To all of our relief, winter break is rapidly approaching. The absence of homework, studying, sports and other campus commitments, combined with cold weather that makes staying inside much more inviting at times, means trips to the movies are sure to be in abundance. Yes, I said trips. Trust me, with the amount of highly-anticipated films that are coming out while we’re home, you’re going to want to make multiple visits to the theaters. Here are a few flicks that shouldn’t be missed.
No. 5: Zero Dark Thirty
From director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, the Academy-Award winners behind The Hurt Locker, comes the behind-the-scenes story of what actually happened in the search for Osama bin Laden and his assassination by Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May, 2011. The film is noted to already be so controversial that government watchdog squads have filed lawsuits against the CIA and Department of Defense. Allegedly, information given to Bigelow and Boal during the meetings with the two agencies has not yet been released through the Freedom of Information Act. The movie is being released to select locations on Dec. 19, and then goes nationwide Jan. 11.
No. 4: Broken City
Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe have been on fire lately. Marky Mark has been in many different genres of hits from Ted to The Fighter and The Other Guys to Contraband, while Crowe has also been staying busy with leading roles in recent films like Les Miserables, The Man with the Iron Fists, The Next Three Days and Robin Hood. In this movie, Wahlberg plays ex-cop Billy Taggart, who is asked to trail the wife of Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Crowe), and ends up discovering he is becoming tangled in a much larger scandal. Wahlberg and Crowe are in a lot of movies around this time, so don’t let this one slip through the cracks on Jan. 18.
No. 3: Django Unchained
“D-J-A-N-G-O. The D is silent.” Jamie Foxx stars as the slave-turned-bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s new western that follows Django on his mission to save his wife from a Mississippi plantation. Foxx is in fantastic company as he is joined by fellow cast members Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Robert Carradine, Cristoph Waltz and even Jonah Hill. Being a Tarantino film, there is obviously going to be no lack of blood spilled or vulgar language, but it will be an interesting combination of comedy, action, drama and classic western. Django shoots his way into theaters on Dec. 28.
No. 2: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit focuses on Frodo’s cousin, Bilbo Baggins, and his quest to the Lonely Mountain to take back a stolen treasure. Joining Gandalf and a crew of rambunctious dwarves, the team must face whatever lurks around every corner of the stunning setting that is Middle-earth. Some familiar faces will be recognized like Elrond and Galadriel, along with the not so friendly, Gollum and Saruman. To many fans’ delight, much of the cast from the original Lord of the Rings trilogy have returned to play their signature roles. Be happy to know that Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee and Andy Serkis will in fact be back. Martin Freeman stars as the lead role of Bilbo, so he and the entire cast that play the dwarves are sure to deliver plenty of laughs on the adventure that begins Dec. 14.
No. 1: Gangster Squad
“A cop that’s not for sale is like a dog with rabies, ya just gotta put ‘em down.” That’s the mentality of East Coast crime boss Mickey Cohen, played brilliantly by Sean Penn. Director Ruben Fleischer has stepped away from his action comedies like Zombieland, and given us a gritty, action-packed look at the LAPD’s stand against the mafia in the mid-‘90s. The Feds put down the badges and picked up their Tommy guns, forming a secret squad of black and whites to go to war with the other side. Another superstar cast will grace the screen with Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, Michael Pena and Anthony Mackie, best known as “Papa Doc” from 8 Mile. The intelligent mixture of crime, drama, action, story and outstanding cast is going to set this mid-century thriller apart from other gangster movies of the past. Mickey Cohen takes over LA on Jan. 11.