“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (Dec. 9)
Based on a John le Carre novel, this spy thriller about a British agent trying to root out a Soviet spy in the top levels of British intelligence not only looks riveting, but it has a whopper of a cast that includes Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch.
“The Iron Lady” (Dec. 16)
Though there’s controversy about a non-British actress starring in this biopic of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the actress we’re talking about is Meryl Streep. As far as I’m concerned she can play anything and anyone, and I can’t wait to watch her inhabit this role.
“The Adventures of Tintin” (Dec. 21)
Steven Spielberg directs this performance capture animated adaptation of the beloved Belgian comic book series, co-written by “Doctor Who” head writer Steven Moffat and featuring a cast that includes Simon Pegg, Daniel Craig, Toby Jones, Nick Frost and Andy Serkis. Spielberg first bought the rights to this film in 1983, and he’s been dreaming about it ever since. Early clips show his dreaming has definitely paid off.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Dec. 21)
Visionary director David Fincher (who triumphed last year with “The Social Network”) directs this adaptation of the bestselling crime novel by Stieg Larsson starring Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard and Rooney Mara as the iconic Lisbeth Salander, the titular girl with the dragon tattoo. And in case you’re about to argue with me, no, this is not a remake of the Swedish film of the same name. This is a new adaptation by a great creative team, and it will be a new and rewarding experience all its own.
“War Horse” (Dec. 25)
Steven Spielberg has been a filmmaking machine lately. This is his second film to be released in 2011, and only four days after “The Adventures of Tintin.” Adapted from a beloved British children’s novel, it’s the story of a boy who travels across a Europe ravaged by World War I to find his beloved horse, who was sold to the cavalry at the start of the war. Early previews reveal it to be epic and gorgeously filmed, just like Spielberg films should be.