When the wrapping paper is finally cleared and the presents have been opened, enjoyed, and put away, what’s left to do on Christmas Day? Some people like to spend the 25th kicking back with a warm mug of cocoa or taking a well-deserved holiday nap, but a growing number of yuletide diehards want to extend their Christmas experience as long as possible. A visit to the local movie theater is a great way for these tireless revelers to spend time with their families and enjoy their reprieve from work or school. What films should you check out on Christmas Day? Check out the list below and you’re sure to find something that will help you make the season bright.
For those seeking some brain candy during the holiday season, this historical drama will deliver. Lincoln tells the story of America’s sixteenth president during one of his most trying times: While he’s still trying to win the Civil War, Lincoln has just begun his efforts to pass the Thirteenth Amendment and officially abolish slavery throughout the U.S. A field of political landmines and personal challenges separates the lauded statesman from his goal. With a standout performance by Daniel Day-Lewis and a keen eye for historical authenticity, Lincoln is one of this year’s most critically acclaimed films. It’s an intellectual tour-de-force that is sure to delight well beyond the Christmas season.
Rise of the Guardians
A family film perfect for this time of year, Rise of the Guardians has a premise that will instantly hook the young as well as the young at heart: What if all the holiday characters we meet throughout the year joined forces? In this movie, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost, and, of course, Santa Claus, team up to stop the Boogeyman from covering the world in fearsome darkness. Rise of the Guardians features a star-studded voice cast and 3-D computer animation, making it an ideal choice for both parents and children.
Based on the smash hit musical, Les Miserables is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and it makes its debut on Christmas Day. Victor Hugo’s classic story of fugitive prisoner Jean Valjean and his quest to bring peace and justice to his troubled world will live again on the big screen—and this time, it’s with celebrated actors like Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried playing the lead roles. If you loved the Broadway show, you simply must check out what director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) has done with 19th-century France. And even if you can’t sing along to every line of “On My Own,” you’ll be reaching for your box of tissues and cheering along with the revolutionaries as Christmas Day draws to a close.
Another literary gem now in theaters is The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part of the Tolkien novel’s cinema adaptation. The Hobbit, predecessor to the timeless Lord of the Rings series, tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a homebody hobbit convinced to go on a wild adventure with a merry band of dwarves. On his mission to reclaim a lost treasure from a dragon’s hoard, Bilbo meets some familiar faces and encounters sights both wondrous and dangerous. If you’ve ever wondered just how the crafty cave-dweller Gollum got the ominous One Ring, this is your chance.
Daniel Craig’s latest outing as 007 is widely considered his strongest yet. Skyfall is a Bond film that celebrates the classic early entries in the series while allowing Craig to fully explore the role of James Bond. The plot is classic spy-fi fare: This time around, Bond has to investigate an attack on his agency, MI6. With the action this close to home, the thrills are sure to be explosive. For action seekers and Bond fans headed to the theater on Christmas Day, it’s tough to do better than Skyfall, even for a repeat viewing. Everything’s better with Bond.
For those who don’t mind a little bloodshed on Christmas Day, Django Unchained promises everything fans of director Quentin Tarantino have come to expect: Brilliant performances, memorable characters, and serious violence. Jamie Foxx plays Django, a newly-freed slave roaming the Wild West. With guidance from a German bounty hunter played by Christoph Waltz, Django learns the tricks of the trade and soon begins his own career hunting criminals.
No matter which film you choose, going to the movies is a great way to spend those relaxing hours that follow the joyous excitement of Christmas morning. So, as they say: Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
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