What’s not to love about Christmas? The gifts, the turkey feast and the magic of Father Christmas, his elves and Rudolph; all of it contributes to that happy glow that radiates from even the grumpiest people throughout December and early January.
The festive period is perhaps the one time of year when families can really enjoy each other’s company, with the kids free from homework and mum and dad off work for even a few days. It’s when dusty old board-games are dragged down from the loft, or the latest computer game is brought out for everyone to have a go at. Cinemas too are suddenly filled with parents and their kids, all desperate to see this year’s festive smash hit – and with that in mind we’ve rounded up the best films for everyone in the family…
Best for little ones: Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings
Fairies and Christmas go together like yin and yang, making the release of Tinkerbell’s fourth animated story, her first in 3D, a sure fire hit with youngsters this December! Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings sees Peter Pan’s favourite fairy lead a group of hibernating animals to the forbidden Winter Woods where her wings start to sparkle, much to her delight. However, her presence in this new world breaks strict fairy law and throws the seasons out of balance, threatening the survival of the wondrous Pixie Dust tree. However will she fix it all?!
Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings is in cinemas from Friday 14th December.
Best for tweenagers: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
It goes without saying that there’s a lot of anticipation for this first instalment of Peter Jackson’s new Hobbit trilogy, based on the success of the preceding Lord of the Rings films. Part one is set sixty years before the events that were played out in Lord of the Rings and sees Gandalf task miniature hero Bilbo Baggins, supported by an army of thirteen dwarves, with defeating a dragon named Smaug to reclaim dwarf kingdom Erebor. Gollum makes an appearance, as do a whole host of other creepy creatures. Will Bilbo be able to defeat them all?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in cinemas from Friday 14th December.
Best for teens: Pitch Perfect
If your little girl has asked for singing lessons and a karaoke computer game this year, you can bet she’ll love this fun US flick which revolves around a singing competition at Barden University. It sees new girl Beca being forced to join the University’s all-girl a cappella group by the pushy Aubrey, who overhears her singing in the shower. Beca goes on to revolutionise the group’s somewhat dull repertoire and encourages them to perform some risky mash-ups (the big thing in music right now, if this season’s X Factor performances are anything to go by…), but will it be enough for the mismatched singers to triumph?
Pitch Perfect is in cinemas from Friday 21st December.
Best for grownups: Les Misérables
As far as epic musical-to-film adaptations go, Les Misérables looks like it’ll be up there with the best (see this trailer if you don’t believe us!). You ought to know the story by now; paroled prisoner Jean Valjean is trying to right his wrongs and bring good to civil war-torn 19th century France, but this version brings with it an A list cast comprising Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne. It’s been directed by Oscar-winner Tom Hooper who insisted that all the stars sang live on-set. Will this one be the best version yet?
Les Misérables is in cinemas from Friday 11th January.
Best for grandparents: Quartet
King of the big screen Dustin Hoffman turns director for the first time in this story of the reunion of four retired opera singers. And, this one has another all-star cast, featuring the likes of Billy Connolly and Dame Maggie Smith. It’s set in middle-England, at a retirement home for musicians, and sees famous soprano Jean Horton join the ranks with a bang, having previously been in a quartet with four of the residents, one of whom she married and then divorced. Will her diva-like behaviour threaten the home’s annual performance?
Quartet is in cinemas from Friday 4th January.