Weekend Movie Forecast: The Scoop on 'The Muppets' & More!

Jason Segel teams up with The Muppets, Santa's son goes rogue, and Martin Scorsese tackles 3-D in this week's new releases

Which movies are fun for the whole family and which ones are treats just for you? Find out!

In theaters:

The Muppets
Short Story:
While on vacation to Los Angeles, the world's biggest Muppet fan, Walter (a new Muppet voiced by Peter Linz), and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) discover an evil plot of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), an oilman planning to raze the Muppet Theater to get at the black gold beneath it. Walter, Mary, and Gary must help Kermit reunite with all his old Muppet pals -- who have all gone their own ways over the years -- to put on The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever to raise $10 million and save the theater!

What They're Saying: 
"Effortlessly blending wised-up, self-reflexive humor with old-fashioned let's-put-on-a-show pizzazz, The Muppets is an unexpected treat" -- Variety

"A mostly winning return for childhood favorites from a prior century looks to accomplish its goal of pleasing old fans and winning new ones." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Good for Kids?
Although their may be some mild rude humor, Common Sense Media says this is a "must-see family pick for the 2011 holiday season," especially for young kids and adults who grew up with these beloved characters. Click to read the full Common Sense review! 

Arthur Christmas
Short Story:
How does Santa deliver so many presents in one night? Welcome to the high-tech operations at the North Pole where an army of highly trained elves help to distribute gifts worldwide. But when one of 600 million children doesn't receive a present from Santa, Arthur (Santa's misfit son) goes on an unauthorized mission to deliver a present halfway around the world before Christmas morning. 

What They're Saying:
"In her directing debut, Aardman veteran Sarah Smith and her co-writer Peter Baynham offer a fresh look at the Santa legend: a flawed Claus." -- Associated Press

"Arthur Christmas feels less insularly British than previous Aardman releases; there's plenty here for all ages and nationalities, including the sly but entirely welcome suggestion that female characters have been under-credited in previous yuletide tales." -- Variety

Good for Kids?
Common Sense Media says this holiday tale is perfect for kids. With a PG rating, Arthur Chirstmas gives a fun "behind-the-North Pole look at how Old St. Nick operates" and promises to be a good family pick for Thanksgiving weekend. Click to read the full Common Sense review!

Short Story:
Hugo (Asa Butterfield), an orphaned boy, secretly lives in the walls of a hectic Paris train station. When Hugo finds a broken automaton, left to him by his late father (Jude Law), he gets caught up in a magical adventure as he attempts to unlock the machine's secret. 

What They're Saying:
"A stunning exercise in 3D and a delightful celebration of Scorsese's lifelong love of the movies, something he, like Hugo, developed in childhood." -- Orlando Sentinel

"A wondrous blend of fantasy and mystery that will appeal to adults as well as children." -- USA Today

Good for Kids?
This adventure film is based on Brian Selznick's novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, so it will appeal to older kids familiar with the book, as well as movie nuts eager to see director Martin Scorsese's first foray into 3-D and family filmmaking. Common Sense Media says this "book-based adventure should be epically good for tweens." Expect to see some tense scenes and mild violence -- but with an A-list supporting cast including Jude Law and Sacha Baron Cohen, this should be a fun pick for the whole family. Click to read the full Common Sense review!

In case you missed:  

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I
Short Story:
In the fourth installment of the Twilight franchise, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) get married and (finally!) consumate their relationship. But when Bella becomes pregnant with a half-vampire/half-human honeymoon baby, her life is threatened by the vampire covens and her friend Jacob's (Taylor Lautner) wolf pack -- as well as by the "incompatible" fetus growing in her belly!

What They're Saying: 
"The latest and best of the movies about a girl, her vampire and their impossible, ridiculously appealing - yes, I surrendered - love story." -- The New York Times

"Whenever certain actors take the lead and set the pace of the dialogue, time itself begins to crawl backward and the breaking dawn begins to feel like yesterday's breaking dawn, or last Tuesday's." -- Chicago Tribune

Good for Kids?
Even though this eagerly anticipated movie is rated PG-13, Common Sense Media warns parents that the film includes some "very bloody scenes" and violence. During the birthing scene especially, teens should be ready for some gruesome moments with lots of blood. Click to read the full Common Sense review! 

Happy Feet Two
Short Story:
Return to Antartica in this fun 3-D sequel to the Oscar-winning 2006 film! Mumble (voiced by Elijah Wood), the Master of Tap, is having trouble with his small son Erik (E.G. Daily), who is relucant to dance. When Erik runs away, he encounters The Mighty Sven (Hank Azaria), who he thinks can fly, and immediately idolizes him. But when the world is shaken by powerful forces, Erik sees that his dad might just be the best role model he could have. 

What They're Saying:
"Happy Feet 2 may not be blazing a trail as smoothly and distinctively as the original film did... but you and your kids will find it a pleasant enough journey." -- MSN Movies

"(Director George) Miller makes nice, subtle points about interdependence on earth. Meanwhile, the earthmates in Happy Feet Two continue to dance, sing, and, yes, charm." -- Entertainment Weekly

Good for Kids?
Common Sense Media says this movie is perpect for families looking for a Thanksgiving treat! With a PG rating, Happy Feet Two promises to be just as "kid-friendly as the original."  Click to read the full Common Sense review!

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