Forget the beloved storyline (a kid wakes up in monsterland); the all-star director (Spike Jonze); a famous author as screenwriter (Dave Eggers cowrote with Jonze); stunning visuals (Imax); and the kiddie-lit legend who penned the story in the first place (Maurice Sendak). The film’s luckiest charm might be Catherine O’Hara. Best known for her roles in Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries (Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind) and for playing Macaulay Culkin’s mom in Home Alone, the 55-year-old comic actress — who voices a monster in Wild Things — has something of a Midas touch with kiddie pics. Since 2004, she has starred in Over the Hedge, Chicken Little, Monster House, and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Every one of those films grossed at least $140 million worldwide. — DM
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