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New in Theaters November 26: Penguins of Madagascar, Horrible Bosses 2, Imitation Game

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By Chris Kavan - 11/26/14 at 04:48 PM CT

Family and food are upon us as Thanksgiving once again allows us to catch up with the most important people in our lives, while stuffing our face with everything within' hands reach. Meanwhile, for Hollywood, the holiday means essentially an extended weekend - especially for families - and are hoping that after the feast, and Black Friday, people are going to want to wind down with a movie (or two). While Hunger Games will certainly be a big factor, there are two big movies (and one limited release) looking to make an impact with audiences.

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR While Big Hero 6 has been the de facto animated family the choice the past few weeks, it's finally getting some major competition in the form of the Penguins of Madagascar. The spin-off from the Madagascar series follows Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) - from their origin story to finding themselves as part of an undercover organization dubbed The North Wind led by Agent Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch). The organization is going up against the devious Dr. Octavius Brine aka Dave (John Malkovich) who wants to, what else, destroy the world. Adding flavor into the mix we have a supporting cast including Ken Jeong, Peter Stormare, Annet Mahendru, Andy Richter and Werner Herzog. While I always thought he Madagascar films were appealing - they were never my favorite series and while I'm sure Penguins will make a pile of money, I don't see this joining the ranks of Pixar or Disney in terms of longevity. While the trailer makes it seem enjoyable (especially with Cumberbatch and Malkovich on board) this, to me, is one of those animated film meant to placate the kids while the adults are more or less forced along. We'll see how Big Hero 6 fares against them and just how appealing this spin-off story is to audiences.

Poster for Horrible Bosses 2HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 I have yet to have experienced the original Horrible Bosses - though it has been on my "to-watch" list for awhile. That being said, Horrible Bosses 2 kind of twists the premise of the original film by making the title characters (played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day) their own bosses - when they invent the "shower buddy". Too bad a bad business deal leaves them at the mercy of an unscrupulous investor (Christolph Waltz). In order to get back at him they launch a complicated kidnapping plot involving the investor's son (Chris Pine) with help from MF (Jamie Foxx). Making some cameo appearances are two of the original horrible bosses, Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Aniston. With Dumb and Dumber To quickly falling off the radar, Horrible Bosses 2 should have no trouble getting in the comedy crowd. It is already tracking ahead of the original film (with a $1 million early Tuesday opening already on the books). If you want laughs this weekend, here's the best bet.

THE IMITATION GAME For those looking for something with a little more meat in the story and drama department come Benedict Cumberbatch (non-animated this time) and a story about mathematician and logician Alan Turing and his work in decrypting the Enigma Code during WWII. While it's not opening wide, this, like Theory of Everything, Birdman and Whiplash - is likely to play very well with critics and the more discerning awards-season crowd. This is the kind of real-life story (ala The King's Speech) that type of audience eats up. It will probably do well in limited release, though I think it looks a bit too dry for general audiences to give it hefty support. It hasn't been getting as much buzz as some of the other films, but, who knows, maybe come awards season it will show up on a few lists. Supporting cast includes Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Charles Dance, Rory Kinnear and Allen Leech.

There's plenty to give thanks to every year - good food and family and so much more. We'll see if that thanks extends to Hollywood. I'll have the full report on Sunday.


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