It’s time to deck the halls with the season’s best. And we don’t mean tinsel. We’re talking Oscar contenders, the culmination of major film sagas and the rebirth of one of our favorite flicks from the ’80s.

NOV. 19

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Warner Bros.)

The final chapter of Harry Potter’s saga draws to a close – or at least the first half of the final chapter. The second and final chapter, not in theaters until July 15, 2011, already has Hogwarts devotees lathered into a frenzy over the Boy Who Lived as they prepare for the mother of all cinematic payoffs for Potter fans; the highly anticipated showdown between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in the Forbidden Forest. If you haven’t read the books or seen the movies, this face-off is on the level of Han Solo vs. Darth Vadar, Jaws vs. the Boat, Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed, and it’s taken six previous films to get here. Directed by David Yates, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 kicks the holiday movie season off with a bang.

Made in Dagenham (Sony Pictures Classics)

Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) stars in this true story about a group of female factory workers in 1960’s London who unwittingly sparked the movement to create an equal pay act for women. Directed by Nigel Cole and featuring outstanding performances by Rosamund Pike, Bob Hoskins and Miranda Richardson, keep your eyes peeled for a smoldering split-second cameo by Andrew Lincoln, star of AMC’s breakout hit, “The Walking Dead.”

The Next Three Days (Lionsgate)

Three years after Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) is accused of murder, her husband John (Russell Crowe) decides to break her out of prison. Based on Fred Cavayé’s Pour elle (translation: Anything for Her), think of it as Conviction meets Law Abiding Citizen, brought to you by writer-director Paul Haggis.

NOV. 24

Burlesque (Screen Gems)

Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin’s brother, Steven Antin, directs Cher and Christina Aguilera in this story of a small-town girl (Aguilera, in her big screen debut) who moves to Hollywood for her shot at stardom and finds it while working in a burlesque club (one whose shows are a PCD carbon copy) run by a former dancer (Cher). Stanley Tucci, who we would happily watch read the phone book, works his usual magic as the club’s stage manager while Cam Gigandet and “Grey’s Anatomy”’s Eric Dane supply the man meat.

Faster (CBS)

Driving around Los Angeles lately, it’s been hard to miss Faster’s looming billboards. Featuring a scowling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with muscles so enormous, his deltoids look like they’re trying to eat his neck, the former wrestling star seems to be abandoning the warm, fuzzy path his career was taking with films like Tooth Fairy and The Game Plan, and returning to his Walking Tall ways by playing an ex-con out to avenge his brother’s death. Co-starring Billy Bob Thornton and Maggie Grace.

Love and Other Drugs (Twentieth Century Fox)

Brokeback Mountain co-stars Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal reunite for way more sex in Edward Zwick’s romantic comedy-satire about a charming Viagra salesman (Gyllenhaal) who falls for a wild free spirit (Hathaway).

The Nutcracker in 3D (Freestyle Releasing)

Dakota Fanning’s little sister, Elle (also seen in Sofia Coppola’s hotly anticipated new flick, Somewhere), takes center stage in Russian filmmaker Andrei Konchalovsky’s 3-D adaptation of the classic Christmastime story.

Tangled (Walt Disney)

Rapunzel, the classic Grimm’s fairy tale about a princess trapped in a tower with just her 70 feet of magical, golden hair to keep her company, is reimagined with the voices of Mandy Moore and “Chuck”’s Zachary Levi, a strong feminist streak and Alan Menken’s music, one of the touchstones of Disney’s great late 20th century films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid.

NOV. 26

The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company)

Based on the true story of the Queen of England’s father and his remarkable friendship with Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (played by Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush), The King’s Speech is already earning deafening Oscar buzz for the film’s star, Colin Firth, also nominated for last year’s A Single Man. Firth stars as King George VI, a man with a debilitating stutter, who unexpectedly becomes King when his brother Edward abdicates the throne, forcing him to learn to address his subjects publicly. We already have a lump in our throat!

DEC. 3

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)

Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) directs doppelgängers Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in this dark, twisted, psychological thriller about a ballerina (Portman) unraveling as she prepares to dance “Swan Lake.” Featuring some seriously creepy girl-on-girl action, pointe shoes and pirouettes have never seemed so sinister.

The Warrior’s Way (Rogue)

A warrior-assassin (Jang Dong-gun) hides out in a small town in the American Badlands after refusing to carry out a hit. Get ready to see Kate Bosworth in chaps in this Wild Wild West meets Crouching Tiger hybrid.

