A quick look at movies coming out before the new year

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DEC. 23

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip: When they think Dave is going to propose to his girlfriend and dump the ’munks, Alvin and the rest are intent to stop him.

DEC. 25

The Hateful Eight: For his eighth film, Quentin Tarantino looks to spaghetti Westerns as a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape carrying a fugitive (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the hangman. Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson are bounty hunters. “Justified’s” Walton Goggins plays a sheriff, and Bruce Dern, Tim Roth, Demian Bechir, Channing Tatum and Michael Madsen also show up.

Point Break: Hey, dude, it’s an update of Kathryn Bigelow’s surfing crime flick starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. That one was very much of the 1990s. In the new one, starring Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey, the action revolves around extreme sports.

The Revenant: After the confines of a theater in his Oscar-winning “Birdman,” director Alejandro G. Iñárritu opens things up with a Western. Leonardo DiCaprio plays fur trapper who survives a bear attack and then drags himself 200 miles across the county in a quest for vengeance against those who abandoned him (Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson).

Daddy’s Home: In this comedy, a mild-mannered stepdad (Will Ferrell) has to compete for the affection of his wife’s kids when their shyster biological father (Mark Wahlberg) comes to live with them.

Snowden: Director Oliver Stone examines the Edward Snowden story. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the wanted man who leaked National Security secrets, including ones that revealed the U.S. government’s domestic spying programs that sparked a national debate.

Joy: The David O. Russell movie is loosely based on the career of Joy Mangano, an inventor and entrepreneur, but it isn’t a straight biopic. Jennifer Lawrence plays the title character and is joined by her co-stars of on the last two Russell films — Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.

Concussion: This film has already taken some hits. It stars Will Smith as real-life neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu who tried to alert the National Football League to the dangers of traumatic brain injury in the sport. A scene involving NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has already been cut because it was considered too incendiary and could lead to lawsuits. FYI: On Christmas Eve — the night before the film’s release — it’s the Chargers vs. the Raiders.

DEC. 31

Jane Got a Gun: In this Western Natalie Portman plays a woman leading a new life with her husband (Noah Emmerich), but a gang of outlaws from her past led by Ewan McGregor destroy her happiness. She then turns to a former fiancé (Joel Edgerton) for help.

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II — The Green Legend: The sequel to the martial-arts hit will be the first feature film to premiere simultaneously on Netflix and in IMAX theaters.

Regression: Emma Watson plays a young woman who accuses her father of a crime he doesn’t remember but admits to. Ethan Hawke’s detective investigates.

Underdogs: Animated comedy has Foosball players coming to life, with the voices of Matthew Morrison, Katie Holmes and Nicholas Hoult.

Hillsong — Let Hope Rise: Documentary about the Australia-based Christian band.


The Dark Horse: A true story based on the life of charismatic and brilliant chess champion Genesis Potini.

The Lady in the Van: Playwright Alan Bennett’s true story of a woman who temporarily parked her van in his driveway and then lived there for 15 years. Dame Maggie Smith is the lady, and Nicholas Hytner directs.

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