother has him plotting one last villainous heist (with the help of his minions, of course). 90 minutes PG.
It's becoming an increasingly common cliché in Hollywood to give aging actors their "Liam Neeson in Taken" comeback. Nonetheless, watching martial arts superstar Jackie Chan do the "retired special agent hunts down the kidnappers/killers of his daughter" thing doesn't sound that bad. This tightly budgeted thriller actually spends more time with Pierce Brosnan as a Northern Irish politician trying to quell sectarian violence—but the mix of action and politics ends up working.114 minutes R.
Bombastic writer-producer Dean Devlin (Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla) turns writer-director so he can mash up the last 15 years' worth of disaster flicks into one overstuffed apocalypse. Seems that, in the near future, mankind has developed a series of satellites that can control the weather. But when the tech gets hacked (unleashing tsunamis, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, you name it), it's up to super-genius Gerard Butler to save the Earth. Don't think: Just unhinge your jaw and watch cities go ka-blooey!109 minutes PG-13.
Half of Steven King's horror classic (the young kid parts) gets adapted in this feature film reboot. Bill Skarsgard ("Hemlock Grove") takes over from Tim Curry as the demonic clown luring kids into the sewers of a small New England town. Argentine filmmaker Andy Muschietti (Mama) directs with skill and some old-fashioned scares. If this one does well—unlike The Dark Tower—we'll get the second half.135 minutes R.
With Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel/Disney proved it could make a wildly entertaining crowdpleaser out of their most obscure properties. With this animated follow-up to The LEGO Batman Movie, LEGO/Warner Bros. does exactly the same thing. This toy-based feature is much funnier and more inventive than you're thinking. Dave Franco voices Lloyd, a haplessly unpopular high schooler—mostly because his absentee father is Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux, obviously having a ball), a monstrous warlord who spends every single day trying to conquer and/or destroy peaceful Ninjago City. Luckily, Lloyd is a member of a "Power Rangers"-esque team of superpowered teens who defend the city with their giant robots. But can Lloyd find the strength to defeat his own dad? 101 minutes PG.
Idris Elba and Kate Winslet star as mismatched strangers who survive a plane crash and must form a connection to survive an extreme trek over a remote, snow-covered mountain. This mainstream romantic adventure comes to us from Israel-born director Hany Abu-Assad, who previously gave us such foreign hits as Paradise Now, Omar and The Idol. Based on the best-selling novel by Charles Martin.103 minutes PG-13.
From the folks who made American Sniper comes this very similar, inspired-by-a-true-story drama about a group of US soldiers who return from Iraq and struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life. Miles Teller (still crowding up theaters with the inspired-by-a-true-story firefighter drama Only the Brave) headlines the cast. Based on the book by David Finkel.108 minutes R.
Tyler Perry straps on a dress again to play the scrappy granny Madea, who travels to a campground with some gal-pals where they are forced to fend off the advances of various monsters, goblins and boogeymen.101 minutes PG-13.