The Tolkien franchise is over!—plus more new movie reviews and notable screenings

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Annie
  • Annie

Let there be great rejoicing—the Peter Jackson adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien have finally come to an end. We reviewed every last one of these fuckers—The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), The Return of the King (2003), An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), and finally The Battle of the Five Armies—with a total running time of 17 hours and 12 minutes. A lot of newborn babies don't even live that long.

The Babadook
  • The Babadook
Also in this week's issue, Drew Hunt reviews The Babadook, an Australian chiller about a mother and son who think the monster from their favorite storybook is coming to hideous life, and we've got new reviews of: Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Jamie Foxx as 21st-century updates of Little Orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks; Awake: The Life of Yogananda, a documentary profile of the hugely influential Indian mystic Paramahansa Yogananda; In Bloom, a Georgian drama about two teenage girls riding out the civil war of the early 1990s; and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, another final installment of a franchise I won't miss. Hey, did I mention that The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, the best movie you could possibly take your family to see this holiday season, continues through December at the Gene Siskel Film Center?

All dressed up for midnight mass
  • All dressed up for midnight mass
Doc Films and Block Films are both on winter break, so the repertory pickings are pretty slim: the annual Music Box holiday spectacular, with double features of White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life, continues through Christmas Eve, and if you need to get totally hammered to make it through the holiday, Delilah's has The Star Wars Holiday Special on Sunday and the 1979 Johnny Cash Christmas Special on Tuesday. Luckily there's something on the horizon: it's a giant, humming monolith, signaling the beginning of Music Box's weeklong, Christmas-to-New-Year's retrospective on Stanley Kubrick. Now there's a guy who was all about the spirit of Christmas.

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