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Holiday Movie Guide: 14 must-see flicks

A scene from 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.' . Handout

The holiday season is coming and Canadians will soon be looking for reasons to spend a couple of hours in the warmth of movie theatres with a bucket of popcorn.

This season’s offerings include familiar characters (Ron Burgundy, Madea), beloved actors (Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep) and big name directors (Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson).

Here’s a look at some of the most anticipated movies coming to a theatre near you this December.

DECEMBER 6

Out of the Furnace

Christian Bale stars in this crime drama as a con who, upon his release, finds out his brother (Casey Affleck) has disappeared. With no help from the police, he takes matters into his own hands.

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DECEMBER 13

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

This is Peter Jackson’s second chapter in The Hobbit trilogy. Need we say more?

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas

Tyler Perry wrote, directed and stars in the latest Madea flick, in which Madea pays a surprise holiday visit to her daughter.

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Saving Mr. Banks

Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, who is trying to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen despite the objections of its author, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson).

DECEMBER 18

American Hustle

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) directs the story of an American con man (Christian Bale) and his cunning British partner (Amy Adams) who are forced to work for an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper). Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro and Jeremy Renner are also in the cast.

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Her

Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely writer who falls for his computer’s operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) in this love story directed (and co-written) by Spike Jonze. Amy Adams, Olivia Wilde and Rooney Mara add some girl power.

DECEMBER 20

Inside Llewyn Davis

Oscar Isaac plays the titular folk singer navigating the Greenwich Village scene in the early ’60s. Directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, the film features the musical talents of Isaac as well as Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan.

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Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Will Ferrell is back as the hilarious newsman, along with sidekicks Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell. This time, they’re on a road trip to New York City to start work at an all-news cable channel. Watch for plenty of celebrity cameos.

Walking With Dinosaurs 3D

Based on the BBC miniseries, this 3D animated movie (which blends in actual footage of the Alaskan terrain) follows three dinosaurs as they struggle to survive in prehistoric times.

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DECEMBER 25

The Wolf of Wall Street

Celebrate Christmas with Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars in his fifth Martin Scorcese film as a powerful early ’90s stockbroker who gets caught up in the mob. The cast includes Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey.

47 Ronin

This martial arts fantasy follows a band of samurai on a quest to avenge the death of their master. It stars Hiroyuki Sanada (currently shooting the Showcase series Helix in Montreal) and Rinko Kikuchi (who appeared in the made-in-Toronto epic Pacific Rim) as well as Toronto-raised Keanu Reeves.

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Grudge Match

If anyone knows about playing boxers it’s Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) and Robert DeNiro (Raging Bull). So it’s only natural they star as fighters coaxed out of retirement for one final match.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller directs and stars in this reboot of the 1947 Danny Kaye comedy. Stiller plays an office worker who escapes into a globe-spanning world of fantasy and then sets out on a real-life adventure. Kristen Wiig and Sean Penn are also in the cast.

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August: Osage County

An all-star cast — including Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts — appears in this adaptation of the Tracy Letts play about a family reunited at their childhood home Oklahoma for the funeral of their father.

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