The holidays bring a list of assorted films dotting theaters like shiny ornaments on a Christmas tree. Moviegoers sit like gifts, waiting to get open, ready to be pulled into a world not previously their own. The silent night of theater darkness comes when the lights grow dim, as stories of comedies, action, and dramas are told when the movie begins.
Courtesy of your friends at The Shadow League, here are 6 must see films (in no particular order) dropping on Christmas Day this holiday season:
Made for karate flick lovers, young and old, 47 Ronin stars Keanu Reeves, who seems to be reinventing himself as a martial arts film star with the upcoming Man of Tai Chi. But in Ronin, Reeves plays half-breed Kai, an outcast whose parents abandoned him at birth because of his mixed heritage. Forced to grow as a slave in a world that despises his tainted blood, Kai hones his prone-to-being-beaten skills by becoming a bad-ass unofficial samurai. Don’t go see Ronin looking for witty one-liners. The writing has never been good in karate flicks. But with curses, magic, and moments that make you wonder if the dialogue might stop matching mouth movements, 47 Ronin is purely for the visual types, full of colorful acrobatics and tight fight scenes, that make it a fun, thrill to see.
In limited release, Lone Survivor stars Mark Wahlberg as a Navy Seal who – along with three teammates – heads to Afghanistan on a covert mission that goes horribly wrong. Based on the true story of New York Times best-selling author and real life hero Marcus Luttrell, there’s nothing Christmas cheery about this film, everyone doesn’t live happily ever after. But with a painful tale mixed with bloody tears and the agony of shrapnel being dug out of skin, Lone Survivor − as intense as it is to watch − does a helluva job showing a different, unseen side of the fight against the Taliban, while spotlighting the moving stories of a few of America’s bravest.
With an all-star cast featuring Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Kevin Hart, Kim Basinger, and Alan Arkin; Grudge Match can best be described as the meeting of Rocky Balboa and Raging Bull, who've each grown into broke, hard-headed grandparents, unable to let go of the good ole days or the beefs and resentments of the past. Kevin Hart easily brings the funny that adds to De Niro's cocky comedic timing all making Grudge Match a light, simple, family film for all.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Need to stop dreaming and start doing? Need to get off your ass and get a new job, ask for a raise, or stand up to the idiots at work who drive you nuts? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the inspiration you’ll need to get up and get going. Starring Ben Stiller (who also directed), Mitty is a man who with a little push, is forced to make his dreams come true. The comic-book, action film-like special effects make Walter Mitty so much fun and so enjoyable, that the time will fly by oh so fast.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Who doesn't like a good Martin Scorsese film about money, booty, yachts, sex, drugs, and rock and roll? Leonardo DiCaprio plays greedy ass stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who after surviving black Friday, starts up his own investment firm, hires a bunch of street hustlers, and goes on to dupe countless people out of fortunes that increase his wealth to $49 million a year. And he's only 26. The Wolf of Wall Street is one of those films where you’ll despise the main character, never want to end up like him, yet still revel in imagination, with a smidgen of envy, at not being able to attend one of his despicably dirty poppin parties.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Opening in wide release on Christmas day, Long Walk to Freedom is the last time this year to pay respect to Nelson Mandela. The saga stars recent Golden Globe best actor nominee Idris Elba for a role where he transforms into the South African phenom who evolves from militant activist, to aging prisoner, to becoming the country’s first black president. If you appreciate Mandela’s work, seeing this movie is the easiest way to pay your respects to one of the greatest humanitarians that ever lived.