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Jack Reacher (Dec. 21): Tom Cruise plays the (Credit: Karen Ballard)

Jack Reacher (Dec. 21): Tom Cruise plays the wandering crime fighter created by novelist Lee Child in this action film from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects"). Werner Herzog plays the villain.

2012 holiday movie preview

This holiday season is filled with gifts from an eager-to-please movie industry. While there are only a few obvious show stealers -- including Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and the star-studded musical "Les Misérables" -- there certainly is buzz around other films, including "Hitchcock," starring Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense, and Judd Apatow's "This Is 40," a spinoff of "Knocked Up."

Here's a sneak peek at the movies under the tree this holiday season.

Life of Pi: A 3-D adaptation of Yann
(Credit: AP)

Life of Pi: A 3-D adaptation of Yann Martel's novel about a young man (Suraj Sharma) stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Directed by Ang Lee.

Red Dawn (Nov. 21): A remake of the
(Credit: Ron Phillips)

Red Dawn (Nov. 21): A remake of the 1984 Cold War flick about teens defending their turf against Russian invaders -- only this time it's the North Koreans. With Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Josh Peck. Directed by Dan Bradley.

Rise of the Guardians (Nov. 21): Santa Claus,
(Credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Rise of the Guardians (Nov. 21): Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy unite to battle a common foe in this animated film. With the voices of Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine and Hugh Jackman.

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Hitchcock (Nov. 23): Anthony Hopkins plays the rotund
(Credit: Suzanne Tenner)

Hitchcock (Nov. 23): Anthony Hopkins plays the rotund cinematic genius in this story about the making of "Psycho." Helen Mirren plays his wife; Scarlett Johansson is Janet Leigh. LI's Ralph Macchio plays the screenwriter, Joseph Stefano.

The Central Park Five (Nov. 23): The story
(Credit: NY Daily News/Florentine Films)

The Central Park Five (Nov. 23): The story of the Harlem teenagers who spent years in prison for a 1989 rape until DNA evidence proved their innocence. Ken Burns ("The Civil War") directs this documentary with his daughter Sarah and her husband, David McMahon.

Beware of Mr. Baker (Nov. 28): Ginger Baker,
(Credit: SnagFilms)

Beware of Mr. Baker (Nov. 28): Ginger Baker, one of rock's greatest and wildest drummers (Cream, Blind Faith), tells his story. Jay Bulger directs.

Killing Them Softly (Nov. 30): Brad Pitt rejoins
(Credit: Melinda Sue Gordon)

Killing Them Softly (Nov. 30): Brad Pitt rejoins director Andrew Dominik ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") in a crime drama about bunglers who knock over a mob-protected card game. With Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini and Richard Jenkins.

The Collection (Nov. 30): A secret party at
(Credit: LD Entertainment)

The Collection (Nov. 30): A secret party at an undisclosed location turns out to be a trap set by a psychopathic killer in this follow-up to 2009's "The Collector." With Emma Fitzpatrick and Josh Stewart.

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Deadfall (Dec. 7): Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde
(Credit: Handout)

Deadfall (Dec. 7): Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde are siblings on the run after a botched casino heist. With Sissy Spacek, Kris Kristofferson and Kate Mara.

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (Dec. 7): Edward Burns'
(Credit: Tribeca Film)

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (Dec. 7): Edward Burns' latest focuses on a large Irish-American clan preparing for yuletide on Long Island. With Kerry Bishé and Connie Britton.

Playing for Keeps (Dec. 7): A romantic comedy
(Credit: FilmDistrict)

Playing for Keeps (Dec. 7): A romantic comedy about a down-and-out soccer star (Gerard Butler) who returns home to coach his son's team. With Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Hyde Park on Hudson (Dec. 7): Bill Murray
(Credit: Nicola Dove)

Hyde Park on Hudson (Dec. 7): Bill Murray is President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Laura Linney plays his "intimate," Daisy, in this period comedy-drama. Directed by Roger Michell ("Notting Hill").

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14): The
(Credit: AP)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14): The first of Peter Jackson's next Tolkien trilogy, starring Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel. Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum mark their fourth time in the roles.

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Stand Up Guys (Dec. 14): Al Pacino, Christopher
(Credit: Handout)

Stand Up Guys (Dec. 14): Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin are retired gangsters who reunite for one more night of mayhem. Directed by Fisher Stevens.

Any Day Now (Dec. 14): In the 1970s,
(Credit: Music Box Films)

Any Day Now (Dec. 14): In the 1970s, a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garrett Dillahunt) fight for custody of a boy with Down syndrome.

The Guilt Trip (Dec. 19): Seth Rogen is
(Credit: Sam Emerson)

The Guilt Trip (Dec. 19): Seth Rogen is a struggling inventor who embarks on a cross-country road trip with his mother, played by Barbra Streisand. Directed by Anne Fletcher ("The Proposal").

Zero Dark Thirty (Dec. 19): The story of
(Credit: Universal Pictures)

Zero Dark Thirty (Dec. 19): The story of the Navy SEAL operation that killed Osama bin Laden last year. With Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, both of "The Hurt Locker."

Not Fade Away (Dec. 21): Inspired by seeing
(Credit: Handout)

Not Fade Away (Dec. 21): Inspired by seeing the Rolling Stones on "The Ed Sullivan Show," a group of New Jersey kids starts a band. This is the first feature film from "The Sopranos" creator David Chase.

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On the Road (Dec. 21): Walter Salles directs
(Credit: IFC Films)

On the Road (Dec. 21): Walter Salles directs the film version of Jack Kerouac's legendary 1957 novel. Starring Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty, Kristen Stewart as his girl Marylou and Sam Riley ("Control") as Sal Paradise.

Jack Reacher (Dec. 21): Tom Cruise plays the
(Credit: Karen Ballard)

Jack Reacher (Dec. 21): Tom Cruise plays the wandering crime fighter created by novelist Lee Child in this action film from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects"). Werner Herzog plays the villain.

The Impossible (Dec. 21): A family of five
(Credit: Summit Entertainment)

The Impossible (Dec. 21): A family of five vacationing in Thailand tries to reunite after being pulled apart by the 2004 tsunami. With Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (Dec. 21): Director
(Credit: Mark Fellman)

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (Dec. 21): Director Andrew Adamson films the artier-than-Ringling troupe. In 3-D.

Django Unchained (Dec. 25): Quentin Tarantino's Western stars
(Credit: Handout)

Django Unchained (Dec. 25): Quentin Tarantino's Western stars Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz.

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Hugh Jackman, right, plays Jean Valjean in the
(Credit: Universal Pictures)

Hugh Jackman, right, plays Jean Valjean in the widescreen version of the long-running stage musical "Les Misérables."

Parental Guidance (Dec. 25): A child-rearing comedy about
(Credit: Twentieth Century Fox)

Parental Guidance (Dec. 25): A child-rearing comedy about two grandparents (Bette Midler, Billy Crystal) who go old school on the kids. Also starring Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott.

Quartet (Dec. 28): Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut stars
(Credit: The Weinstein Co.)

Quartet (Dec. 28): Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut stars Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly as opera singers living in a retirement home for gifted musicians.

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