Return readers will remember that I used each October installment to recommend a horror film that I thought you may have missed for one reason or another. I’ll do something similar this week with a Christmas movie that I think is worth your time if you find yourself looking for a new seasonal favorite. Since seeing it in theaters in 2007, writer/director Preston A. Whitmore II‘s This Christmas has become annual holiday viewing at my house. Starring Idris Elba, Mekhi Phifer, Delroy Lindo, and Loretta Devine, the film hits every beat you can ask for in a Christmas movie: siblings returning home from separate parts of the country to celebrate the holiday together, finding romance with a person from your past, helping an estranged member of your family out of a life-threatening jam, pre-loathsome Chris Brown absolutely slaying a Christmas number at open mic night when no one in his family even knew he could sing, etc. If all of the above sounds like cookie cutter dramedy material that’s because it is. Still yet, This Christmas does it so well that you can’t help but feel great while watching it. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll try and reconcile the fact that you actually like Chris Brown in it and, hopefully, you’ll thank me for the recommendation.
Moving on to the reason we’re here, this week’s Top 5 highlights Sony cancelling the theatrical release of The Interview, interviews for and Matt’s review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the Star Trek 3 director shortlist, the first trailer for Terrence Malick‘s Knight of Cups, and a look at 10 underrated films of 2014 that you may have missed. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.