Dean Richards’ preview of Oscar-worthy movies coming this holiday season

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It used to be that the biggest and best movie opened on Thanksgiving weekend.

This year, your offerings are mostly unfunny. "Horrible Bosses 2," with "horrible" being a pretty accurate description of this sequel, doesn't even come close to the original. It's a Dean's List "D." Much better is the animated "Penguins of Madagascar." It's primarily for kids but the whole family will like this Dean's List "B."

What's still to come for the remainder of the year looks a lot more promising, and that means Academy Award consideration.

The most formidable contender for Oscar gold is the Angelina Jolie directed "Unbroken," the story of Olympian and war hero Louie Zamperini played by newcomer Jack O'Connell that'll open on Christmas day.

Also coming on Dec. 25 is the Clint Eastwood directed "American Sniper." Starring Bradley Cooper as the deadliest marksman in American military history, this film is an adaptation of a Navy Seal's best selling memoir.

Also, Christan Bale, goes biblical in "Exodus: Gods and Kings." The former "Dark Knight" star plays Moses in this Ridley Scott epic, leading over Jewish slaves on a journey of freedom. Oscar loves epics -- this one opens Dec. 11.

Chris Rock is a triple threat, writing, directing and starring in his latest film "Top Five" in which he plays a comedian, tries to go serious and whose reality show star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding. It's a somewhat perfect role for the standup genius. See it Dec. 5.

Other upcoming comedies include the film over which North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un has promised merciless retaliation. In Seth Rogen and James Franco's "The Interview," the pair play hapless assassins posing as journalists out to kill the North Korean madman. It's a Christmas day release.

Opening Dec. 19, the third installment in the "Night at the Museum" franchise brings more family oriented laughs. "Secret of the Tomb" will wind up being one the final films for the late Robin Williams.

And the final chapter from another trilogy renowned in children's literature opens Dec. 17. Middle Earth lovers: Strap yourselves in for Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."

And for musicals this season, there's really only one. It's the latest big screen version of "Annie." This time it stars 11-year-old Oscar nominee Quezezane Wallis in the title role and Oscar winner, Jamie Foxx as Daddy Warbucks.

I'll post many more of the best of the holiday season, and interviews with their stars, all at

Here's hoping the turkeys are all on the Thanksgiving table and not up on the screens.


November 28th:

  • The Babadook
  • Before I Disappear

December 5th:

  • Esobar:Paradise Lost
  • Life Partners
  • The Pyramid
  • Still Alice
  • Top Five
  • Wild

December 12th:

  • Demonic
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • Inherent Vice

December 17th:

  • Goodbye to all that
  • The Hobbit:The battle of the Five Armies

December 19th:

  • Annie
  • The Gambler
  • Mr.Turner
  • Night at the museum:Secret of the Tomb
  • Winter Sleep

December 24th:

  • Two Days, One Night
  • December 25th
  • American Sniper
  • Big Eyes
  • The Interview
  • Into the Woods
  • Selma
  • Unbroken

December 31st:

  • Leviathan
  • A Most Violent Year


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