The Cheat Sheet: Holiday Sneaks 2011

The Cheat Sheet: Holiday Sneaks
Here's a snapshot of films opening through early January. Click here for complete coverage.
Real People
  • 'J. Edgar' - J. Edgar Hoover
  • 'The Conquest' - Nicolas Sarkozy
  • 'A Dangerous Method' - Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud
  • 'My Week With Marilyn' - Marilyn Monroe
  • 'The Iron Lady' - Margaret Thatcher
For the Family
  • 'The Greening of Whitney Brown'
  • 'Happy Feet Two'
  • 'Arthur Christmas'
  • 'Hugo'
  • 'The Muppets'
Big-Budget Action
  • 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'
  • 'The Adventures of Tintin'
  • 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol'
  • 'Contraband'
  • 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'
Comedies
  • 'Jack and Jill'
  • 'New Year's Eve'
  • 'The Sitter'
  • 'Carnage'
  • 'Joyful Noise'
Oscar Contenders
  • 'The Descendants'
  • 'The Artist'
  • 'Shame'
  • 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'
  • 'War Horse'
J. Edgar
A biopic about the life of J. Edgar Hoover, who ran the FBI for nearly 50 years. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Judi Dench. Written by Dustin Lance Black. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens Nov. 9

The Conquest
A fictional account of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's rise to power. With Denis Podalydès, Florence Pernel and Bernard Le Coq. Written by Xavier Durringer and Patrick Rotman. Directed by Durringer. In French with English subtitles. Music Box Films.

Opens Nov. 9


A Dangerous Method
A dramatization of the turbulent relationships among fledgling psychiatrist Carl Jung, mentor Sigmund Freud and the troubled woman who comes between them. With Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Sarah Gadon. Written by Christopher Hampton. Directed by David Cronenberg. Sony Pictures Classics

Opens Nov. 23


My Week With Marilyn
During the filming of "The Prince and the Showgirl" in 1956, a young British assistant introduces actress Marilyn Monroe to some of the charms of British life and helps her escape the pressures of Hollywood. With Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench. Written by Adrian Hodges. Directed by Simon Curtis. Weinstein Co.

Opens Nov. 23

The Iron Lady
This biopic presents a portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the only woman to be prime minister of the United Kingdom. With Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd and Alexandra Roach. Written by Abi Morgan. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Weinstein Co.

Opens Dec. 16

The Greening of Whitney Brown
After her formerly well-off family moves to the country during hard times, a spoiled young girl befriends a horse and learns some life lessons. With Aidan Quinn, Brooke Shields, Kris Kristofferson and Sammi Hanratty. Written by Gail Gilchriest. Directed by Peter Skillman Odiorne. Arc Entertainment

Opens Nov. 11

Happy Feet Two
In this sequel to the 2006 animated film, a dancing penguin must help his young son find his rhythm while also setting things right in Antarctica. With the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Hank Azaria and Brad Pitt. Written by George Miller, Gary Eck, Warren Coleman and Paul Livingston. Directed by Miller. In Imax 3-D. Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens Nov. 18

Arthur Christmas
In this animated film, the son of Santa Claus must complete an urgent mission before Christmas morning dawns. With James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy. Written by Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith. Directed by Smith. Columbia Pictures

Opens Nov. 23


Hugo
In 1930s Paris, an orphan living in a train station tries to unlock a mystery left behind by his late father. With Asa Butterfield, Chloë Moretz, Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen. Written by John Logan. Directed by Martin Scorsese. In 3-D. Paramount Pictures

Opens Nov. 23

The Muppets
Three friends on vacation in Los Angeles reunite the Muppets and help them raise money to save their old stomping grounds, the Muppet Theater. With Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones. Written by Segel and Nicholas Stoller. Directed by James Bobin. Walt Disney Pictures

Opens Nov. 23

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The famous detective meets his match in the criminal mastermind known as Professor Moriarty in this sequel to the 2009 film. With Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace and Jared Harris. Written by Michele Mulroney and Kieren Mulroney. Directed by Guy Ritchie. Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens Dec. 16

The Adventures of Tintin
When an intrepid young reporter purchases a model ship that holds the key to a mystery, he and his trusty dog embark on a globe-trotting adventure. With the voices of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg. Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. Directed by Steven Spielberg. In Imax 3-D. Paramount Pictures

Opens Dec. 21

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
After being blamed for a terrorist bombing of the Kremlin, a secret agent and his team must clear their organization's name and prevent another attack. With Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton. Written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Christopher McQuarrie. Directed by Brad Bird. In Imax. Paramount Pictures

Opens Dec. 21

Contraband
A former international smuggler is forced to re-enter the criminal underground to settle his brother-in-law's debt and protect his own family. With Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster and Giovanni Ribisi. Written by Aaron Guzikowski. Directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Universal Pictures

Opens Jan. 13

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
A journalist and a hacker search for a woman who has been missing for decades in this adaptation of the novel by Stieg Larsson. With Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård. Written by Steven Zaillian. Directed by David Fincher. Columbia Pictures

Opens Dec. 21

Jack and Jill
A successful advertising executive with a beautiful wife and kids dreads the annual Thanksgiving visit of his passive-aggressive twin sister. With Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes and Al Pacino. Written by Sandler, Steve Koren and Robert Smigel. Directed by Dennis Dugan. Columbia Pictures

Opens Nov. 11

New Year's Eve
On the last night of the year, the lives of people searching for love, hope, forgiveness and second chances intertwine in New York City. With Halle Berry, Josh Duhamel, Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert De Niro. Written by Katherine Fugate. Directed by Garry Marshall. Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens Dec. 9

The Sitter
An unlikely baby sitter takes three out-of-control kids on a wild adventure through the streets of New York City. With Jonah Hill, Max Records, Ari Graynor, J.B. Smoove and Sam Rockwell. Written by Brian T. Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka. Directed by David Gordon Green. 20th Century Fox

Opens Dec. 9

Carnage
After two schoolchildren get in a fight, their parents meet to talk, only to have their discussion devolve into mayhem. With Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly. Written by Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza. Directed by Polanski. Sony Pictures Classics

Opens Dec. 16


Joyful Noise
The two leading ladies of a small-town Georgia choir butt heads while trying to win a national singing competition. With Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer and Courtney B. Vance. Written and directed by Todd Graff. Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens Jan. 13

The Descendants
An indifferent father of two girls is forced to reexamine his life when his wife has a boating accident and he's confronted with a big decision. With George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges and Robert Forster. Written by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. Directed by Payne. Fox Searchlight Pictures

Opens Nov. 23


The Artist
In this silent film set in 1920s and '30s Hollywood, a movie star's career takes a nose dive with the advent of talkies, while a young extra seems destined for fame. With Bérénice Bejo, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman and Malcolm McDowell. Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius. Weinstein Co.

Opens Nov. 25

Shame
A New Yorker with a compulsive sex addiction has his insular life turned upside down when his wayward younger sister moves in. With Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie. Written by Steve McQueen and Abi Morgan. Directed by McQueen. Fox Searchlight Pictures

Opens Dec. 2


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
After finding a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, a young boy goes on a journey across the five boroughs of New York City. With Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Thomas Horn and James Gandolfini. Written by Eric Roth. Directed by Stephen Daldry. Warner Bros. Pictures

Opens Dec. 25

War Horse
During World War I, a horse is separated from the young man who tamed and trained him, threatening their special bond and sending the animal on an extraordinary journey. With Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis. Written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis. Directed by Steven Spielberg. DreamWorks Pictures

Opens Dec. 25

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