New Movie Reviews: 'Mission: Impossible,' 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' Sequels Hitting Theaters

9:00 PM PST 12/15/2011 by Kimberly Nordyke
David James/Paramount Pictures
"Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol"

What is THR's critical take on the films getting released Friday?

It's all about sequels, threequels and fourquels at the box office this weekend.

Tom Cruise reprises his role as U.S. agent Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, the fourth entry in Paramount's action franchise. This time around, his team of agents trying to thwart a villain who believes that a nuclear winter would be in the natural order of things. Simon Pegg, Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner co-star, which marks The Incredibles director Brad Bird's first live-action film. The movie opens Friday in Imax theaters before expanded wide Dec. 21.

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Meanwhile, Warner Bros. releases its Sherlock Holmes sequel, subtitled A Game of Shadows, in which Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as detective Sherlock Homes and his close associate Dr. Watson, respectively. The movie finds Holmes pitted against his most formidable opponent, the diabolical Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris).

Alvin and his furry friends Simon and Theodore also hit the big screen once again in 20th Century Fox's family comedy Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked. The threequel finds the trio wreaking havoc about a luxury liner, much to the eternal chagrin of their "dad" Dave (Jason Lee).

Sony Classics opens Roman Polanski's Carnage in limited release Friday. The movie, which has its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, is an adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award-winning play God of Carnage and stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz as the parents of two kids who have been involved in a playground fight.

VIDEOS: 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows': 9 Preview Clips Released

Read what The Hollywood Reporter's film critics have to say about all the films opening this weekend, and find out how they are expected to perform at the box office.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt goes rogue to clear his organization's name in Brad Bird's first live-action film. Click here to read Todd McCarthy's review.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return for Guy Ritchie's second installment in the action-mystery series. Click here to read Todd McCarthy's review.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked
The furry troublemakers go on a cruise in the third film in the animated series. Click here to read Michael Rechtshaffen's review.

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Carnage
Venice Film Festival competition entry pits two couples against each other fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece. Click here to read Todd McCarthy's review.

Cook County
Anson Mount, Xander Berkeley and Ryan Donowho star in writer-director David Pomes' debut feature from Hannover House. Click here to read David Rooney's review.

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