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New movies coming out during the 2014 holidays

If the movies of 2014 have made this year seem like a grab-bag, wait until you see what's coming for the holiday season.

Aside from the annual "Hunger Games" installment, the season's most anticipated films include two musicals, an update of "Annie" with Quvenzhané Wallis in the title role, and an adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim hit "Into the Woods" starring Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp. Biopics continue to proliferate, telling the life stories of a brilliant mathematician, an Olympic runner and a Navy SEAL sniper, among others. Ridley Scott's "Exodus: Gods and Kings," the last of this year's many biblical movies, arrives a couple of weeks before Christmas.

There are upsides to this scattershot roster. We'll see a range of genres and ratings from R-rated dramas to family-friendly cartoons. There are only a handful of sequels, which means fresh stories and ideas (or so we hope). As for the Oscar race, no single film is clearly leading the pack, leaving wiggle room for potential underdog winners.

Here are 20 movie highlights of the upcoming holiday season.


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