Benedict Cumberbatch comedy

Some Movies to See This Thanksgiving Weekend 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014 Rob Samuelson

It's a long holiday weekend. You're probably looking to get away from your family after a long meal arguing about how different you all are. So go be quiet for a couple hours at a movie to free yourself. There are a few options of different genres, so everyone in the family can see something different.

Horrible Bosses 2
Director: Sean Anders
Writers: Sean Anders, John Morris, Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Michael Markowitz
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz

I still need to catch up with the first Horrible Bosses, which I hear was funny, and my girlfriend often sings Charlie Day's version of The Ting Tings' "That's Not My Name" before saying, "Oh, yeah, you haven't seen that." It happens a lot.

Speaking of Day, the cast is full of comedic (and dramatic, for that matter) heavy hitters, with the returning trio of Jason Bateman, Day, and Jason Sudeikis, plus new import, two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, as their newest horrible boss. Waltz has a manic energy that has been hilarious in his previous roles, but he hasn't done full-on madcap comedy yet, so that's something to get excited for.

The Imitation Game
Director: Morten Tyldum
Writer: Graham Moore
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley

This long weekend's bid for Oscar glory revolves around some of the Academy's favorite pet themes: Nazis being bad, biopics, and World War II in general. Cumberbatch plays the brilliant Alan Turing, the man who broke the Nazi communication code that helped turn the tide in the war against Hitler. Knightley plays the possibly even more brilliant Joan Clarke, a member of his team who I worry, as per the trailers, may be relegated to having a crush on Cumberbatch like some Tumblr account as opposed to being given a full character to work with. But I'm more than hoping to be wrong here, because this one looks pretty solid and we can probably expect to see and hear a lot about it before awards season is over.

Penguins of Madagascar
Directors: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Writers: John Aboud, Michael Colton, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Brandon Sawyer
Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights

Starring the painfully unfunny stars of the "turn off your cellphones" ads before every movie a theaters -- there's always a stupefying, glazed over look on the audience's eyes when these particular ads show up, and never, ever laughter -- and I suppose side characters from the Madagascar films, Penguins of Madagascar is a spoof of military culture, with a team of Navy SEAL-style penguins going on an adventure.

I have never seen the Madagascar movies, and I hear they're no Pixar, but you never know. Maybe those phoned-in ads aren't predictive of the quality of the movie. If you have kids, toss them in the theater and go see something else.

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