DEC. 10

All Good Things (Magnolia)

Documentary director Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans) takes his first stab at creating a fictional narrative, although the film is based on a true story, and comes up with a movie that’s a lot of things, not all of them good. Ryan Gosling plays the disturbed heir to a New York real estate dynasty, Kirsten Dunst is his wife who “mysteriously” went missing in the 1980s and was never found.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Fox Walden)

In the third installment of this mega-successful franchise, the two youngest Pevensie kids, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes), return to Narnia with their disbelieving, nay-saying cousin and meet up with Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) for a swashbuckling trip aboard the royal ship, the Dawn Treader.

The Company Men (The Weinstein Company)

Ben Affleck continues his impressive rise back to the top of Hollywood’s food chain in this drama for the recession era. Centering on a year in the lives of three businessmen who are forced to reassess their lives after being laid off and featuring a quartet of Oscar winners (Affleck, Chris Cooper, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner), this film is John Wells’ directorial debut after two decades producing some of the best television in recent memory, from “China Beach” to the “West Wing” to “ER.” Expect to hear this film’s name when the 10 Best Picture nominees are announced on Jan. 25, 2011.

The Fighter (Paramount)

Infamous for on-set antics like throttling his Three Kings star George Clooney (an incident Clooney describes as “truly, without exception, the worst experience of my life”) or berating his I Heart Huckabees star Lily Tomlin, as seen on leaked videos that made their way onto YouTube, David O. Russell climbs into a legitimate ring and lets fists do the talking. But this time, it’s all part of the story. Mark Wahlberg, who trained for two years for the role, and Christian Bale star in this film about boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older brother and trainer, Dick “Dickie” Eklund (Bale).

The Tempest (Touchstone/Miramax)

Shakespeare’s classic tale is brought to the screen by visionary stage and screen director Julie Taymor, the woman currently at the helm of Broadway’s new “Spider-Man” musical. With a luminary cast, including Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina and Djimon Hounsou, and Taymor working her visual magic, this could be the best Shakespeare adaptation since Kenneth Branagh’s epic and inspired Hamlet (1996).

The Tourist (Columbia)

It stars Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie – need we say more? A remake of the French film, Anthony Zimmer, Depp stars as a newly single man who travels to Venice to recover from a recent heartbreak. But when he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman (Jolie, naturally) he finds himself caught up in a dangerous game of cat and mouse. We don’t know what will be the most breathtaking: Jolie, Depp, the backdrop of Venice or the sex scene that was just cut to appease the MPAA and will surely land on the DVD’s special features.

DEC. 17

Casino Jack (ATO)

Earlier this year Academy award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) released Casino Jack and the United States of Money, a film that uncovered the corruption perpetrated by Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist currently incarcerated for bribing members of Congress. If documentaries aren’t your thing, now you can see the same story played out by Kevin Spacey as Abramoff and Kelly Preston as Pam Abramoff, with Rachelle Lefevre (Twilight) and Barry Pepper in supporting roles. Life imitating art imitating life.

How Do You Know (Columbia)

James L. Brooks, one of the finest writer-director-producers in Hollywood, turns in his first R-rated rom-com since the brilliant 1987 film, Broadcast News. Featuring Owen Wilson, who Brooks mentored during Bottle Rocket, and Jack Nicholson, who won an Oscar when Brooks directed him in As Good as It Gets, the film, which asks the question, “How do you know when you’re in love?” also stars Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd as two people in crisis and, possibly, in love.

Rabbit Hole (Lionsgate)

Nicole Kidman produced and stars in this new film by the always-provocative director, John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus), about a couple (Kidman and Aaron Eckhart) whose perfect world is shattered when their son dies in a car accident.

TRON: Legacy (Walt Disney)

Are you ready to be derezzed? We are!!! TRON: Legacy follows Sam (Garrett Hedlund) as he investigates a signal sent from his father’s old arcade and finds himself pulled into the digital world where his dad, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), has been trapped for 20 years. Follow-up films can be tricky, especially when they’re made almost 20 years after the original, but TRON: Legacy seems to take everything that made the original cult favorite great and amp it to 11.

Yogi Bear 3D (Warner Bros.)

Who’s got a pick-a-nick basket? A mixture of live action and animation in the Alvin and the Chipmunks vein, Dan Aykroyd (who voices Yogi), Justin Timberlake (the voice of Boo Boo) and Anna Faris all signed up for adventure with this smarter than the average bear.

Frankie and Alice (Checkmark)

Halle Berry does Sybil in this drama about a woman with multiple personality disorder fighting to not give in to her racist alter-personality. Ummm, didn’t Dave Chappelle kinda do a sketch about that once?

