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The Christmas Movie Stocking Is Stuffed With Goodies

By Stan Washington | 12/6/2013, 10:55 a.m.
Idris Elba is a force portraying the late South African freedom fighting icon Nelson Mandela.

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Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug

Dec. 13

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug- Peter Jackson who directed one of the most successful trilogy in movie history with “The Lord of the Rings” is back at putting hobbits into danger again in what will probably be the film that takes over the box office crown from The Hunger Games. Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), his mighty band of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), and wise wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) embark on a crusade to reclaim Erebor from the vicious dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) in this sweeping fantasy adventure that picks up where the events of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” left off. Rated PG-13 and it clocks in at 2 hours, 13 minutes.

The Armstrong Lie (documentary)  In 2009, Alex Gibney was hired to make a film about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cycling. The project was shelved when the doping scandal erupted, and re-opened after Armstrong’s confession. “The Armstrong Lie” picks up in 2013 and presents a riveting, insider’s view of the unraveling of one of the most extraordinary stories in the history of sports. As Lance Armstrong himself says: “I didn’t live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one.” (Rated R)

American Hustle – This 1970s period piece also features one of the strongest casts you will see this holiday season with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper who reunites with Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell, add Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. This interesting tale about con men, crooked politicians and the FBI has already won the New York Critics Circle vote for Best Picture.

Dec. 20

Anchor Man 2: The Legend Continues – It’s probably one of the most promoted films of recent years considering its heavy promotional tie-in with Dodge. AM2 was mostly shot in the Atlanta area. What I want to see is how they made parts of Atlanta look like San Diego. Not yet rated.

Dec. 25

47 Ronin – Keanu Reeves is back with his 18th century story about an American who joins an elite group of samurai warriors called “ronin” to kill an evil warlord who killed their master.

Dec. 27

Lone Survivor – Mark Wahlberg portrays the real-life Navy Seal who was the lone survivor of a group that were ambushed by the Taliban in 2005. (Rated R).

Remember, this article only scratches the surface of what’s being released.