December was a great month for movies, from holiday favorites to action-packed thrillers and historical dramas. The top December 2013 films embody all the classic elements of great cinema, including stellar cinematography, humor, and memorable characters.
“Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas”
Madea has had her fair share of leading roles, but she’s back and more outrageous than ever in “Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas.” The film follows Madea on a visit to her longtime-friend Eileen’s daughter Lacey, who has recently become engaged to a young man from a very different neck of the woods. Eileen is startled when she realizes that Conner, her daughter’s new love interest, is not only white but he also comes from a very country upbringing. Madea must help Eileen come to terms with her adult daughter’s new relationship and learn to embrace new family members, even if they don’t see eye-to-eye at first. “Tyler Perry’s a Madea Christmas” is full of uproarious humor and an equal amount of family drama and heartwarming moments. It’s hard to go wrong with this humorous and nostalgic Christmas film.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Few sagas have managed to capture the imagination of as many people as “The Lord of the Rings.” “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” delves even deeper into this fantastical world, following the charming Bilbo Baggins and the wise old Gandalf the Grey as they seek to save their home from the evil Smaug. Bilbo must find a way to use the power of the ring to bring one of the most sinister forces in the universe to its knees, but only time will tell if he succumbs to its alluring corruption. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is easily one of the most highly anticipated fantasy films in recent years, making it a perfect way to finish 2013. The magical atmosphere of the film’s brightly colored world lends itself to the imaginative charm of the holidays, making it the perfect family film to see on Christmas.
“Here Comes the Devil”
“Here Comes the Devil” is a stunning piece of horror from the mind of director Adrián Bogliano, one of the most legendary names in Mexican cinema. Bogliano is known for his spine-chilling horrors and thrillers, and “Here Comes the Devil” just may be the most visceral and frightening film yet. Sol and Felix are a happy young couple with two young children, a boy and a girl. The small young family takes a trip into the desert, and the two children decide to explore the legendary caves nearby. When they go missing, Felix and Sol are put through a horrific ordeal of trying to find them before it’s too late. What seems like a miraculous return quickly turns into a horrific nightmare as the children are noticeably different than they were before they went missing. Sol is left trying to convince her husband that something is truly wrong with their children while attempting to decipher the cryptic and unsettling clues they give her along the way. Even those who aren’t fans of the typical horror movie will find meaning in this intense film, which is a welcome change of pace from the usual December fair.
“Her” is a compelling romantic drama that tells the tale of a very unconventional romance between a man who has all but given up on love and his virtual assistant. Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson, is a charming and enigmatic artificial intelligence who happens to live inside Theodore’s computer. He is a professional writer who has delved deep into the lonely world of his isolated life. At first, Theodore is hopeful that Samantha will provide him some semblance of company in his mundane life. As time passes, he begins to see her as far more than just a computer. Even Sam begins to question the nature of her existence and whether she has a consciousness outside of the hardware and programming that makes up her existence. This beautiful film takes more than a few unexpected twists to get to a remarkably satisfying conclusion. It’s rare for a science fiction film to leave viewers with such heartwarming sentiment, but “Her” manages to transcend the genre and turn the idea of a prospective technological future into a poignant masterpiece.
December may be known for holiday films, but this year’s offerings have even more to offer. From heartfelt science fiction to the classic Christmas humor viewers have come to love, there is something for everyone at the box office this December.