If you're looking to laugh if up, "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" will have you chortling into your scotch. Feel like some action? Thor, Katniss, and Bilbo are waiting. If you're in the mood for family-friendly entertainment, "Black Nativity" and "Frozen" will warm you up. If you're hard-pressed to appreciate your own family, perhaps the folks in "August: Osage County" could help. Meanwhile, more adult fare, like "The Wolf of Wall Street," could provide just the escape you need.
Whatever you're in the mood for, we're here to help. Read on for our must-see holiday movies.
Gallery | 2013 Holiday Movie Preview
- 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' (PG-13, November 15)
What It's About: Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) thought they escaped the ultra-violent arena of The Hunger Games, but it's time for round 2. Meanwhile, a revolution is brewing among the citizens of Panem, who look to Katniss for inspiration. Don't that think President Snow (Donald Sutherland) hasn't noticed, either. Katniss, you're in danger, girl!
Why We're Excited: Sure, we've gotten to see Jennifer Lawrence a bunch since the first "Hunger Games," but we've missed Katniss! We can't wait for Katniss to pick up her bow and arrow again to fight for survival alongside Peeta. Plus, there's that whole love triangle with Gale (Liam Hemsworth) to look forward to.
- 'Frozen' (PG, November 27)
What It's About: Being the Snow Queen isn't all it's cracked up to be, but luckily Elsa's got a plucky younger sister named Anna who's determined to help her frosty sibling out. There's singing, there's dancing, and there's a reindeer named Sven. Do you really need more?
Why We're Excited: Idina Menzel has loaned her prodigious pipes to the role of Elsa the Snow Queen, and she's joined by everyone's favorite sloth fanatic Kristen Bell. Disney's a solid holiday choice for anyone looking to entertain themselves and/or some wee ones for a few hours.
- 'Black Nativity' (PG, November 27)
What It's About: A Baltimore teen named Langston heads to NYC for Christmas with his rather buttoned-up relatives Reverend Cornell (Forest Whitaker) and Aretha Cobbs (Angela Bassett), but he isn't too thrilled with his family's strictness. When he tries to ditch his aunt and uncle and head home, Langston encounters some rather interesting (and inspirational) people.
Why We're Excited: It's based on a play by the esteemed writer Langston Hughes, and is directed by Kasi Lemmons ("Talk to Me," "Eve's Bayou"). The musical numbers, which feature Jennifer Hudson (as Langston's mom Naima), Whitaker, Bassett, and Mary J. Blige, among others, are sure to put you in the Christmas mood.
- 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' (December 6)
What It's About: Bilbo Baggins and his buddies made it over the Misty Mountains, but now they've got to face an even scarier, scalier foe. Smaug the Dragon isn't their only worry; there are also giant spiders, orcs, and a frigging necromancer to deal with. Oy vey.
Why We're Excited: It's only the second movie in Peter Jackson's latest Tolkein epic, starring a whole whack of the coolest stars around the world. If that doesn't whet your whistle, perhaps these photos of Benedict Cumberbatch doing the motion capture work for Smaug will convince you?
- 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' (December 20)
What It's About: Ron Burgundy and his team of news-slinging nutballs are heading to New York City, but can they keep up with the changing times? They're not in San Diego any more. Casual sexism, racism, and homophobia won't fly at the Global News Network, or with their new boss Linda. (That's right, they have a woman as a boss! What!)
Why We're Excited: By the beard of Zeus, we've been waiting for nearly ten years for the return of Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and David Koechner as these deliriously weird characters! We're also pumped to see Meagan Good as the boss of GNN, and Kristen Wiig as Brick Tamland's love interest.
- 'Saving Mr. Banks' (PG-13, December 20)
What It's About: Everyone knows the story of Mary Poppins, but how the character came to be a beloved Disney heroine is another one altogether -- and it's much more personal. This is about the battle of the wills between Walt Disney and "Mary Poppins" author P.L. Travers, who both have different but equally private and emotional reasons for their ties to the story.
Why We're Excited: It's a banner year for Tom Hanks, who will be going toe to toe with the marvelous Emma Thompson as Disney and Travers, respectively. Director John Lee Hancock scored a similarly heartwarming hit a few years ago with a little movie you might have heard of called "The Blind Side."
- 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (December 25)
What It's About: It's based on the real life story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who got ridiculously, disgustingly, obnoxiously rich before being brought down by the Feds for all his dirty shenanigans.
Why We're Excited: Well, it's a movie by Martin Scorsese, first of all. If you're not sold on that, then Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill get to act like completely debauched Wall Street dudes who do massive amounts of drugs and are generally pretty terrible. And then there are all of Leo's sweet, sweet dance moves.
- 'August: Osage County' (R, limited, December 25)
What It's About: When the Weston family patriarch Beverly (Sam Shepard) goes missing, all of his grown children and their families return home to lend support to Bev's wife Violet (Meryl Streep). Their ancestral home is a snake pit of utter dysfunction, ranging from addiction to depression, divorce, jealousy, and the sort of quotable vitriol that wins Oscars.
Why We're Excited: Of course, there's La Streep, but let's talk about that extensive supporting cast, which includes Julia Roberts as her bitter daughter Barbara, Margo Martindale as her cruel sister Mattie Fae, and Dermot Mulroney as one sleazy customer, to begin with. Then there's the script by Tracy Letts, who won a Pulitzer for the original theatrical script for "August: Osage County." And then there's just good old schadenfreude, because hopefully your family is way less horrible than the Westons.
- 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' (December 25)
What It's About: Ben Stiller directed and stars in this remake of the 1947 comedy about an office dude who dreams of far more exciting lives, as shown with spectacular special effects. Kristen Wiig appears as his love interest, another cubicle drone who's lonely and looking for something a little better in life. The strange real-life adventures that await Mitty, however, are far stranger and sweeter than he could have imagined.
Why We're Excited: Although reviews have been mixed, this is definitely the sort of holiday mental sorbet we'll be needing -- a sentimental film that will refresh us after watching hours and hours of football or, say, Oscar season entries.
- 'Thor: The Dark World' (PG-13, November 8)
What It's About: Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his hammer are called upon to save the universe from Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and his vast horde of dark elves, which means making a deal with the devil – in this case, Thor's brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Meanwhile, where'd Jane (Natalie Portman) go? In a wormhole? Uh oh...
Why We're Excited: Besides the giant action awesomeness of a Marvel production, we're psyched to see Natalie Portman back onscreen after a hiatus, especially as smart scientist Jane Foster. And we'll never say no to more Hiddleston.