10. "Rise of the Guardians" (Nov. 21). Based on the book series "The Guardians of Childhood," this DreamWorks computer-animation flick pulls together the original Justice League — namely a blithe Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine), a tattooed Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), a frenetic Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), a perky Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), and a silent Sandman. The icons unite against villain Pitch the Boogeyman (Jude Law), who's intent on realizing his G-rated Freddy Krueger ambitions to dominate the world through bad dreams. Don't expect a faithful reproduction of the books' vintage style, but do expect a strong family turnout — kids make up 42% of "Guardians" queries.
9. "The Man With the Iron Fists" (Nov. 2). When kung fu films made their way to American shores in the 1970s, they were usually screened in Chinatowns and urban neighborhoods (read: areas dominated by a black population). That cultural crosscurrent also manifested itself in Western films directed at an urban audience (read: black exploitation films). Take a great leap forward, where grindhouse nostalgia meets A-list (well, maybe B average) creds. Grammy Award-winning hip-hop producer RZA, the man behind the Wu Tang Clan, co-wrote, directed, and stars in this martial-arts action flick about a weapon-making blacksmith (named Blacksmith) who joins up with a rainbow coalition to protect his 19th-century Chinese village. Throw in Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, champion mixed-martial artist Cung Le, and some very storied names from Hong Kong action cinema (do we really need to mention Quentin Tarantino is in this mix?), and you have a bizarre mash-up resonating in regions like L.A., D.C., NYC, SF, and Dallas. Expect this to be the male-bonding movie of the season.
[Related: How RZA got his name]