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Movie sneak peeks for the holidays

November 06, 2011

The 2011 Holiday Movie Preview is a broad snapshot of films opening through early January. Release dates and other details, as compiled by Oliver Gettell, are subject to change.

Nov. 9

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

Nov. 11


A famous author who has lost his wife and son travels to Spain to see his estranged brother and dying father, where he discovers that the time 11:11 is tied to tragic events. With Timothy Gibbs, Michael Landes and Denis Rafter. Written and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman. Big Air Studios / Rocket Releasing

An African Election

This documentary follows the twists and turns of the 2008 presidential elections in Ghana. Directed by Jarreth Merz. In English, Twi and local languages, with English subtitles.

The Big Fix

This documentary examines the causes and consequences of the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. Directed by Josh Tickell and Rebecca Harrell Tickell. Green Planet Productions

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


A documentary portrait of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, a skateboarder and new father in the Orange County suburb of Fullerton. Directed by Tristan Patterson. Drag City

Dzi Croquettes

This documentary tells the story of the Brazilian theater troupe Dzi Croquettes, which challenged Brazil's military dictatorship in the 1960s and '70s. Directed by Tatiana Issa and Raphael Alvarez. In English, French and Portuguese, with English subtitles. Tria Productions

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


When a bloodthirsty, power-hungry king rampages across ancient Greece in search of a legendary weapon, a brave young stonemason assembles a band to stop him. With Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas and Freida Pinto. Written by Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides. Directed by Tarsem Singh. In 3-D. Relativity Media

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

Killing Bono

Two brothers from Dublin form a band and pursue rock 'n' roll fame, only to be overshadowed by their schoolmate's rival group — U2. With Ben Barnes, Krysten Ritter and Robert Sheehan. Written by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais and Simon Maxwell. Directed by Nick Hamm. Arc Entertainment


A documentary chronicling the rise and fall of Peter Gatien, the nightlife mogul who owned and operated such 1980s New York City clubs as Limelight, Tunnel and Palladium. Directed by Billy Corben. Magnolia Pictures

London Boulevard

A newly released ex-con falls for a movie star hounded by paparazzi but also gets mixed up with a friend from his past and a ruthless mob boss. With Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ben Chaplin. Written and directed by William Monahan. IFC Films


A young couple's disastrous wedding brings about family tensions and frayed relationships; meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is discovered to be heading toward Earth. With Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland and Charlotte Rampling. Written by and directed by Lars von Trier. Magnolia Pictures

Nothing Special

An insurance underwriter in Los Angeles takes in her mother, whose Section 8 apartment has recently been condemned, and the new arrangement puts a strain on the younger woman's personal and professional life. With Karen Black, Julia Garcia Combs and Barbara Bain. Written and directed by Angela Garcia Combs. Yellow Wallpaper Productions

Under Fire:


in Combat

This documentary examines the experiences, dangers, psychological costs and motivations of war correspondents. With Paul Watson, Chris Hedges, Susan Ormiston and Ian Stewart. Written and directed by Martyn Burke. Mercury Media International

Nov. 16

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

Nov. 18


Happy Day

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