Happy Holidays to all and to all a ... few good movies. I've been asked to step in and semi-resurrect our regular old Review Roundup feature, which works out pretty well considering I usually spend most Fridays (and some Wednesdays) poring through all my favorite critics, agreeing with some and questioning the basic sanity of others. But since the release date schedules get extra jumbly during the year-end holiday season, I figured I'd spend my first column covering, well, everything. Let's start with the ones that actually opened yesterday ...

The Good Shepherd

Pro: "It's not a tub-thumping anti-CIA screed, but at the same time it's not a gung-ho patriotic extravaganza about the moral certainty of our side." -- Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

"This is featherweight entertainment, sans visual elation and moral consequence-like Munich for Beginners." -- Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine

"The bottom line is that The Good Shepherd is engaging cinema. The length is a drawback, but not a big one since the movie earns the majority of its 165-minute running time." -- James Berardinelli, ReelViews.net

Con: "De Niro's vision seems unfocused and ill-executed. It seems as though he had a thousand good ideas about what a spy film should be that didn't quite coalesce into a singular product, but he crammed 'em all in there regardless and tossed the editing shears into the garbage." -- Phil Villareal, Arizona Daily Star

BONUS: "A truncated American tragedy, noticeably half-finished and undercooked, but often tantalizing for the promise that clearly lay buried in the material, like unbroken codes." -- Ryan Stewart, Cinematical

Night at the Museum

Pro: "Trying to get kids to go to a museum over their holiday vacations might be a little easier after seeing Night at the Museum, a family-friendly comedy that tries to entertain while educating - and often succeeds, at least with the former." -- Mack Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Con: "A volley of contented cackles greeted the final third of Night at the Museum, a pea-brained fantasy-comedy with a riot of kid-pleasing special effects." -- Jan Stuart, Newsday Magazine

"What do you know, not only is this a delightful popcorn movie, Ben Stiller is actually really good in it." -- Kevin LaForest, Montreal Film Journal

Con: "The possibilities for building an intriguing and original story around this concept -- the Museum of freakin' Natural History comes alive every night! -- are endless, and they chose this. That is downright criminal." -- MaryAnn Johanson, The Flick Filosopher

BONUS: "Lots of pure imagination, with an extra helping of the most fun you might have at the theater all year." -- Erik Davis, Cinematical

We Are Marshall

Pro: "Warm and big-hearted, We Are Marshall succeeds as a tribute because it respects its subjects. It succeeds as a movie because it doesn't confuse respect with lifelessness." -- Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune

"Director McG, known for the whiz-bang acrobatics of his Charlie's Angels movies, applies a warm, shiny veneer to everything here which prevents any emotion from getting through." -- Christy Lemire, San Francisco Gate

Pro: "The film is injected with a refreshing energy whenever McConaughey is on-screen, balancing some of the inherent sadness of the story." -- Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times

"No matter how earnest the intentions are, however, the harsh truth is that We Are Marshall is shockingly empty, one-dimensionally written, and finally unconvincing." -- Dustin Putnam, TheMovieBoy.com

BONUS: "A film that walks a tightrope with tricky subject matter, and somehow makes it to the other side." -- Ryan Stewart, Cinematical

Now let's skip back over the past week or so and see how the other holiday break also-rans fared with the critics...