Chi-raq Spike Lee's latest directorial effort is a modern riff on Lysistrata in which a bunch of Chicago women try to force an end to the city's gang violence by refusing to give up the nappy dugout until the shooting stops. In other words, no peace, no piece. (And if it were set in East L.A., we could call it Liz Estrada. Sound it out!) (R)
Christmas Eve Ever since Love Actually hit big, there's been such a rush to fashion ensemble comedies around popular holidays that it's a wonder it's taken this long for somebody to get around to Christmas Eve. Wait a minute: Love Actually WAS a Christmas Eve movie, wasn't it? That means we've come full circle, and that aforementioned somebody just couldn't sell the suits on a picture named Ouroboros. Technically, though, Christmas Eve isn't specifically a romance, focusing on a bunch of New Yorkers who all get trapped in elevators with strangers as the holiday looms and have their hearts softened by the experience. So it's Scrooged crossed with Sweet Charity? Sounds major. Filmmaker Mitch Davis, like costar Jon Heder, is part of the Mormon Pack, so expect at least one kid to disown his gay parents by night's end. (PG)
Krampus In this holiday-themed horror comedy, an ancient Eurocentric monster inflicts unbearable punishment on those who aren't in the spirit of the season. Geez, just think of it: a whole movie about Bill O'Reilly! Truthfully, though, Krampus is based on a German legend that's conveniently appropriate to modern-day Yuletide controversies. Filmmaker Michael Dougherty was brave (read: stupid) enough to tell the Wall Street Journal that he considers the invention of the "imaginary war on Christmas" one of the things we've done to pollute the purity of the holiday. Hey, Michael: That's the WSJ you're talking to! Don't you know Murdoch gets a rage boner when the word Festivus is even uttered? Then again, maybe Dougherty knows what he's talking about: He made the Halloween picture Trick 'r Treat, and did you notice how Starbucks served their Pumpkin Spice Cow's Blood this year in those inclusive, all-orange flagons? (PG-13)
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