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What to watch with relatives over the holidays

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Sherlock Holmes Downy
Daniel Smith

As the holiday season comes to a close, you may still be visiting relatives and wondering how you can fill the time between meals. If you’re not sneaking off for a self-marathon of TV on DVD (or Netflix or iTunes), you may be looking for suggestions for movies that will please multiple generations (or just not embarrass you like, say, taking your parents to see Shame). We, and your fellow PopWatchers, are here to help. I’ll list some of my suggestions, you list some of yours. Here are movies or recent DVDs to watch if you’re with:

• A mother who’s told you she would like to see Robert Downey Jr. and Johnny Depp star in a film together: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Yes, this is Downey and Jude Law, but if your mother wants to see Downey team up with Depp, what she really appreciates is a fun, eccentric take on a character, and Holmes’ many costumes in this sequel will delight her. This film has also proven a hit with dads (or, at least with my colleague Adam Vary’s). 

• A brother-in-law who doesn’t see many movies in the theater: The Descendants. You hit him with the Oscar buzz, that EW gave it an A, and that it’s from the director of Sideways, which you know he rented and liked.

• A sibling who’s about to snap and needs to get out of the house NOW: Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol. It’s a thrill ride guaranteed to take your mind off reality, it’s on enough screens that there’s probably a show starting in less than a half hour somewhere near you, and you can sneak back into the house humming the theme song.

• All the ladies in your extended family: Go ahead and rent Crazy, Stupid, Love and reignite the debate over whether Ryan Gosling should have been this year’s Sexiest Man Alive. You’ll be tempted to follow it up with Bridesmaids, but remember that hilariously graphic sex scene between Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm is long, so just make sure Mom has the sense of humor you think she does. Otherwise, opt for Midnight in Paris.

• All the men in your extended family: Warrior and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, both of which hit DVD earlier this month, should do the trick.

Your turn. What’s worked for you this holiday season?

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