The Twelve Films Of Christmas

This year Hollywood has some feel good films to leaven the serious ones that traditionally emerge, with eyes on Oscar, at year's end. There are even a few that make our critical Scrooges almost feel


STARRING: Matt Damon, Henry Thomas, Penelope Cruz, Lucas Black DIRECTOR: Billy Bob Thornton OPENS: Dec. 25

In 1940s Texas, young John Grady Cole (Damon) loses the ranch he loves in a battle, rounds up a buddy (Thomas) and heads for Mexico, looking for work, looking for adventure; looking for the sort of experience that will make men in full of them.

That, stripped of the fancy writing that rendered Cormac McCarthy's novel unreadable to some of us, is the narrative essence of All the Pretty Horses, and it's not a bad one. The lads almost immediately encounter...

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