Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World, Best Man’s Holiday blah blah blah….Don’t believe the hype. You might not see the list of films below in any prime time advertisement but they provide a satisfying alternative to the mega mainstream releases this weekend.

1. 12 Years a Slave. An epic recounting of the 1853 autobiography Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a free Negro who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and sold into slavery. The score by the legendary Hans Zimmer makes it that much sweeter. (Now Playing).

Oldboy (2013) Poster

2. Old Boy. Spike Lee returns to retell the tale of a man seeking vengeance after being locked up in solitary confinement without a reason for 20 years. Starring Josh Brolin and Samuel L. Jackson. Release Date: November 29.

3. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Idris Elba stars as Nelson Mandela in this Justin Chadwick directed biopic. Release Date: November 29 2013.

4. Black Nativity. In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama BLACK NATIVITY follows Langston(Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. Release Date: November 27. 

5. Strong Black Woman. 

Veronica. a successful lawyer, has choices to make as she decides if she wants to continue on the path she’s on with her husband, or learn to become a stronger woman [IMdb] in this Carl Jackson film. Release Date: November 28.,1252568.html

6. Dallas Buyers Club. In this Jean-Marc Vallee film Matthew McConaughey stars in a career defining performance as Ron Woodroff a man who works around the system to allow AIDS patients to get the medication they need. Based on a true story. Also featuring Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner (Now Playing).

7. Nebraska

In this film directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, Descendants), Bruce Dern stars as the aging  incoherent alcoholic Woody Grant who travels with his son (Will Forte from Saturday Night Live) to collect a Million Dollar marketing prize. (Now Playing). 

Have a great holiday.