Weekend Movie Preview: December 30, 2011

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It could not be quieter at the Cineplex for new movies this final weekend of 2011 with only one film opening, The Iron Lady -- and that is only showing in Los Angeles and New York. Iron Lady will expand to a nationwide release in January, but this weekend will serve as an opportunity to get out there and catch up on some stellar movies that have arrived in the last several weeks for most of the country.

The Iron Lady: Meryl Streep sizzles as the first female Prime Minister in British history. The film is solid, albeit told from an off-kilter point of view, and should easily garner Streep another of those record-setting Academy Award nominations. Check out our Iron Lady review for more.

Already in theaters:

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol: Tom Cruise is back as Ethan Hunt in the best of the Mission movies, Ghost Protocol. Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton triumph in joining Cruise’s team, and Simon Pegg is his usual awesome self, returning as Benji. As we talk about in our Ghost Protocol review, the film is a must-see on the IMAX screen.

Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows: There is no better team at the movies this weekend than Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The pair is back after their triumphant 2009 first film and have upped the ante by bringing Holmes’ best villain, Moriarty, into the fold for A Game of Shadows. Don't miss our Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows review.

We Bought a Zoo: Matt Damon charms as a widowed father of two kids in We Bought a Zoo who uproots his family from a Southern California city to a nearby rural area where he... you guessed it, Bought a Zoo. We delve deeper in our We Bought a Zoo review.

War Horse: Steven Spielberg’s latest triumph takes the filmmaker back to telling a war story, but as Spielberg told us in our interview, this is not a war film. Joey is Albert’s horse and the two form a bond that no war can break. Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time, War Horse could easily find itself a Best Picture nominee. Check out our War Horse review for further insight.

Hugo: Movie Fanatic’s movie of the year, Hugo, is from Martin Scorsese and is one of his top three films of his esteemed career. The story of an orphan living in a Paris train station in the 1930s will leave you breathless.

The Adventures of Tintin: Steven Spielberg strikes again, directing The Adventures of Tintin. The Hobbit helmer Peter Jackson produces and together, the two create a piece of magical film that will not be easily forgotten. Based on the European character, Tintin hopes to add Americans to the legions of peoples who adore him and his trusty dog’s adventures. Check out our Adventures of Tintin review for more.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Author Stieg Larsson would be proud of the version of his book that director David Fincher has produced. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are Mikael and Lisbeth and together they must catch a serial killer. As we say in our Dragon Tattoo review, the movie is thrilling, powerful and one of the best of the year.

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Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol Quotes

Brandt: The rope isn't long enough!
Ethan: No (expletive)!
Brandt: You're not gonna make it!
Ethan: You're not helping.

IMF Secretary: An hour ago, a bomb blew up the Kremlin. The President has initiated 'Ghost Protocol' -- the entire IMF has been disavowed. Now I've been ordered to take you to Washington where they will hang the Kremlin bombing on you and your team - unless you were to escape after assaulting Brandt and me. But if anyone of your team is caught, they will be branded terrorists out to incite global nuclear war.
Ethan: So what happens now?
IMF Secretary: Your mission, should you choose to accept it...

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol Review

Tom Cruise waited for the right script to return to the role of Ethan Hunt in the Mission Impossible franchise with Ghost Protocol. This...

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