Hey, friends! It’s December Movie Time!!
THIS is why December is the most wonderful time of the year, right?
No? Oh. Whoops.
Anyways, this is the month where the movies come out that are expected to do well during awards season. So these are typically some of the best movies. PLUS, two of my most anticipated films of the entire year are coming out this month, so I’m super excited.
Let’s get started!
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup
Directed by: Pablo Larrain
This movie is set in the days immediately following the assassination of JFK and everyone is saying Natalie Portman is AMAZING. It’s a fascinating time and most people focus on what happened in the country in those days after the President was killed, but there isn’t a lot of attention given to the most public widow in modern history.
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara
Directed by: Dito Montiel
I’m not entirely clear on how this movie works. I’ve heard it’s sort of a post-apocalyptic type of movie, but it seems like maybe an alternate reality where it’s set in modern day. A soldier returns home from Afghanistan, but his wife and son are missing and he goes searching for them. Say what you will about Shia LaBeouf’s questionable sanity, but the kid does tend to make good movies. So…we’ll see?
Office Christmas Party
Starring: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, TJ Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance
Directed by: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
I mean…the cast alone and the title should be all the reason you need to see this. I can’t wait!
La La Land
Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Confession: I’ve watched the trailer like a bajillion times. Honestly, they already had me at Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, but then it ALSO looks so great. I can’t wait. A modern-day musical set in LA, but with golden-age-0f-Hollywood styling. Plus Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Oh, and this is also the current frontrunner for Best Picture, just FYI.
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell
Directed by: Afonso Poyart
I think this is probably one of those movies that kind of gets thrown in at the end of the year, but isn’t really expected to do much. I don’t know why they didn’t hold it for January. But Anthony Hopkins plays a psychic that reluctantly helps the FBI track down a serial killer. And since I love movies about serial killers and psychics, I might try to fit this in. Oh, who am I kidding…There’s something else coming out the same day that I’m a *little* more excited about…
Starring: Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, Laura Dern, John Carroll Lynch
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
It’s the story of the guy who basically stole McDonald’s and turned it into the multi-billion dollar company it is today.
Starring: Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren
Directed by: David Frankel
Will Smith stars in this movie about a successful executive in NYC who starts writing letters to Love, Time, and Death after a tragedy in his life. And then Love, Time, and Death answer his letters personally. This is getting a lot of marketing attention, but I am withholding judgment. I’m not at all convinced it’s going to be any good. But I’m willing to give it a shot. I just hope it’s better than the trailers.
Is there anything else coming out on December 16? I just can’t seem to remember…Hmmm…Oh, wait…
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Starring: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Jimmy Smits
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
I mean, this really needs no explanation, right? If you don’t already know what it’s about, that’s probably because you aren’t planning to see it anyway.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt
Directed by: Morten Tyldum
This is my other Most Anticipated Movie of the year. Two people are on a spaceship heading off to colonize a new planet. They are supposed to sleep for the 100+ years it will take to travel, but they wake up 90 years early while the other thousands of passengers sleep on. Um, yes please!
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, JK Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Melissa Benoist
Directed by: Peter Berg
I’m usually not crazy about movies based on actual events that come out so quickly after the actual events. But I do think this one is timely and appropriate. It’s about the Boston Marathon bombing. I am all about movies that keep us from forgetting what terrorism does and what heroes are capable of. I’m in for this one.
Starring: (the voice of) Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly
Directed by: Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet
Honestly, I think this will probably be terrible. But it’s a family movie at the end of the year and it could turn out to be a big surprise. At the very least, you’ll have something else to take the kids to after Star Wars. It’s an American Idol type story with music you’ll find VERY familiar. In fact, I think the soundtrack may be the best part.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, Ciaran Hinds
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
This is one of those likely award nominees, because Martin Scorsese tends to do award-worthy stuff. Silence is a historical film about two Jesuit priests (Garfield and Driver) who go to Japan in an attempt to rescue their mentor and also perform missionary work. And, of course, bad things ensue.
A Monster Calls
Starring: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson
Directed by: J.A. Bayona
A boy is bullied by kids at school while also grieving over his terminally ill mother. And then a monster shows up to help him. It could be good. I don’t know. The director has a great track record, so we’ll see. Oh, and it’s based on a novel written by the guy who wrote the screenplay.
Starring: Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Megan Mullally
Directed by: John Hamburg
It’s one of those Meet the Parents type movies, but this one is from dad’s point of view. When I first heard about it, I thought it looked stupid, but now I have to admit it looks kind of funny. Because yeah, James Franco is a total crazy guy, but he’s also totally rich.
(This is a red band trailer, just FYI.)
(Just so you know, films have to have a theatrical release, even in a very limited area, by this day in order to be eligible for the Oscars.)
Live by Night
Starring: Ben Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning, Scott Eastwood, Chris Sullivan, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson, Anthony Michael Hall
Directed by: Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck tends to direct freaking good movies. I hope this is one we can add to the list. It’s set during Prohibition and it’s all about organized crime and crossing mob bosses and tragedy and revenge. Sounds good, right?
20th Century Women
Starring: Annette Bening, Ella Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup
Directed by: Mike Mills
Set in 1979, Annette Bening plays a single mother who needs help raising her teenage son. So she finds two women to help out. One is a boarder that rents a room in their house, and the other is a teenage neighbor. I’ve heard the Best Actress competition this year is going to come down to Natalie Portman vs. Annette Bening, and if any actor is overdue for the Oscar, it’s probably Annette Bening. I mean, seriously. Four nominations, zero wins. Let’s do this.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson
Directed by: Denzel Washington
I get chills watching this trailer. This film is based on a Broadway play and tells the story of a father in the turbulent 1950s as the Civil Rights Movement was starting to gain some traction. And I’ve heard the film is amazing.