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Quality holiday fare, but a step down for Alexander Payne

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Jason Wallis

Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 7:47 am

I had promised reviews of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Sitter” this week, but those plans were altered by the fact that my online source for such matters had listed an incorrect wide release date for the former, and the nation’s critics and moviegoing public have convinced me that I should skip the latter. So we are left with “The Descendants,” now playing in general release after generating incredible word of mouth during its run on the art-house circuit. I found it to be consistently engaging yet slightly disappointing given the buzz, but your mileage may vary.

Next week for sure: “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” and “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” which has piqued my interest after receiving favorable early reviews from others who, like me, found the first installment lacking. After that, I’m confident I’ll have my face melted off by the awe-inspiring filmmaking prowess of David Fincher and his “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” So stay tuned.

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