Hollywood on the Hill: A Holiday Movie Guide



Josh Glick

It really is the most wonderful time of the year as Star­bucks is serving gingerbread lattes, Christmas lights are being put up around town, Christmas parties are around the corner and my grandmother is asking me what I want for Hanu­kah. Television is showing everyone’s favorite holiday films. A couple of my favorites to check out: Home Alone I & II (the only movies I laugh at every time), It’s a Wonderful Life (the classic of all clas­sics) and The Family Man (a tear jerker that makes us appreciate the Holidays and our families). On top of all the previously mentioned splendid holiday cheer, the movies are being jam-packed with studios’ biggest hopes for Oscar gold and big box office receipts. Below are seven films to go see at the theater this holiday season and seven films to catch on the tube.


From Darren Arnofsky, the director of the dramatic thrillers Requiem for a Dream, Pi and The Wrestler, comes his latest thriller about a ballerina (Natalie Portman) who begins to lose her mind and soul when she is threatened with losing the lead in the New York Ballet to a rival dancer (Mila Kunis). Black Swan opened the Toronto and Venice film festival, and early reviews claim that Portman will win the Oscar for best actress and that the film will solidify Arnofsky as a great American director. It is supposedly painful and heartbreaking to watch, but if you can stomach the drama, be sure to catch Arnofksy’s soon-to-be-classic. Comes out December 10.


When two of Hollywood’s biggest stars (Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie) get together for a romantic action film, you know you will get pure entertainment. The Tourist tells the story of a Frank (Depp) who believes he is going to Italy to mend a broken heart. However, when he meets Elise (Jolie) on a train, Frank’s world is turned upside-down as he and Jolie attempt to survive a violent plot against the two of them. If pure Hollywood action is what you want (think Oceans Eleven or Mr. and Mrs. Smith) be sure to see the latest from Hollywood’s two biggest names. Comes out December 10.


The film tells the story of the boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward, who is fighting for his dream to become a profes­sional boxer. Starring Mark Wahlberg as Ward and Chris­tian Bale as his no good brother and trainer, the film is already getting Oscar buzz for a Best Picture nominee, and everyone seems to agree that Bale may win for Best Supporting Actor. If you are a Rocky, Raging Bull, and Cinderella Man fan, this is the movie for you. Comes out December 10.


This latest film from the legend James Brooks tells the story of a girl (Reese Witherspoon) who needs to decide whether or not she loves a Major League Baseball player (Owen Wilson), a love­able loser (Paul Rudd) or neither. The film looks like it will be funny, poignant and a romantic comedy classic. If your favorite film last winter break was It’s Complicated, and you watch When Harry Met Sally on a regular basis (like my sister … and myself), be sure to check this one out. Comes out December 17.


A sequel of the 1982 cult classic, Disney’s latest brings us into a computer world filled with violence, romance and in­credible graphics. With music from Daft Punk, amazing ac­tion and a cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde and Garret Hedlund, Disney is predicting Tron to be its next big thing. With what is shap­ing up to be this year’s Avatar, Tron is going to be a must see for everyone. Comes out December 17.


The gang is all back together to complete this comedic trilogy. The Fo­ckers and Brynes families are back together with some new family mem­bers (Jessica Alba) and ba­bies. Anytime Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro get together, I am sure there will be laughs. While Jay Roach isn’t directing this one, if you are a comedy fan, this is a must see. Comes out December 22.


The latest from the Coen Brothers, the film is a remake of the John Wayne classic western. With a star-studded cast of Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, True Grit is the story of U.S. Marshall (Bridges) who goes on a journey with a young girl to find her father. With this cast, directors and storyline, the film is almost an obvi­ous choice for a Best Picture nomination. If you are a Coen Brothers fan or enjoy a good ol’ classic western, this should be your top movie this holiday season. Comes out December 22.