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2008 Holiday Movie Preview: December

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As the 2008 holiday movie season moves into December, some intriguing high profile films look to end the year strong. Note: All dates subject to change.

DECEMBER 5

Cadillac Records – Set in 1950s Chicago, this drama follows music legends including Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Etta James (Beyonce Knowles), and Chuck Berry (Mos Def). Adrien Brody, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Cedric the Entertainer, and Gabrielle Union also star.

Punisher: War Zone – Marvel comic adaptation with hero Frank Castle on the receiving end of revenge from Jigsaw, played by Dominic West.

Nobel Son – Randall Miller writes and directs this dark dysfunctional family comedy starring Alan Rickman, Mary Steenburgen, Bill Pullman, Eliza Dushku, and Danny DeVito.

DECEMBER 12

Che – This epic biopic will release in two separate parts, The Argentine (Part 1) and Guerrilla (Part 2). Benicio Del Toro stars as famous activist Che Guevara and Steven Soderbergh directs (limited release, then expanding January 24, 2009).

The Day The Earth Stood Still – This sci-fi remake starring Keanu Reeves as a mysterious alien also releases in IMAX theaters. Kathy Bates, John Cleese, and Jennifer Connelly also star.

Delgo – Animated adventure where a teenager, voiced by Freddie Prinze Jr., tries to unite two warring people. Anne Bancroft, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Kelly Ripa, and Burt Reynolds also lend their voices.

Doubt – Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in this drama adapted from John Patrick Shanley’s play, which centers on the alleged abuse of a student by a priest (limited release, then expanding December 19).

Frost/Nixon – Director Ron Howard directs the political drama centering on a 1977 interview between David Frost, played by Michael Sheen, and Richard Nixon, played by Frank Langella.

Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood star and directs another powerful drama about immigrants and prejudice (limited release, then wide on January 9, 2009).

Nothing Like the Holidays – Debra Messing, John Leguizamo, and Alfred Molina star in this family holiday comedy.

DECEMBER 19

The Brothers Bloom – Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody, and Rinko Kikuchi star in this con men comedy (limited release, then wide on January 16, 2009).

Nothing But The Truth – Thriller about a journalist, played by Kate Beckinsale, who exposes a government agent (New York then limited release January 9, 2009).

Seven Pounds – Life-changing drama stars Will Smith as an IRS agent who helps seven strangers including characters played by Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson.

The Tale of Despereaux – Animated adventure about a brave mouse, voiced by Matthew Broderick, rescuing a princess.

Yes Man – Jim Carrey gets back to outrageous comedy as a man who takes a more positive turn when making decisions in his life.

DECEMBER 25

Bedtime Stories – Adam Sandler gets his fill of time-bending adventures when the nighttime tales he tells to his niece and nephew come true in this comedy/fantasy.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Brad Pitt re-teams with director David Fincher in this epic about a man who ages backward from his 80s to infancy. Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Julia Ormond also star.

Marley & Me – Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson star in this romantic comedy centering on a unique dog.

The Reader – Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, and Bruno Ganz star in this Stephen Daldry directed war drama/romance set after World War II. Based on the Bernhard Schlink novel.

The Spirit – Frank Miller writes and directs this PG-13 action drama adaptation of Will Eisner’s graphic novel with stars Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Mendes and Jaime King.

Waltz with Bashir – Set in the early 1980s, this animated war drama accounts events during the first Lebanon War.

DECEMBER 26

Revolutionary Road – Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in this romance set in 1950s suburbia. Based on the Richard Yates novel.

Valkyrie – Tom Cruise teams up with director Bryan Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie in this action drama about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler. Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson, Kenneth Branagh, and Bill Nighy also star.

DECEMBER 31

Defiance – Edwards Zwick writes and directs this World War II drama starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, and Jamie Bell as a trio of brothers fighting to survive and avenge their loved ones (limited release, then wide on January 16, 2009).

Good – Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong, Gemma Jones, and Jason Isaacs star in this 1930s drama about a German professor’s book on compassionate euthanasia and the unlikely social prominence and consequences.

The Lodger – This mystery thriller book adaptation, which was also the source of Alfred Hitchcock’s silent film of the same name, stars Hope Davis, Alfred Molina, Shane West, Rachael Leigh Cook, Simon Baker, and Philip Baker Hall, and follows an elusive serial killer mimicking Jack the Ripper.

The Wrestler – Mickey Rourke stars as Randy “The Ram” Robinson” who tries to reconnect with his daughter, played by Evan Rachel Wood. Directed by Darren Aronofsky and Marisa Tomei also stars (limited).

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