Reel Picks

Arthur Christmas (PG)

The people who brought us Wallace & Gromit created this clever animated Christmas tale about Santa’s klutzy youngest son who at the last minute discovers an undelivered bicycle and takes matters into his own hands. All sorts of good surprises.

J. Edgar (R)

Director Clint Eastwood presents the inner turmoil of the man who founded the FBI, served eight Presidents, and was consumed by ambition, power, the perceived threat of communism, and his own homosexuality. As the complicated J. Edgar Hoover, dictating his memoirs in a series of flashbacks that span almost 50 years, Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal surpasses the thin story. Judi Dench plays his domineering mother; Armie Hammer his constant companion Clyde Tolson; and Naomi Watts his loyal secretary.

Margin Call (R)

It’s 2008 and the company too big to fail is about to collapse. The story covers 24 tense and panicky hours that explain the crisis, show how the problem is uncovered, and how a solution is found and implemented. As the market sputters. With Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Penn Badgley, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (PG-13)

Against an international backdrop, a blacklisted IMF team has to stop World War III. A newly divorced Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) penetrates the Kremlin, hangs from the world’s tallest building, and escapes from a Russian prison while things explode. Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner, Tom Wilkinson. Super crash-dash, slam-boom excitement.

New Year’s Eve (PG-13)

Director Garry Marshall doing what he does best in a celebration of New Year’s Eve, New York City, and happily-ever-after stories with a star-studded cast. Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, and Zac Efron — to name only a few.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13)

It’s 1891 and Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) are frantically globe-trotting across Europe to stop a string of bombings — the work of Moriarty (Jared Harris) — that have escalated international tensions between France and Germany. With Stephen Fry as Holmes’ brother Mycroft, an interrupted honeymoon, and the missing brother of a fortune teller, it’s no mystery that it’s all up to fun.

The Muppets (PG)

Walter and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) discover oilman Tex Richman’s (Chris Cooper) plan to destroy The Muppet Theater. It’s mishmash as Kermit reunites The Muppets to save the theater by staging a telethon. (Animal is in a California clinic for anger management.)