THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
STARRING: MARTIN FREEMAN, IAN MCKELLEN
Loved The Lord of the Rings? Get ready to return to the fantastical world of Middle Earth. In the first film of another trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, plucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) sets out on a quest for stolen treasure.
Urchins! Barricades! That Susan Boyle song you can’t get out of your head! The musical juggernaut finally comes to the big screen-with Jackman as hero Jean Valjean and Hathaway as fallen woman Fantine.
ZERO DARK THIRTY
STARRING: JESSICA CHASTAIN, JOEL EDGERTON, CHRIS PRATT
No surprise endings here. But director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) crafts a tense thriller based on the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden, with Chastain (right) as a steely CIA officer.
STARRING: ANTHONY HOPKINS, HELEN MIRREN, SCARLETT JOHANSSON
Hopkins plays Alfred Hitchcock during the making of Psycho, and Johansson is star Janet Leigh. Shower scene, anyone? It’s in there, but “we didn’t recreate it,” says director Sacha Gervasi. “How do you top that?”
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON
STARRING: BILL MURRAY, LAURA LINNEY
The King and Queen of England visit Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Murray) at his estate in 1939 and are beguiled by the President, First Lady Eleanor (Olivia Williams) and his lover (Linney).
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
After a stint in a mental hospital, troubled Pat (Cooper) moves in with his folks and tries to heal with the help of loopy outsider Lawrence in this much-buzzed-about comedy-drama.
LIFE OF PI
STARRING: SURAJ SHARMA
A young Indian boy survives a shipwreck only to find himself in a lifeboat with a hungry tiger in this gorgeously rendered adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee.
NOT FADE AWAY James Gandolfini Dec. 21 • THIS IS 40 Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel Dec. 21
STARRING: TOM CRUISE, ROSAMUND PIKE, ROBERT DUVALL
Cruise plays a tough-as-nails former military cop on the trail of a murderer who may be a fellow Gulf War veteran in this head-busting adaptation of Lee Child’s bestselling series of thrillers.
STARRING: JAMIE FOXX, LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Director Quentin Tarantino’s love of ’70s exploitation movies is on display in this story of a slave (Foxx) who turns into a bloody bounty hunter.
STARRING: NAOMI WATTS, EWAN MCGREGOR
A vacationing family is swept apart by the 2004 Asian tsunami in this wrenching drama based on a true story. Watts may just nab an Oscar as the mom.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
VOICES OF: ALEC BALDWIN, HUGH JACKMAN
A macho Santa (he has tats!) unites with the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and others to fight evil in this family-friendly film.
THE GUILT TRIP Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen Dec. 25 • PARENTAL GUIDANCE Billy Crystal, Bette Midler Dec. 25