It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As the Us Weekly film critic, I’m obviously referring to the return of the Starbucks red cups. Coming in a close second: A slew of holiday movies so promising that they might as well be tied up in a ribbon. Crowd-pleasing comedies? Done. Superhero extravaganzas? Duh. Offerings for the kids? Yup. Oscar winners doing Oscar-y things in Oscar-y movies? Like you even have to ask. Here are the 21 picks, many of which I’ve already seen and pre-approved. Please forgo watching Love, Actually for the 182th time to catch at least one of these shiny cinematic presents.
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
The Story Uh, do I really need to explain a story for this category? The Grinch with the tiny heart plots to ruin Christmas for the Village of Whoville.
The Buzz The Dr. Seuss classic returns to the big screen, this time in 3D computer animation. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the grump green villain; Pharrell narrates; Tyler the Creator supplies the music. This has got to be better than that joyless 2000 live-action version with Jim Carrey, right?
The Story A suburban couple (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) abruptly decide to foster three underprivileged siblings. Everyone’s lives are changed for the better.
The Buzz I know what you’re thinking, and this big-hearted crowd-pleaser — based on a true story — is much more self-aware than the similarly plotted The Blind Side. Plus, Wahlberg and Byrne are utterly convincing as ultra-weary yet conscientious husband and wife.
In theaters Friday, November 16