It’s impossible to surmise what J. R. R. Tolkien’s shade might think about the latest big screen adaptation of his fantasy corpus set in a fictional Middle Earth of elves, hobbits, orcs, and rings of power. But New Zealand director Peter Jackson’s latest cinematic tour de force, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, is undeniably a very different story than its simple, warm-hearted literary source material.

Saving Mr. Banks is a whimsical film chronicling the production of the highly acclaimed Disney movie Mary Poppins. It tells the true life story of Walt Disney and the efforts he made to convince the author of the popular Mary Poppins books to give him the movie rights. Overall, it is a heartwarming film that is likely to be enjoyed by most audiences, particularly those who adore Mary Poppins.

High-quality science fiction/action film Catching Fire burned up the box office in its opening weekend, and — unusually for a sci-fi film — drew a majority female audience. The movie grossed an estimated $161.1 million in North America and $307.7 million globally in its first weekend.

National Geographic Channel's docudrama Killing Kennedy presents a dual timeline — one depicting the presidency of John Kennedy and a parallel dramatization about the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, who, the Warren Commission concluded, killed the president.

The Fifth Estate is more like a documentary — without the context or the strict adherence to documentable facts — than it is an dramatization. It's not a bad film, even though it straddles the two worlds without fully embracing either genre.

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