Put down that leftover-turkey sandwich and pay attention! There are movies to be watched! The majors have Punisher: War Zone, Cadillac Records, and Nobel Son to amuse and/or annoy you, but the Indie Spotlight is here to tell you about the independent flicks opening in limited release today. They are: The Black Balloon, Ciao, Hunger, and Let Them Chirp Awhile. See what strikes your fancy, and keep an eye out for when it comes to your neck of the woods.

Herewith, the lowdown on each of 'em:

The Black Balloon
What it is: An Australian drama about a young man and his autistic brother. Toni Collette plays their mom.
What they're saying: Wow -- that premise sounds fraught with peril, but so far 100% of the review at Rotten Tomatoes are positive. Now we're intrigued.
Where it's playing: New York City (AMC Empire 25, Clearview's Port Washington, Cinemart Cinemas) and Los Angeles (Laemmle Town Center 5, Majestic Crest).
More info: The official site is certainly precious-looking.

Hunger
What it is: A true story about Irish hunger-striker Bobby Sands, shot with brutal, unflinching realism by up-and-coming filmmaker Steve McQueen (no relation).
What they're saying:Cinematicalraved about it at Cannes, where it won prizes. At Rotten Tomatoes, an impressive 93% of the reviews are positive, often saying it's hard to watch but undeniably well-made and unforgettable.
Where it's playing: Only at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles. It's there for a one-week run to qualify for Oscar consideration; it'll be released for reals in 2009.
More info: Here's the U.K. site.