When the meal is over, turn out the lights

67% of you are going to end up in movie theaters at some point over the next five days. I made up that statistic, but I’m not making up your cinematic options. Here’s what’s playing where and how it’s rated.

This Thanksgiving weekend, the theme seems to be “films based on quality literature.” Disney’s A Christmas Carol, to get kids in the holiday mood. Word on the street* is that it’s an adaptation that sticks close to the text, but that text is full of ghosts rattling chains and whatnot, so use caution. Ditto for Fantastic Mr. Fox, which is rated PG for “action, smoking, and slang humor.” By all means, shield your kid from “slang humor.” That way they won’t be able to understand the jibes they will no doubt collect on the playground after they burst into tears in the presence of “action.”

Precious is most likely worth your time and money, especially since the novel on which it’s based, Push, garnered all sorts of critical acclaim in the Nineties. It’s not the cheeriest way to spend your post-meal digestion, so if you want something provocative but not quite as real, check out the British film that’s also based on a book (well, a memoir), An Education.

Charles Dickens, Roald Dahl, Sapphire…who am I forgetting in this highly decorated group of novelists?….oh, right, Stephenie Meyer. The Twilight Saga: New Moon is still kickin’ it in theaters. I haven’t seen it, but I’m guessing a vampire looks sexy, a werewolf has conscience issues, and a teenage girl hangs on their every word because they are hot and mystical and, let’s face it, high school was such a drag before they showed up.

Here are the goods. If you don’t see anything you like below, just sit tight: Avatar opens December 18.

Something for the whole family

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (PG) – Animated version of Dickens’s creepy holiday classic. Self-redemptive!

Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG) – Wes Anderson-directed (!), star-studded, stop-animated, hopefully-not-screwed-up adaptation of one of my favorite Roald Dahl books. Clooney-rific!

Planet 51 (PG) – Little green men are afraid…of us! The PG qualifiers for this one are “mild sci-fi action” and “some suggestive humor.” Gross!

Something for everyone else

Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire (R) – Come Oscar season, you’ll know what everyone’s talking about! Empathetic!

An Education (PG-13) – Older man potentially ruins young girl’s future? Saucy!

Ninja Assassin (R) – Gory martial arts adventure with a title that makes you wonder why any movie has ever been named anything else. Highly trained!

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13) – Squeal! Clutch! Swoon!

Pirate Radio (R) – This “little guy takes on the government” flick is sure to please fans of the 60s and of Great Britain but probably not pirates. Ahoy!

2012 (PG-13) – See it for the special effects, see it for the escapism, just…don’t see it if you’re going to email me conspiracy theories for the next two years. Tense!

*It’s a super cool street.

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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