At the Movies: December 9

Office Christmas Party, Nocturnal Animals, Miss Sloane

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This week at the movies: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, and several seasoned SNL’ers bring some big yuletide laughs in Office Christmas Party; Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal turn up the suspense in the critically acclaimed Nocturnal Animals; and Jessica Chastain slays the screen in Miss Sloane.

Office Christmas Party

When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother's (T.J. Miller) branch, he and his chief technical officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs. Also starring Kate McKinnon and Olivia Munn.

Rated R. Directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck. Comedy. 1h 45m.

What the Critics Say:

“Office Christmas Party has just enough laughs to nudge a positive recommendation. The all-star cast of comedy veterans have good chemistry... a few chuckles of yuletide mayhem that should fare well enough at the box office.” – Movie Web

Our Take: Looks hysterical. If you work at a corporate office, the jokes in this jolly flick will definitely crack you up.

Nocturnal Animals

A successful Los Angeles art-gallery owner's (Amy Adams) idyllic life is marred by the constant traveling of her handsome second husband (Armie Hammer). While he is away, she is shaken by the arrival of a manuscript written by her first husband (Jake Gyllenhaal), who she has not seen in years. The manuscript tells the story of a teacher who finds a trip with his family turning into a nightmare. As Susan reads the book, it forces her to examine her past and confront some dark truths. Also starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Michael Shannon, Isla Fisher, and Laura Linney. Adapted from the 1933 novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright.

Rated R. Directed by Tom Ford. Drama/Thriller. 1h 56m.

What the Critics Say:

“Nocturnal Animals is a devastating movie about sin and retribution. It's as searing as a thunderbolt, as poisonous as the strike of a snake.” – Plugged In

“Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this superb second feature from the fashion designer turned film director [Tom Ford]… this is a terrifically absorbing thriller with that vodka-kick of pure malice.” – The Guardian

Our Take: Dark and intense, this thriller is for those who love unsettling suspense. Nocturnal Animals will definitely get under your skin, and will likely be nominated for an Oscar (or two).

Miss Sloane

Willing to bend the rules for her clients, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) remains one of the most sought-after lobbyists in Washington, D.C. When asked to help oppose a bill that imposes regulations on firearms, she instead joins a scrappy boutique firm that represents the backers of the law. Her defiant stance and determination to win now makes her the target of powerful new enemies who threaten her career and the people she cares about. Also starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, and John Lithgow.

Rated R. Directed by John Madden. Drama/Thriller. 2h 12m.

What the Critics Say:

“Jessica Chastain rules Miss Sloane with such steely authority that you are hard-pressed to imagine another actress playing the imperious, largely unsympathetic title character.” – The NYTimes

“Miss Sloane is an evening out for adults, the sort of modest but hardy pleasure that shouldn’t be taken for granted these days.” – Time

Our Take: Another compelling thriller to add to your movie list. Jessica Chastain slays the screen once again…