'Puzzle' is Well Made, but a Few Pieces are Missing

Based on the film Rompecabezas, Puzzle is one of those little-known independent films that sneaks into theaters with little to no fanfare, although the fact that it is being promoted “from the producer of Little Miss Sunshine” should help it get noticed somewhat. Puzzle is a quiet, little film about a woman who discovers that jigsaw puzzles are the key to changing her life. While the subject matter doesn’t sound all that exciting, the film really isn’t about puzzles but instead about one finding their voice, or so it appears. It’s also a message film that has its own agenda expecting the audience to agree with the choices of the main character and applaud her “brave” behavior. Frankly, it just feels manipulative.

Directed by Marc Turtletaub, Puzzle’s most impactful scene comes within the first few minutes. We see Agnes (Kelly MacDonald) cleaning up the house and they decorating it for a birthday party. Then we see her serving appetizers while being ignored by the guests. …

Eight of the Weirdest Christmas Movies

With just a few hours left before the big day, it might be nice to sit back, relax and drink in the holiday cheer from your own silver screen. The problem is, not everybody is on the same page when it comes to making a good Christmas movie. Here are eight to avoid:

One Magic Christmas (1985)

1985 was an awkward year for Disney. One Magic Christmas is truly depressing and that takes forever to get to the “magic” part. Poor Ginny Grainger (Mary Steenburgen) has no Christmas spirit. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that her husband had just been shot and killed and her two children were kidnapped and drowned. Then, it turns out that the two kids are alive and well. Then, one child is kidnapped again and brought to the North Pole. Finally, with a bit of magic from Santa, all of the tragic events appear to not have happened after all, revealing it to be a “magic Christmas.” A Wonderful Life this is not.


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