Alibi V.23 No.49 • Dec 4-10, 2014 

Feature: Film Guide

Mummies, Moses and Middle-Earth

Alibi Holiday Film Guide 2014

The holiday film season (stretching from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve) is a lot like the summer movie season—only shorter and with more Oscar contenders. Whether you wanna take a break from your epic consumer spending spree at the mall, are trying to avoid your relatives or genuinely want to see the latest World War II prison camp drama, Hollywood is here to help you. What follows is a rundown of all the major cinematic releases hitting theaters before the end of the year. Hopefully you’ll find something to look forward to this December. Other than Boxing Day, of course. (Keep in mind, all dates are subject to change.)

The Homesman
The Homesman
December 5

The Homesman
Tommy Lee Jones writes, directs and stars in this Western about a low-life drifter recruited by a pious crusader (Hilary Swank) to transport a group of women traumatized by pioneer life back east.

The Pyramid
The French writer/producer behind P2, Mirrors and The Hills Have Eyes remake directs this adventurous horror film about a team of archaeologists trapped in a pyramid and hunted by your basic mummified Egyptian dude.
December 12

The Captive
Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica, Speaking Parts) writes and directs this thriller about a 9-year-old girl who disappears. Eight years later it seems she might still be alive, prompting police and parents to unearth the horrible truth behind her disappearance.

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) turns the biblical story of Moses into a sword-swinging action pic on par with The Lord of the Rings. Christian Bale (The Dark Knight Rises) is our badass Moses. Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) is our villainous Rhamses. Charlton Heston wishes he had this kind of CGI assist in parting the Red Sea.

Top Five
Chris Rock writes, directs and stars in this story of a comedian trying to make it as a serious actor who lets his fiancée talk him into broadcasting their wedding on a reality TV show. Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg, Gabrielle Union, Jerry Seinfeld and Tracy Morgan all drop by for support.
December 17

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The final, hyper-extended chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit finally hits theaters. It’s all-out war this time, with various factions fighting a dragon and each other for control of Middle-earth.
December 19

Annie
The classic musical (based on the Depression-era comic strip) gets reimagined with Quvenzhané Wallis (the amazing young star of Beasts of the Southern Wild) as our plucky orphan and Jamie Foxx as the billionaire who adopts her.

The Gambler
Mark Wahlberg is a college professor and gambling addict who runs afoul of a nasty loan shark (John Goodman) in this crime thriller from the writer of The Departed.

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Ben Stiller returns for the third time as the security guard at a magical museum where all the display figures come to life (in the form of Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan and others). This time he’s visiting museums around the world in a quest to keep the magic from dying out.
December 25

Big Eyes
Director Tim Burton and writers Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski gave us the incredible outsider biopic Ed Wood. Here they reunite to tell the story of cult painters Margaret and Walter Keane (Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz), whose big-eyed paintings were a cult phenomenon in the 1950s.

The Interview
Funny friends James Franco and Seth Rogen play a couple of tabloid TV reporters who get the assignment of a lifetime: an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Unfortunately, the incredibly unqualified men are quickly recruited by the CIA to assassinate the Glorious Leader. Hijinks ensue.

Into the Woods
Into the Woods

Into the Woods
Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Meryl Streep are among the all-star cast of this adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s hit musical, which smashes together several well-known fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. Think ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” but with more singing and less Disney product placement.

Unbroken
Angelina Jolie climbs behind the camera to direct this grimly inspiring chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.

Wild
Reese Witherspoon stars in this season’s umpteenth Oscar-bait biopic. This one’s about Cheryl Strayed, who undertook a 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail as a way of recovering from a personal catastrophe. And then wrote a book about it. Which got turned into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon.