Official Holiday Movie Guide: What to See Over the Break

It's the biggest movie weekend of the year! Let's check out the season's offerings at the movie theater...

Director David Fincher returns to his bloody roots a la Se7en and takes his own albeit unique stab at The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in the late Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy of crime novels (all three stories were already adapted into Swedish-language films back around 2009, all three of which you can find on Netflix Instant).

If you're looking to escape to the theater this holiday weekend, a fair warning: Dragon Tattoo might make you feel worse about yourself than being around your family does. Not that it's not a good film...after all, the combination of this director and that cast doing this story is like a film fantasy come true true...and I rather enjoyed it myself...it's just very bleak. They don't call it the "feel bad movie of the year" for nothing!

Now this is what going to the movies is made for! Steven Spielberg brings us his first foray into the world of both animation and the third dimension in the form of an adaptation; that of the 1930's comic created by Herge.

Did I mention that it's produced by Peter Jackson and written by Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim VS. the World) , Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), and Steven Moffat ("Dr. Who")? As you can imagine with all that talent behind it, The Adventures of Tintin is some of the most fun you'll have at the movies this year! Not to mention, this one is perfect for adults and kids alike if you're planning on piling into the car and heading to the theater this holiday weekend.

Two Spielberg movies, one weekend!

If Tintin shows us a side of the director we've never seen, War Horse returns him to the type of heavy dramatic fare that make the name Steven Spielberg synonymous with awards (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, and Amistad just to name a few).

Based on the WW1-set children's novel and acclaimed stage adaptation of the same name, the film tells the journey of...well...a horse...in war. Really, all you need to know is it's going to be dramatic (quite possibly sad) and it's directed by The Beard himself. These are the things that award season holiday films are made of!

Cameron Crowe sure likes to explore middle aged men in a life crisis flipping out in front of their whole office, doesn't he? But if the trailer for We Bought a Zoo is any indication of something else, it's that the Jerry Maguire director still knows how to make 'em like he use to. If you make it to the theater and Tintin, War Horse and Dragon Tattoo are sold out (which there's a big likelihood they will be), this might make a good back-up film to keep you in that feel-good holiday spirit.

Don't want to go anywhere near the megaplex crowd this holiday weekend? I don't blame you! The indie cinema makes for a good, less crowded alternative. Plus you can drink there! Here's a few suggestions:

The cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy should be enough to get you interested in this remake of the 1974 cat and mouse spy classic, which promises to be fantastic - no mystery there when considering whose involved. Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Tom Hardy just to name a few chaps. And if that doesn't do it for you, maybe the cryptic title will!

If you really want to be adventurous as you brave the crowds (an adventure in and of itself), check out The Artist - a completely silent film made in black and white about an old Hollywood star trying to find his place in the new Hollywood of talkies. You won't be disappointed, I assure you. Many critics seem to agree with me, as the film is topping many a year's best of lists, not to mention that it's a heavy weight contender for the upcoming awards season.

Don't feel like going anywhere near a packed theater during the holidays? Want to watch a Christmas classic over something new? Escape your family and come hang out at the Texas Theater for a special 35MM print of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, showing Christmas' evening. There will be giveaways galore including massages (since it is the giving season after all and the holidays can be stressful), cheese logs, and more not to mention a bunch of other shenanigans that will likely get you on Santa's naughty list next year. More details here!

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