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What You Should See (And What to Avoid) If You Go to the Movies on Christmas

By Vivian Kane | Guides | December 21, 2014 |

By Vivian Kane | Guides | December 21, 2014 |

For some of you, this Thursday is the most joyous day of the year. Or the most stressful. Or, more likely, both. For others, it’s simply a Thursday when nearly all restaurants and stores happen to be closed. Either way, after you open presents or crawl out of bed at noon, there’s not a whole lot to do after a certain point in the day. Enter the great American (and possibly other places as well, I have no idea to be honest) tradition of the Family Movie Excursion. This year seems to be an especially sucky array of winter movie choices, so here, as our Festivus gift to you, is the Pajiba Guide to Christmas Day Movie Viewing.


If You’re Going With Kids

See: Big Hero 6.

Don’t See: Annie. You’ll probably want to steer clear of anything featuring Ben Stiller. For sanity reasons.

If You Want a Musical

See: Into the Woods. This is a great crowd pleaser. It’s not the best movie in theaters right now, but it certainly does have something for everyone. That something is Chris Pine.


If You’re Looking For a Tearjerker

See: Selma, if you’re near a location that’s screening it. Otherwise, your best bet may be The Imitation Game. It’s not perfect, but it’s the most sincere, Cumberbatchiest of all the Oscar bait out there.

Runner up: Wild

Don’t See: Unbroken. Just… don’t.

If You Want a Heartwarmer

See: Top Five. While not a traditional holiday heartwarmer, you’ll feel some heat there. Into the Woods, again, would also do the trick. You could also finally get around to seeing The Theory of Everything. That’s got your sentiment without getting too saccharine.

Oh my god, do I have to say it again? DO NOT SEE ANNIE.

If You Do NOT Want Your Heart Warmed

See: Inherent Vice if you can. Nothing says anti-Christmas sentimentality like a beachside drug-addled detective story. Short of that, go with Big Eyes. Early reviews are saying Tim Burton has returned to his uber-creepy, less Disneyfied roots.

Don’t see: The Gambler. You can do better than mediocre Marky Mark.

For a Spectacular Spectacular

See: Oh gosh, I don’t even know right now. There are a lot of big shiny CGI turds out there. Birdman? If you haven’t done that yet? Or, really, even if you have. It’s more of a mini-tacular, but it’ll do the job and then some.

Don’t See: The Hobbit: I Stopped Caring About Titles Two Movies Ago. Or Exodus.

If You Want to See the Best New Movie Available to You

Don’t go to a theater. Stay home and watch Babadook on VOD. Then prepare to never sleep again.