Christmas Weekend Movie Trailers and Reviews: Tattoos, Tintin, Zoos, and More

Christmas is in just a few days, which means that there are plenty of movies hitting theaters for those who don't celebrate or for those who do celebrate but need a break from their family members to sit in a dark room and eat popcorn.

This year's batch features an interesting blend of action flicks and sentimental stuff, with surprisingly little in terms of big holiday-themed movies. There was "Arthur Christmas," which released back around Thanksgiving, but you're not likely to see that in the top ten after this week.

Oh, and for those who were avoiding IMAX: don't forget that the very well-reviewed "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" gets a nationwide release in regular theaters this weekend as well.

Here are some quick hits for this weekend's big releases, with reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and trailers:

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

If you want something dark to off-set all the holiday cheer, then go for this US adaptation of the Swedish hit. But be warned: it's pretty darned dark. David Fincher directed this version, which stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 85% among critics, who are calling it brutal and thrilling.

"The Adventures of Tintin"

Masterfully animated, this update of the classic comic is Steven Spielberg's newest addition to the growing field of motion-capture CGI movies. The voice cast, which includes Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig (busy guy), is excellent. The movie has a reasonably good 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics are drawing comparisons to "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

"War Horse"

So there was this war, and a guy had a horse in the war, so that made it a War Horse. That's pretty much all you need to know about this movie apparently, because each ad mostly just has characters saying "horse" over and over again. This is another Spielberg movie (another busy guy), and is sure to be a good bet for family-friendly fare and a good watch with a decent 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"We Bought a Zoo"

Perhaps it's not a great sign when your movie's premise has prompted people to make not one, but two fake Twitter accounts that have caught on and gained followers. It sounds a bit silly--Matt Damon plays a man who copes with a family tragedy by buying a zoo--and sure enough the movie has gotten only a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, but Damon's performance is a great one as per usual.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

Easily the most divisive movie coming out this week (and perhaps the most divisive of the year), this movie adapts the book of the same title to bring the story of a boy dealing with his father's death in the 9/11 attacks to the screen. The movie has a 64% on Rotten Tomatoes thus far, but has been praised by some as a heartfelt story while being trashed by others as completely tasteless (The AV Club gave it a straight F). There's a chance you might enjoy this one, but if you're easily offended by the sentimental exploitation of 9/11, you might want to steer clear.

"The Darkest Hour"

Alien invasion movies are usually reserved for the summer, but "The Darkest Hour" must have really wanted to use its tagline, "Survive the Holidays." The movie, which stars Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby, centers on a group of young people who find themselves in the middle of an alien attack while in Moscow. The problem is, the aliens are practically invisible, seem to be made of light, and can disintegrate people almost instantly. The movie has not been screened for critics, so chances are good that it's pretty bad, but it might be some mindless fun if you want to avoid all the sentimental stuff.