Although “Star Wars” fans are ready to celebrate Christmas with Luke, Leia and Han, there’s still plenty to be thankful for in November. With so many people enjoying a long Thanksgiving weekend away from school and work, Hollywood always serves up crowd-pleasing and potentially award-winning films. This year definitely is no exception with a buffet line of choices.
Forty years ago, Sylvester Stallone became a star thanks to “Rocky,” the raw, compelling story of a boxer given one last shot at glory. This Thanksgiving, Stallone reprises his famous role in “Creed,” a drama focusing on Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordon), the son of his rival/best friend Apollo Creed. The aging Rocky agrees to train the young fighter for an upcoming bout.
Do your kids want an Apatosaurus for Christmas? They just might after seeing “The Good Dinosaur,” the latest offering from Disney/Pixar. Scientists believe that an asteroid led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, but this film wonders what would have happened if the dinosaurs survived. Young Raymond Ochoa lends his voice to Arlo, the Apatosaurus who befriends a human child.
Katniss Everdeen returns for one last fight in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” the film which closes out the film franchise. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson reprise their roles as Katniss and Peeta, the two Hunger Games winners caught up in a battle for freedom. The “Mockingjay” book was fairly violent and explosive, which means the series should close out with a bang.
Comedies tend to do well over the Thanksgiving break, which explains the arrival of “The Night Before.” Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt team up with Anthony Mackie for the story of three friends who find the wildest ways to celebrate Christmas Eve. This year may mark the end of their holiday tradition, though.
Julia Roberts could position herself for another Oscar nod with “Secret in Their Eyes.” Roberts plays Jess, a member of a team of FBI investigators who is emotionally shattered after the murder of her daughter. Her teammate Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) spends years looking for answers, but the truth may be too hard to take.
In “Victor Frankenstein,” Daniel Radcliffe trades Harry Potter’s magical powers for science in a reimagining of the classic story. Radcliffe plays Igor, assistant to Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and the one who witnessed the creation of the monster. Told from Igor’s perspective, this film gives Radcliffe another chance to shine.
Once the turkey is carved and everyone has their fill, Hollywood definitely is dishing up some cinematic dessert.