Big-Screen Cheat Sheet: Which Movie Should You See This Weekend?

From Out of the Furnace to Frozen, get the scoop on what's playing in theaters

Christian Bale is seeking justice for his brother in Out of the Furnace, while Frozen, Black Nativity and Homefront continue their run in theaters. These are the movies to check out -- will you be grabbing your popcorn and seeing one of them this weekend?

'Out of the Furnace' (Dec. 6)

Out of the Furnace Review

Relativity Media

Short Story: Set in a Pennsylvania steel mill town, Out of the Furnace zeroes in on Russell Baze (Christian Bale) and his younger brother Rodney (Casey Affleck). When Rodney gets involved with a ruthless crime ring and mysteriously disappears shortly after Russell lands in prison, Russell must risk everything in order to find justice for his brother.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Out of the Furnace is a lot of movie, a lot of it good and pungent." -- Chicago Tribune

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 55%

Good for Kids? With an R-rating for strong violence, language and drug content, Out of the Furnace seems suitable for mature viewers only. And Common Sense Media agrees, saying the film "may enthrall some older teens, but it's not recommended for younger viewers."
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Frozen' (Nov. 27)

Frozen Review

Walt Disney Studios

Short Story: When her sister Elsa (voiced by Idina Menzel) accidentally uses her powers to send the kingdom of Arendelle into eternal winter, Anna (Kristen Bell) and a few trusty companions embark on an icy adventure to find Elsa and make her reverse the damage.
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What They're Saying: "The movie, while dazzling to look at, may be a little long for some small children. But its surprising and poignant ending, which subverts so many fairy-tale stereotypes, feels as though it cancels out the movie’s small flaws and dragging moments." -- The Washington Post

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 86%

Good for Kids? Frozen is an animated Disney movie, which automatically makes it family-friendly for the holiday season. Still, Common Sense Media does have an important warning: "Like many Disney movies, the parents die and leave orphaned princesses who must find a way to survive." Bring tissues!
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Black Nativity' (Nov. 27)

Black Nativity Review

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Short Story: An adaptation of Langston Hughes' famous play of the same name, Black Nativity stars Jacob Latimore as Langston, whose mother (Jennifer Hudson) sends him to his grandparents' house for the Christmas holiday when her house goes into foreclosure. While spending time with his estranged relatives, Langston is told the story of his family's origins. Also starring Angela Bassett and Forest Whitaker as Langston's grandparents.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Anchored by a topnotch ensemble cast, it's toe-tapping holiday fare that's also a potent reminder that family resentments and hardened hearts serve no one." -- USA Today

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 53%

Good for Kids? In this PG-rated holiday film, Common Sense Media says there is "nothing particularly alarming" for young viewers.
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

'Homefront' (Nov. 27)

Homefront Review

Open Road Films

Short Story: Former DEA agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is now spending his days in Louisiana, in hopes of avoiding a motorcycle gang that isn't very happy with him. But when a local meth dealer (James Franco) gets wind of Phil's presence in town, he tries to use Phil to his advantage in the drug-dealing business.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Homefront has craft and humor behind it, but not much in the way of inspiration. Think of a dessert with lots of calories and no nutrition." -- San Francisco Chronicle

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 35%

Good for Kids? Young viewers should certainly avoid Homefront for its R-rating (for violence, language, drug content and brief sexuality). But Common Sense Media says teens might want to avoid it also: "With a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, this one may appeal to teen Expendables fans, though Homefront is not nearly as much fun."
Click here for the full Common Sense Review.

Rebecca Iannucci is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter and

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