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Kam's Kapsules for Christmas

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OPENING THIS WEEK

For movies opening Christmas, 2012

BIG BUDGET FILMS

Django Unchained (R for profanity, nudity, ethnic slurs and graphic violence) Jamie Foxx stars as the title character in Quentin Tarantino's revenge-tinged Western about a slave-turned-bounty hunter's search for his wife and slave owners with whom he wants to settle a score. Cast includes Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson.

Les Miserables (PG-13 for violence, mature themes and suggestive material) Musical drama, set in Paris in the wake of the French Revolution, revolving around a ruthless policeman's (Russell Crowe) relentless pursuit of an ex-con (Hugh Jackman) wanted for a parole violation after serving 19 years for the theft of a loaf of bread. With Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Parental Guidance (PG-13 for rude humor) Generation-skipping comedy about a couple of old-fashioned grandparents (Billy Crystal and Bette Midler) who meet their match babysitting three grandkids (Bailee Madison, Joshua Rush and Kyle Harrison) whose helicopter parents (Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott) are away on business. With Tony Hawk, Gedde Watanabe and Steve Levy.

Promised Land (R for profanity) Tale of corporate corruption about a gas company advance team (Matt Damon and Frances McDormand) that downplays the ecological risks while duping small town property owners into leasing their drilling rights. Supporting cast includes Hal Holbrook, Rosemarie DeWitt and John Krasinski.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS

Allegiance (R for pervasive profanity) Stop-loss drama about a National Guard Lieutenant (Seth Gabel) torn between his loyalty to the military and a member of his unit (Bow Wow) who went to care for a son with terminal cancer AWOL rather than redeploy to Iraq. With Aidan Quinn, Reshma Shetty and Malik Yoba.

Quartet (Unrated) Dustin Hoffman directs this musical drama set at a home for retired opera singers where plans for the annual concert celebrating Verdi's birthday are disrupted by the arrival of a pampered diva (Maggie Smith). Featuring Michael Gambon, Billy Connolly and Sheridan Smith.

Tabu (Unrated) Flashback flick about an ailing octogenarian (Laura Soveral) in Lisbon who becomes desperate on her deathbed to contact the ex-lover (Henrique Espirito Santo) from Mozambique with whom she'd shared an illicit affair many years earlier. With Teresa Madruga, Isabel Munoz Cardoso, Ana Moreira and Carloto Cotta. (In Portuguese with subtitles)

West of Memphis (R for profanity and disturbing violence) Justice-delayed documentary about a trio of Arkansas teenagers convicted of a triple murder they didn't commit who spent 18 years in prison before finally being freed recently with the help of DNA evidence. With commentary by Henry Rollins and Eddie Vedder.

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

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