DEC. 22

Country Strong (Screen Gems)

Considering Gwyneth Paltrow is responsible for one of our favorite duets, a remake of “Cruisin’” with Huey Lewis from the Duets soundtrack, we can’t wait to see her go country, y’all, in this drama about a troubled, country star who’s losing her luster and hitting the bottle. With a beauty queen-turned-singer (“Gossip Girl”’s Leighton Meester) nipping at her heels and a crumbling marriage to her husband/manager (real-life country star Tim McGraw), she hooks up, in more ways than one perhaps, with a rising country-music songwriter (TRON: Legacy star Garrett Hedlund continuing his charge to the top of the A-list) so they can chart his ascent and her comeback.

Gulliver’s Travels (Twentieth Century Fox)

Jack Black, Emily Blunt and Jason Segel star in this update of the classic children’s book. Black leads the charge as Lemuel Gulliver, a travel writer on assignment in the Bermuda Triangle who finds himself transported to an island where he’s a giant among the natives, the Lilliputians, and becomes their leader so they can defeat their rivals, the Blefuscudians.

Little Fockers (Universal)

Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro are reunited as the Fockers and Byrnes families brace themselves for the arrival of a bouncing baby Focker in this follow-up to Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.

Somewhere (Focus)

Director Sofia Coppola’s hotly anticipated feature about a hard-partying actor (Stephen Dorff) holed up in the Chateau Marmont who gets an unexpected and life-altering visit from his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning). Closer to 2003’s Lost in Translation than her less-than-stellar 2006 film Marie Antoinette, Somewhere won the Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, earlier this year, making Coppola the first American woman (and fourth American filmmaker) to earn the prize. Could an Oscar be next?

True Grit (Paramount)

If this film sounds familiar that’s because it’s an adaptation of the 1968 Charles Portis novel that was made into the 1969 film starring John Wayne. This time, the Coen brothers, who also wrote the script, direct Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld in the classic western tale of a young girl who recruits a U.S. Marshal (Bridges) to track down the man who killed her father. Bridges could get his second consecutive Oscar nomination stepping into the role which earned Wayne the award for Best Actor over 40 years ago.

DEC. 25

The Illusionist (Sony Pictures Classics)

Beautifully composed and incredibly moving, director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) takes animation to a new level in this bittersweet, melancholy tale about the end of the vaudeville era, as the performers find themselves becoming obsolete. Chomet adapts the screenplay, which is almost dialogue-less but still stunningly evocative, from one originally written by mime/filmmaker Jacques Tati.

DEC. 29

Another Year (Sony Pictures Classics)

Director Mike Leigh continues to champion character over plot and use improvisation over scripted dialogue in this tale of a happily married couple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) surrounded by family and friends who are all miserable.

The Way Back (Newmarket)

Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Colin Farrell star as a group of soldiers who escaped from a Serbian gulag in Soviet-occupied Poland during WWII and traveled across Asia to India to reach safety. Peter Weir has an outstanding directorial track record, from Picnic at Hanging Rock to Dead Poets Society to The Truman Show, this leader of Australian New Wave cinema might finally win the Oscar he’s so long deserved with this adaptation of Slavomir Rawicz’s novel, The Long Walk.

DEC. 31

Blue Valentine (The Weinstein Company)

Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are heartbreaking in a crushingly truthful, unflinching look at the past and present of a couple whose marriage is falling apart. Directed by Derek Cianfrance, Blue Valentine has been dogeared for Oscar contention since it debuted at Sundance and quite deservingly.


JAN. 7

Season of the Witch (Relativity)

Nicolas Cage stars as a 14th-century Crusader who returns to find his homeland devastated by the Black Plague. To cure the town, Cage and his Crusading comrade (Hellboy’s Ron Perlman) are tasked with transporting an accused witch (Claire Foy) to a remote abbey where monks will perform a ritual to end the pestilence. Directed by Dominic Sena, who last partnered with Cage for the thoroughly enjoyable Gone in Sixty Seconds, Season of the Witch has the potential to be a super fun popcorn romp.

JAN. 14

The Dilemma (Universal)

Vince Vaughn and Kevin James star as Ronny and Nick, best friends both married to women way too hot for them (Vince is with Jennifer Connelly, Kevin with Winona Ryder). When Ronny discovers his best friend’s wife (Ryder) is having an affair (with Channing Tatum), he struggles with whether or not to tell his friend.

