Holiday movie preview: "Les Miserables," "The Hobbit" and more

This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in a scene from the fantasy adventure "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher)
James Fisher

'Tis the season to gear up for awards contenders, action and family-friendly fare at the movies.

As Thanksgiving approaches and Christmas is on the horizon, a new crop of films is making its way into theaters, hoping to entertain moviegoers and Oscar voters alike.

Some of those movies have been on Oscar-watchers' short-lists for months, like David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, or Steven Spielberg's historical drama "Lincoln," which opened in limited release last week and widens Friday.

Tom Hooper is bringing the musical "Les Miserables" to the big screen, with Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe among its all-star cast, and there's also a new adaptation of "Anna Karenina" starring Keira Knightley in the title role. Kathryn Bigelow takes on the hunt for Osama bin Laden in "Zero Dark Thirty," and Quentin Tarantino visits the 19th-century Deep South with Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio in his Western "Django Unchained."

"Lord of the Rings" fans have surely marked their calendars for the opening of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the first of Peter Jackson's three-part series, and fans of Yann Martel's bestseller "Life of Pi" are likely looking forward to Ang Lee's 3-D adaptation of the popular novel.

Those looking for spy drama can see "Skyfall," the latest entry in the James Bond franchise, with Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Daniel Craig. Or, investigate a sniper case with "Jack Reacher," starring Tom Cruise as the ex-military cop from Lee Child's bestselling books.

If you want to make a trip to the movies into a family affair, check out "Rise of the Guardians," an animated tale that unites familiar holiday characters like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Disney is also bringing a 3-D version of "Monsters Inc." to theaters.

Check out the gallery above for more on these and other movies being released during the holiday season (Release dates are subject to change).

Tell us: What holiday films are you most looking forward to?