American Hustle and The Hobbit Lead This Week in Film

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The Hobbit sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is so profoundly American that, as the orc heads fly (four decapitations!) and the characters discover their courage (or level up), there's high comedy in the realization that a director Peter Jackson mined all this relentless, inventive mayhem from the work of a mostly pacifistic academic's fairy stories yearning for a pre-industrial England.

Yes, it's finally that time of year, when the year's biggest movies -- and some of the best -- hit theaters. This week, New Yorkers can see the opening of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, David O. Russel's American Hustle, and Disney's Saving Mr. Banks. In addition to multiplex fare, there's the usual slate of small indies that may or may not be worth your time, including one that shows a love affair between Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve. Click on a movie title to read the Voice's full review.

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Published on December 11, 2013

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