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Weekend Preview: Star-Packed Carnage, Mission: Impossible, Sherlock Holmes & More

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 15, 2011 at 1:44PM

The woeful recent box office should pick up after last weekend's three-year low, as new offerings are packed with headliners and appeal.
Weeked Preview Dec.16

The woeful recent box office should pick up after last weekend's three-year low, as new offerings are packed with headliners and appeal. "Carnage" is a great vehicle for Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly to strut their stuff (congrats to Foster and Winslet for their "Carnage" Golden Globe noms). Two major franchises, "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" and "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," will open huge off decent reviews. Details, trailers and reviews on these films and more are below:

"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," Paramount, US | Dir: Brad Bird; Cast: Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Michael Nyqvist | 90% Tomatometer | Roger Ebert: "A terrific thriller with action sequences that function as a kind of action poetry." | TOH! Review | Clips.

"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," Warner Bros., US | Dir: Guy Ritchie; Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams | 64% Tomatometer | Variety: "While director Guy Ritchie's excesses and modern concessions -- among them a lot of explosions -- remain intact, the parts of this second Sherlock Holmes are considerably more rewarding."

"Carnage," Sony Pictures Classics, FR/GER/POL | Dir: Roman Polanski; Cast: Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly | 75% Tomatometer | Village Voice: "Even as it successfully evokes the single location as a pressure cooker for heightened behavior, its take on the psychological and emotional side effects of such an airless situation never transcends the obvious." | Reviews from Venice.

"Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked," 20th C. Fox, US | Dir: Mike Mitchell; Voices: Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney | 7% Tomatometer | AP: "Puns like these would be unforgivable coming from a human. From high-pitched rodents, they prompt calls for an exterminator."

"Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel," Anchor Bay, US | Dir: Alex Stapleton; With: Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, William Shatner | 90% Tomatometer | Variety: "A delightful tribute."

This article is related to: Box Office, Franchises, Features, Headliners, Directors, Reviews, Critics

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.