Top 10 movies to see over holiday break

There are many things one can do over winter break, but the one fail-safe activity that won’t break the bank is going to the movies. There are many good films coming out during the next month or so for students to enjoy while trying to fill up newfound free time over the holiday break.

1. “Out of the Furnace” (Dec. 6)

With a star-studded cast including Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana and Woody Harrelson, “Out of the Furnace” is likely to be a big hit among movie-goers and critics. When Rodney Blaze (Affleck) mysteriously disappears, his protective, older brother Russell (Bale) takes matters into his own hands to try and track him down. This drama thriller looks to be one of the best movies of the season.

2. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Dec. 13)

This film continues the journey of “The Hobbit” and The Lord of the Rings and will likely not disappoint fans of the series. The dwarves, with the help of Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue on their quest to reclaim their homeland from Smaug, all the while Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

3. “American Hustle” (Dec. 18)

“American Hustle” follows the story of con man Irving Rosenfeld and his partner Sydney Prosser, who are forced to work for an FBI agent who pulls the pair into the New Jersey world of power brokers and the mafia. Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner all star in this crime drama that is almost certain to be extremely successful among critics and viewers.

4. “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (Dec. 18)

The much-anticipated sequel to the hilarious film “Anchorman” follows Ron Burgundy as he makes his return to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. With Will Ferrell, Steve Carrell and countless other big-name celebrities, this film will definitely be a hit, as these comedic characters have become a staple since the first film’s debut. It promises to become another classic.

5. “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Dec. 20)

“Inside Llewyn Davis” tells the story of a week in the life of a young, aspiring singer as he navigates the folk scene of 1961. Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund star in this film that will likely contain great performances, but also great music. A single from the film featuring Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons has already been released on iTunes. The music will make this film great, and if the other tracks are anything like, “Fare thee Well” by Mumford and Issac, then this film will likely be a favorite among folk fans.

6. “August: Osage County” (Dec. 25)

This film looks at the lives of the women of the Weston family, who are brought together by a family crisis that brings them back to the home in which they used to live, and to their dysfunctional mother. Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Julianne Nicholson star in this drama that is surprisingly comedic.

7. “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (Jan. 3)

This is a series that refuses to die. Regardless of the overall quality of the films, however, it is a crowd-pleaser. This chapter in the saga follows the story of the “marked” ones and brings in new characters to be tormented by the very angry spirit that tormented Katie in the first film. It’s likely to scare audiences with the same documentary-style shooting and paranormal activity as seen in the previous films.

8. “Lone Survivor” (Jan. 10)

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Eric Bana, “Lone Survivor” is based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission, “Operation Red Wings” in which four members of SEAL Team 10 were faced with the task of capturing or killing Taliban leader, Ahmad Shah. The team was quickly compromised and under attack during this mission, giving the film its title. This film will have drama and a lot of action as the team and the mission is compromised.

9. “Her” (Jan. 10)

“Her,” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson and Amy Adams is an unconventional love story to say the least. Theodore (Phoenix), a lonely writer, develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased home operation system that is designed to meet his every need. The system, voiced by Johansson is always there for Theodore, in a way that no human is, while Amy (Amy Adams) is the neighbor that really sympathizes with Theodore, more than she would like. This film, though quirky, is full of emotion and will likely be up for awards come this year’s award season.

10. “The Legend of Hercules” (Jan. 10)

In a story that hasn’t been told since Disney’s animated version in 1997, “The Legend of Hercules” delves even further into Greek mythology. The film stars Kellan Lutz as Hercules, which will probably bring in viewers on his sex appeal alone.

There are many films coming out this winter that are sure to not only do well with audiences but with critics as well.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @alexa_dangelo