Ride Along – James Payton is in love and wants to ask his girlfriend to marry him. But her brother Ben can’t stand James and doesn’t take him seriously to even consider him good enough for his little sister. James has also applied to the police academy, so Ben gets convinced to take James on a ride along during police hours in order for the two to bond, but Ben has other ideas that he hopes will drive James far, far away from him and his sister. The film stars Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Tika Sumpter, and John Leguizamo. 

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Walter develops pictures for Life magazine, and now that the magazine is moving online and laying off those who are no longer needed on the paper publishing side, Walter embarks on a journey to track down the cover photo for the final magazine issue before it gets back to his bosses that it’s been lost. Along the way, Walter discovers that life can be so much more than sitting behind a desk. The film is directed and stars Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, Kristen Wiig, and Adam Scott. 

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Philomena – Best Picture nominee, the film follows the real story of Philomena Lee, a woman whose son was forcefully taken from her 50 years prior and give up for adoption. She sets out with a former BBC journalist in order to find him and together they uncover secrets of the past while trying to bring together mother and son. The film stars Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. 

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The Nut Job – Finding nuts for the long winter is a team effort. Surly doesn’t feel that way at all, so breaks from the team to find his own nuts and is therefore banished. But when the nut tree burns down, Surly is forced to compete with his former friends for food and the overwhelming amount of nuts at the new nut store downtown. Starring the voice talents of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, and Liam Neeson. 

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Black Nativity – The adaptation of Langston Hughes’s play follows the teenager Langston as he’s sent from his hometown of Baltimore to celebrate the holidays with his estrange relatives in New York City. When he realizes that he can’t live under his relatives’ rules, Langston tries to get back home to his mother and learns the meaning of faith and family along the way in this holiday musical. The film stars Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson, and Jacob Latimore. 

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The Invisible Woman – Charles Dickens was many things to many people. A husband, father, writer, and actor. And while he was generally a quiet man, behind closed doors, Dickens was finding his inspiration and muse in someone he didn’t talk much about. The mystery woman is thought to be his inspiration for several of his most famous books. The film is directed and stars Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, and Kristin Scott Thomas. 

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Better Living Through Chemistry – A pharmacist, leading a generally boring and uneventful life, gets caught up in more than he can handle when he begins an affair with one of his customers, which involves sex, drugs, and murder. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Jane Fonda, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta, and Ben Schwartz. 

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Date and Switch – It’s time for their senior prom, and two guys make a pact to lose their virginity before their memorable night is over, but find their friendship is put to the test when one of them admits he’s gay. The film stars Nicholas Braun, Hunter Cope, and Dakota Johnson. 

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Free Ride – Trying to make life better for your kids when you’re caught in the middle of the drug trade in Florida during the ’70s is hard, but not impossible because Christina tries to do just that after moving from Ohio and being introduced to drug trafficking. The film stars Anna Paquin, Drea de Matteo, and Liana Liberato. 

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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