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Some of the year’s best films are heading our way

Why does Hollywood always save most of its best movies for last? To get closer to the time when Oscar ballots are due. That's why we're in for an uptick in quality between now and January at the multiplex, although there will still be plenty of simple entertainment via comedies, horror flicks and not one but two gargantuan musicals. Here is a list of the holiday films coming soon to a theater near you.
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Alexander’s bad day makes a good family movie

Whatever else children take from Judith Viorst’s delightful “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” the sly subtext of this picture-heavy book is how exhausting and sometimes misguided the optimism of the eternally optimistic can be.
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‘Boxtrolls’ is the best animated film of 2014

There’s something about stop motion 3D animation — the not-quite-real textures of skin and hair, the quite real cloth and metal, the subtle gloomy lighting effects — that says “spooky.”