The Green Hornet (Columbia)

Seth Rogen as an action star? The guy who directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind making a comic book adaptation? Could this be a case of so many wrongs making a right? Or will this go down as the biggest mistake in masked crime fighter films since Batman & Robin? We believe it’ll be the former, but if it is the latter, at least instead of suffering through someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, you can enjoy Inglourious Basterds’ Christoph Waltz, fresh from his Oscar win, in the villain role.

JAN. 21

No Strings Attached (Paramount)

Not to be confused with the ’N Sync album, this film from Ivan Reitman stars Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as friends with benefits who are fighting to keep their relationship strictly physical despite developing more complicated feelings. If you liked Kutcher in A Lot Like Love, put this on your must-see list.

JAN. 28

The Mechanic (CBS)

First he was The Transporter, and now he’s The Mechanic. Jason Statham stars, yet again, as an elite assassin in a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson flick. We love to watch Statham kick ass, but between The Transporter trilogy, two Crank films and The Expendables, it would be nice to see him do something that’s not “by rote.”

Restless (Columbia)

Dennis Hopper’s son Henry makes his big screen debut opposite Alice in Wonderland and The Kids Are All Right star Mia Wasikowska in Gus Van Sant’s bittersweet drama about a terminally ill teenage girl (Wasikowska) who falls for a boy (Hopper) with a morbid fascination.

FEB. 2

Monte Carlo (Fox 2000)

While on vacation in Paris, three young women (Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester and Meester’s “Gossip Girl” co-star Katie Cassidy) are whisked off for an adventure in Monte Carlo when one of the girls is mistaken for a British heiress.

FEB. 4

James Cameron Presents: Sanctum (Universal)

A 3-D thriller produced by James Cameron about a team of underwater cave divers trapped during a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth.

The Roommate (Screen Gems)

Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester give college the Single White Female treatment in this thriller that will have you thanking your lucky stars that the only thing your roommate does to make you nuts is eat your cereal.

FEB. 11

Gnomeo and Juliet (Walt Disney)

Imagine Shakespeare … but with lawn jockeys. The classic tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet is retold as a battle of the garden gnomes, with the voices of James McAvoy as Gnomeo, Emily Blunt as Juliet and a happier, more Disney-friendly, ending.

Just Go With It (Columbia)

Brooklyn Decker steps off the pages of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and onto the big screen as Adam Sandler’s dream girl. Unfortunately, a string of lies forces him to enlist his friend, a single mother of two played by Jennifer Aniston, to pose as his soon-to-be-ex wife in order to win her heart.

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Paramount)

Director Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D) takes a “look at Justin Bieber’s early life, his rise to fame and behind the scenes of his 2010 tour.” Whadayamean “early life?” The kid can’t vote, drink, enlist in the army or even reach the highest shelf at the grocery store yet.

FEB. 18

Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (Twentieth Century Fox)

Martin Lawrence is strapping on Big Momma’s fat suit once again in this continuation of the franchise. This time FBI agent Malcolm Turner (Lawrence) and his nephew Trent (Brandon T. Jackson) go undercover at an all-girls performing arts school after Trent witnesses a murder.

I Am Number Four (Walt Disney)

After their home planet is invaded and destroyed, nine infant aliens, who almost appear to be human, are sent to hide on Earth. Each given a guardian and assigned a number, they can only be killed in the sequence of their numbers. Following the murders of Numbers One, Two and Three, Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) is living on high alert in Paradise, Ohio, where he’s disguised as an American high school student. But when he falls in love (with “Glee”’s Dianna Agron), he realizes he needs to stand up and fight for his life.

Unknown (Warner Bros.)

This thriller stars Liam Neeson as a doctor who awakens from a coma, only to discover that someone has taken on his identity and no one, including his wife (“Mad Men”’s January Jones), believes him. So he has to team up with another super hot blonde chick (Diane Kruger) to prove who he really is.

FEB. 25

The Eagle (Focus)

Set in 140 A.D., this adaptation of the 1954 historical adventure, The Eagle of the Ninth, follows a young Roman officer (Channing Tatum) searching to discover the truth about the disappearance of his father’s legion in the north of Britain. Co-starring Mark Strong, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland, this film might best be known for being the set on which Tatum scalded the head of his manhood.

Hall Pass (New Line Cinema)

The Farrelly brothers direct Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis as two married best friends whose wives give them each “a hall pass” – a weeklong opportunity to do whatever they want, with whomever they want, with zero consequences. It’s all fun and games until their wives start enjoying some extracurricular activities as well.