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Winter movies

Dec.7: AtonementActress Keira Knightley and director Joe Wright – who teamed up for 2005’s Pride and Prejudice – pair up again to bring another period piece to the big screen. Atonement, based on Ian McEwan’s novel, is set in the World War II era. It’s about a 13-year-old girl (Saoirse Ronan) who accuses her older sister’s (Knightley) lover (James McAvoy of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) of a crime he did not commit. The lie haunts them all through the years. Focus Pictures has encouraged talk of a second Academy Award nomination for Knightley.

Dec.14: I Am LegendWill Smith stars as the only survivor of a viral outbreak in a post-apocalyptic New York City, and the fate of the entire human race rests in his hands. Having saved the world countless times before in films Independence Day, Men in Black and I Robot, Smith is the perfect person to handle what looks to be something of a one-man show. Director Francis Lawrence, whose repertoire includes 2005’s Constantine, and upcoming movies Eddie Dickens and the Awful End, and Snow and the Seven, is sure to deliver some impressive visuals. With a beloved star and an intriguing premise, expect this sci-fi thriller to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the holiday season.

Dec. 21: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox StoryWalk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story may seem like another cheap, sleazy spoof, but with Judd Apatow (the mind behind hit movies such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad and Knocked Up) as co-writer and producer, it might be more than another Not Another Teen Movie. John C. Reilly plays Dewey Cox, a musician whose music changes the nation. After accidentally killing his brother with a machete as a child, he turns to music and, during his rock-n-roll life, sleeps with 411 women, marries three times, and has 22 children and 14 step-children. Jenna Fischer (The Office) also stars as Dewey’s backup singer and one of his many love interests.

Dec. 21: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetJohnny Depp and director Tim Burton team up for their sixth collaboration in this adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim musical. Depp, who does his own singing in the film, stars as the title character, a murderous barber bent on seeking revenge for his wrongful imprisonment and the destruction of his family. Early reviews claim the film is one of Burton’s finest, and both he and Depp are expected to win during awards season.