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Five movies to see with your family over the holidays

Joshua Rothkopf
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Joshua Rothkopf

Hark! The Ghost of Christmas Arguments Past has risen. You know there's going to be a point when you and your collected loved ones will have the ostensibly "fun" idea of going to a movie. What could possibly go wrong? A lot, actually. Little Timmy wants to go see the deeply mediocre Peanuts film, while you want to watch puppets have stop-motion oral sex in Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa. Mom and Dad have no problem plunking down to see The Martian or Spectre (again?), while you feel like you're living out your own personalized version of Room. We're here to help. Here are five movies that virtually everyone can agree upon. All are playing at local theaters, unless otherwise noted.

RECOMMENDED: See the full Christmas in New York guide

Star Wars: The Force Awakens The demand for tickets is huge, but the hotly anticipated sequel is your perfect all-family option: nostalgic for Gen X-ers, corrective for kids who need the Jar Jar beaten out of them.

Brooklyn Perhaps you've already heard about how lovely this 1950s immigrant tale is. The movie is definitely suitable for parents, who will appreciate its old-school virtues. And if you end up sobbing like a baby at Saoirse Ronan's exquisite performance, you can thank us later.

It's a Wonderful Life It still works, people. Watching it with a crowd will be a glorious communal cry. And the older you get, the more you can appreciate Jimmy Stewart's subtle performance, darker than you remember. IFC Center, Thu 17–Dec 25

Love Actually You, your sister, your mom—you're all down for a screening of this modern Brit romantic weepie. But watch how willing your boyfriend will be to acquiesce, all in the name of holiday cheer. Nitehawk Cinema, Sat 26, Sun 27

Creed You're thinking: You had me until the Rocky movie. But Ryan Coogler's reboot is surprisingly sensitive (as is Sylvester Stallone, amazingly). It's a stirring story of resilience, family values and dreaming big. Go the distance.

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