The Five: Must-See Movies in November

In these tough economic times it's hard to decide which movies to spend your hard-earned dollars on, which is why I've come along at the beginning of the month to save the day (kinda like Superman, only slightly overweight and balding) by giving you a list of five must-see movies hitting theaters at some point over the next 30 days. While I can't fully vouch for their awesomeness, advance buzz and my non-existent superhuman spidey sense should be enough to go by…I think…and hope. Check it:

A Christmas Carol (November 6th)

The month of November begins with a Christmas movie, yes, but it's one that's directed by the great Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forest Gump) and it stars the hilarious Jim Carrey as several different characters in this mo-capped version of the classic Charles Dickens tale. While the content may not be new, expect the kids to have a blast with the same fantastical visuals used for movies like Beowulf, The Polar Express and Tim Burton's upcoming version of Alice in Wonderland.

Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire (November 6th, Limited)

Though it's definitely not the easiest movie to digest (and trust me when I say you won't want to watch it twice), Precious is one of the only films of 2009 so far that you could call a lock for multiple Oscar nods. The Sundance break-out film follows the rough-and-tough life of an overweight pregnant teen trying to navigate her way toward a better future for her and her unborn child while overcoming gut-wrenching obstacles like abuse and illiteracy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (November 20th/Limited, November 25th/Wide)

From the eccentric mind of Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) comes this funky adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl tale about a group of farmers who, fed up with losing their chickens, go after a sly Fox and his family. The film marks 20th Century Fox's first foray into stop-motion animation, and the cast packs a ton of star power with voice work from George Clooney, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Meryl Streep and Owen Wilson, among others.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (November 20th)

Obviously this is the biggest film of the month on paper, so how can we not recommend seeing what all the fuss is about. Critics were a little hard on the first Twilight film, claiming it was too lightweight for a vampire flick – but now the budget is higher, the cast is greater, the directors are more experienced -- and, since the books increasingly get darker, we should expect The Twilight Saga: New Moon to serve up some tasty treats toward the end of November.

Ninja Assassin (November 25th)

In terms of the month's most action-packed movie, look no further than Ninja Assassin – which was produced by the Wachowski Bros. (who brought us the Matrix trilogy), and looks to pack more punches than all of this year's martial arts movies combined. The cast features Asian pop star-turned-actor Rain as a rogue ninja who helps track down a former ally guilty of committing a series of grisly murders. Action buffs looking to increase their heart rate for two hours won't want to miss this flick when it drop-kicks its way into theaters in just a few weeks.

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