All the big holiday movies open this week, and we've got reviews of The Artist (highly recommended), Michel Hazanavicius's loving tribute to the silent cinema; The Adventures of Tintin, Steven Spielberg's motion-capture animation based on the beloved Belgian comic books; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, David Fincher's take on the best-selling mystery novel; Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, the live-action debut for animation director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille); War Horse, Spielberg's period piece set during World War I; and We Bought a Zoo, a family drama by Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire). Also reviewed, and screening at smaller venues around town, are Miss Minoes, a children's film about a cat who transforms into a woman; My Afternoons With Margueritte, a French drama starring Gerard Depardieu; and Three Stars, a documentary about nine restaurants featured in the Michelin Red Guide.
Repertory pickings are pretty slim this week, but if you've got wheels, you should check out the 35-millimeter screening of James Whale's Showboat (1936) at Northbrook Public Library. The best thing going on in town is Music Box's Hitchcock for the Holidays series: on Sunday and Monday, Rear Window (1954) and Rebecca (1940); on Tuesday and Wednesday, Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951); and on Thursday and Friday, December 29 and 30, To Catch a Thief (1955) and Vertigo (1958). The series continues next weekend with North by Northwest (1959), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Marnie (1964), and The Birds (1963).