At year's end it's as easy to gorge on new movies as on holiday dinner. Some 40 films are on view, many as solemn as a Christmas sermon; we consider 10 here. Three are docudramas about challenges to the legal system. Three are tales of senior citizens in decay or defiance. Another three are comic studies of dire events: serial killing, an alien invasion, going home to mother. And it wouldn't be Christmas without a film of some masterwork by a 19th century novelist; this year it's Henry James. Below, a few reasons to visit your local plex--and a few more...

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