1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (DVD / Blu-ray Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) ~ Jennifer Lawrence
When it comes to blockbuster franchises, the first sequel frequently offers pumped-up versions of the initial thrills--to diminishing results. Catching Fire, however, the second adaptation drawn from Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy, defies that trend with more finely drawn relationships. With the 74th Games in the history books, Katniss (Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, as comfortable in warrior garb as in designer couture) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, better than ever) set out on a victory tour across Panem with Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Effie (Elizabeth Banks). Despite her best efforts to feign romance with her co-competitor and to keep posttraumatic stress at bay, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) fears that Katniss's defiant nature will incite rebellion, so he takes a tip from new gamemaker Plutarch (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and launches a Quarter Quell in which past champions, such as the hilariously bitter Johanna (Jena Malone) and the deceptively arrogant Finnick (Sam Claflin), will fight to the death. Not all tributes are quite so young, like Mags (Lynn Cohen), a senior citizen who suits up for battle and establishes a touching bond with Finnick (Jeffrey Wright and Amanda Plummer play the craftiest teammates). Until the cliffhanger ending, director Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) serves up an array of splendors, from killer baboons to the ever-amazing outfits of Effie and Caesar (Stanley Tucci). Most significantly, the script from cowriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) strengthens the bonds between Katniss and Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), who prove themselves more worthy than ever of Katniss's affections.
2. Philomena (Blu-ray) ~ Judi Dench
When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) was sent to the convent to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic.
3. Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor (Blu-ray) ~ dftl
In this hugely anticipated follow-up to the record breaking Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, we bid adieu to Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith and welcome Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, The Hour) in his first televised appearance as the new Doctor. Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe's deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them - the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe. This landmark episode is bound to be a thrilling adventure for the ages.
4. Last Days on Mars (Blu-ray) ~ dftl
On the eve that the crew of the very first manned expedition to Mars is about to return to Earth, it makes an astounding discovery fossilized evidence of life on Mars. Oscar® nominated and visionary filmmaker Ruairí Robinson, along with an extraordinary special effects team including the people behind DISTRICT 9, X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and AVATAR, introduce us to a terrifying new landscape, where the scientific discovery of life might be the death of us all.