Over the holidays I spent quite a bit of time at the movies.  I love free days where you can go to the movies in the middle of afternoon.  What was even more inviting on these days was the new theater in Kansas City where every seat is a fully reclining padded giant chair with a cup holder and enough room to lie down, curl up and watch the movie.  I think we need these in Boston.

Here are my favorites and must see from this past holiday season

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows


Brilliant, smart, sassy and funny.  Robert Downey Jr. returns to the screen as the eccentric sleuth, Sherlock Holmes and is an absolute treat to watch in this role. Jude Law as Dr. Watson is also superb and charming.  Together they are quite an amazing double act with an outstanding witty rapport. The backdrop sets of London and Paris are breathtaking as the movie takes you on an adventure filled journey with the introduction of Holmes’ arch nemesis, Moriarty.  The intellectual battle of wits between Holmes and Moriarty is fraught with tension as you wonder where the story will lead.  A must watch if only for Holmes’ many disguises.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The-Girl-With-The-Dragon-Tattoo-Poster-the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-2011-movie-29642716-820-376Compelling, horrific and wonderfully acted.  If you have read the books you will be happy with the movie interpretation.  Although they do leave some parts of the book out, it doesn’t affect the story flow.  The movie is still almost 3 hours long and utterly absorbing from beginning to end.  Daniel Craig plays the lead role of Mikael Blomkvist whose reputation has been ruined by a story he wrote that could not be proved.  Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), a very rich and powerful head of a huge corporation reaches out to Blomkvist to help him solve the mystery of his missing, supposedly murdered niece in exchange for the proof he needs to prove his story.  An even bigger story unfolds with regards to the dark secrets of the Vanger family.  Blomkvist hires Lisbeth Sander played by Rooney Mara, the girl with the dragon tattoo and a brilliant hacker to help solve this mystery.  Rooney is superb as the tough, no nonsense, mysterious Lisbeth.  There is an horrific and violent scene of rape that I thought would be eliminated from the US version of this movie.  As disturbing as it was to watch, it is a big part of Lisbeth’s story as well as Lisbeth’s equally violent and hard to watch revenge.  It perhaps could have been toned down a little bit and left to the imagination.  Go see this movie if you want to watch a compelling and tense story that keeps you hooked.  Looking forward to seeing two and three!

Mission Impossible:  Ghost Protocol

Mission-Impossible-Ghost-Protocol-Theme-Available-Now-for-Windows-7-2Non-stop action in this hold your breath, sitting on the edge of your seat fourth installment of the Mission Impossible franchise.  A solid plot that starts with an eccentric nuclear scientist blowing up the Kremlin and Ethan Hunt and his IMF team being blamed.  They then have to take on the task of clearing IMF’s name and tracking down the mad scientist.  There is also some comic reprieve, usually from Simon Pegg’s character, Benji, which adds relief to the incredibly nail biting scenes.  Tom Cruise again doing most of his own stunts and does not disappoint on the action front.  The scene where Ethan Hunt is hanging from the tallest building in the world in Dubai had me holding my breath and half covering up my eyes.  A must see if you like non-stop, thrilling action and for a man of almost 50 Tom Cruise is not bad eye candy.

If you haven’t seen any of these movies yet, I really do recommend them.