1. War Horse (Touchstone, 2,376 Theaters, 146 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Steven Speilberg, like Daniel Craig, is hedging his bets this week. Like Craig, he has two films hitting theaters within days of each other.
The film is adapted from a children’s book by Michael Morpurgo, with elements from the play adapted from the same book (which is currently playing on Broadway and from what I heard is terrific in both a technical and quality perspective). The story takes place during World War I and centers on a young boy who’s favorite horse is sold to the army. He enlists in the hopes of being reunited with the animal.
2. The Darkest Hour (Summit Entertainment, 2, 324 Theaters, 89 Minutes, Rated Pg-13): This has to be counter programming at its finest. Who wants to see films about family men buying zoos or Belgian cartoon boys seeking adventure over Christmas? You want action, right? But not too dark like that one about the girl and the Swedish serial killer. You want sci-fi armageddon!
Yeah, this seems pretty darn out of place for the holiday, doesn’t it? Who knows? It might work.
The film centers on five people in Russia who fight back against an alien invasion. Why Russia? Who knows. But I’m sure the fact that Timur Bekmambetov is producing it has some role to play in the location.