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Die Hard. Do you hear it? The land shaking from the stampede of a thousand contrarians gibbering, "Uh, well, technically speaking, Die Hard IS a Christmas movie." Alright, alright, maybe they're not that bad. And you know what isn't bad either? The original Die Hard. It's an action movie with character, with heart, with—gasp!—originality. Say what you will about the four-too-many sequels, the original Die Hard is a fun time sure to bring everyone together. 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 and 10 p.m. and midnight Saturday, Dec. 22. Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. $6.

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The Polar Express. The Fox Theatre is screening a gem from that wonderful in-between period of children's cinema where filmmakers weren't sure if making computer-generated people look as life-like as possible was a good idea. Regardless, with a plot by Jumanji writer Chris Van Allsburg and voice acting by Joe Versus the Volcano actor Tom Hanks, this Christmas story is a sure-fire romp. 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22-23. 17 W. Congress St. $5. Free for Fox Theatre members and kids 12 years and younger.

It's a Wonderful Life. Just because it's a mainstream classic doesn't mean a movie can't leave you as a blubbering, teary mess. Look no further than It's a Wonderful Life for proof. It's a classic for Christmas, for American culture, for cinema in general. It's rare to be able to point to a work of art and call it truly life-affirming. The Fox Theatre invites you in to get your heart warmed. 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22-23. 17 W. Congress St. $5. Free for Fox Theatre members and kids 12 years and younger.

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The Star Wars Christmas Special. You've got two chances this week to celebrate the 40th anniversary of possibly the most infamous holiday special of all time. So awful it has never been rebroadcast. So mind-bending it's never been officially released on home video. So divisive George Lucas vowed to smash any copy he found. All that being said, the Loft Cinema wouldn't, in good conscience, charge you to watch this, so it's a free screening! Fun for Star Wars lovers and haters alike! 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20. 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Free. If you can't make it to the Loft, you have a second chance: Fourth Avenue's Sky Bar is also screening the holiday special on a night with no cover charge and a bunch of drink specials, because you're gonna need quite a few to make it through this. But laughs aplenty are guaranteed. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23. 536 N. Fourth Ave. Free.

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Gravity. To help you relax after a hectic Christmas, The Loft Cinema is screening Gravity. Did I say relax? I meant traumatize, because this movie is basically an hour-and-a-half stress-fest about trying not to die in orbit. Much like the Roger Rabbit ride in Disneyland, this 2013 thriller is a great time, but once it's over, you finally exhale and say, "I can't believe I made it through." Thanks, director Alfonso Cuarón, it was always my dream to have a near-death experience with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. 7:30 to 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 26. Regular admission prices.

More by Jeff Gardner


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