The winter movie season is here, and it’s chock full of blockbuster delights, hilarious comedies and Oscar-worthy star performances.
Star War: The Last Jedi is the definitive IMAX experience (and critics can’t get enough of it) you’re not going to want to miss; Saoirse Ronan gives one of the best performances of the year in the comedy/drama Lady Bird; and Shape of Water and Call Me By Your Name are visually stunning period pieces that will transport you into a beautiful past filled with love, adventure, and romance. But that’s not all, there are so many great films to see.
In order to help you sift through all of the choices at the theater, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite, most anticipated, most talked-about, and most interesting movies opening in November and December. Read through our list below, and get a jump start on planning the perfect movie night this holiday season.
I, Tonya reintroduces us to one of the most infamous athlete-villains of the ’90s as Margot Robbie breaks through with a strong performance as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in Craig Gillespie’s darkly comic biopic. Based on the unbelievable, but actually true, events, the film follows Harding through one of the most bizarre scandals in sports history.
Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an ill-conceived and poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Robbie gives one of her best performances to date, and is accompanied with a great cast featuring Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney. I, Tonya is out now.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Easily the most hyped movie of the month, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second installment and penultimate film of the J.J. Abram trilogy. Following The Force Awakens, the new galactic adventure continues to follow Rey on her journey to becoming a Jedi and finding her place in the vast galaxy far, far away.
With just a tease of icon Luke Skywalker in the first film, The Last Jedi puts everyones favorite lightsaber wielder in the Obi Wan Kenobi role as he trains Rey to fight the dark side. Her workout is insane.
Everyone’s favorite characters will also be returning including Kylo Ren, Finn, Captain Phasma, Poe Dameron, and OG Chewbacca. The Last Jedi is due out December 15.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle won’t be winning any awards or topping Rotten Tomatoes scores, but grouping Kevin Hart, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Jack Black together is destined for major laugh-out-loud moments. Set as a sequel to the 1995 classic Jumanji, Welcome to the Jungle turns the mythical board game into a video game, which sucks up four high school students turning them into superhero antagonists as they battle their way through a Vietnam-esque jungle.
Releasing December 20, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle also stars Nick Jonas, Karen Gillan, and Bobby Cannavale. If you’re looking for a fun movie night out, this is the film to see.
The Shape of Water
Master storyteller Guillermo del Toro brings us another fantastic fable in The Shape of Water. The fairytale thriller, set in a Cold War era America circa 1962, follows Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), a lonely mute janitor at a hidden high-security government laboratory. Her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment they take upon themselves to protect. Rounding out the stellar cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Released on December 1, the film has already received great reviews from critics and earned seven Golden Globe nominations including Best Drama, Screenplay, and Directing.
Will Smith is back in a Bad Boys-meets-Lord of the Rings action flick. Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves and fairies coexist, Bright, directed by David Ayer, follows two cops (one human, one orc) from very different backgrounds. Both cops work together to fight an onslaught of enemies to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything. The cast also features Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, and Edgar Ramirez.
Alongside the movie due out December 22 on Netflix, Bright is equipped with a killer soundtrack featuring A$AP Rocky, Future, Lil Uzi Vert, and more.
Call Me By Your Name
There are two major standout factors in Call Me By Your Name: Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet’s captivating on-screen chemistry and the northern Italian city of Crema. Luca Guadagnino’s creates a visually stunning period piece about a tale of budding gay romance in the 1980s. It’s one of the most mesmerizing films of the year as Luca touches on first love, sexuality and romance. Each element is carefully calibrated, but deployed with consummate grace. This is a must see romantic drama this holiday. Call Me By Your Name is in theaters now.
Lady Bird is a brilliant movie that deals with ideas both big and small. But, most powerful is the turbulent relationship between daughter Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) and mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf). Saorise gives a Golden Globe-worthy performance as she portrays a high-school senior struggling to assert her independence in front of her friends, peers and her deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom. Lady Bird brings all to the table. It’s harsh, funny, and sometimes hard to watch. But through its marvelous performances and great story, you’ll be hooked from beginning to end.
The Disaster Artist
Leave it to James Franco to make a hit movie about one of the worst movies in Hollywood. The Disaster Artist follows the real life story of writer/director Tommy Wiseau, the man behind famously terrible movie The Room. Directed by Franco, the film stars himself, Seth Rogan and Dave Franco as it chronicles the The Room’s bizarre development and eventual cult success. The Disaster Artist is a sweet, emotionally engaging tribute to friendship, Hollywood, and the importance of following your dreams. Critics are saying its Franco’s best film yet.
For more on movies, see what the critics are saying about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
- Photography: A24