From ‘Silence’ to ‘Passengers’, December looks to have a lot of worthwhile films to watch.
Here are 21 films we are looking forward to watching.
Jackie (December 2nd)
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Caspar Philipson, Greta Gerwig, Richard E, Grant, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, John Carroll Lynch
This film, and Natalie Portman in particular, has earned substantial praise since it debuted at the Venice Film Festival this past September. Natalie Portman won an Oscar almost six years ago for her performance in Darren Aronofsky’s psychological horror film Black Swan. Portman, however, hasn’t been in a movie that seemed to match that performance. Her performance in this film as Jackie Kennedy, however, looks to be just as good, if not, better than her performance in Black Swan. Perfectly cast, she seems to completely embody Jackie Kennedy, and looks like she will bring a lot of fierce and heartbreaking emotion to the film. Plus, the film looks absolutely gorgeous and looks to have some of the best cinematography of the year. Another reason to be excited for this film is because it was directed by Pablo Larrain. The Chilean filmmaker directed the critically acclaimed No, which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. This film looks like it will give him much more growth as a filmmaker.
La La Land (December 9th)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt
This musical/drama has earned almost unanimous praise since it first premiered. In fact, it won the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto Film Festival (the last seven out of eight winners for the award went on to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture). First and foremost, this film looks absolutely beautiful with its Los Angeles scenery looking dreamlike. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone proved they had great chemistry in the comedy/drama Crazy, Stupid, Love a few years back, and their chemistry here looks to bring a lot genuinely poignant romantic energy to the film. Plus, based of the footage, the musical scenes look to be top-notch. This film looks like a real winner.
Office Christmas Party (December 9th)
Cast: Jennifer Anniston, Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell
This Project X-esque Christmas movie does look enjoyable and could lead to a lot of laughs. The cast itself has proven to have hilarious presences in previous films, such as Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses a few years back. My only concern, with the majority of comedy films, is that the trailer shows all the good laughs, which results in not having a big impact when watching the film. But I do have faith in the cast that every scene could lead some great laughs.
All We Had (December 9th)
Cast: Katie Holmes, Stefanie LaViene Owen, Luke Wilson, Richard Kind, Judy Greer, Mark Consuelous, Eve Lindley
Katie Holmes’ directorial debut received some modest praise when it premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. What is really alluring about the film is that Holmes looks like she does make something emotionally honest and poignantly real. Plus, her performance looks to be her best in a while, and her chemistry with Stefanie LaVie Owen does look like a genuine mother-daughter relationship that could lead to some powerful scenes. They are also backed up by a great cast that is too great to ignore.
Frank and Lola (December 9th)
Cast: Michael Shannon, Imogen Poots, Roseanna Arquette, Michael Nyquist, Justin Long
Michael Shannon really is one of the best actors of our generation. From playing sympathetic protagonists to intimidating villains, he really is a national treasure. What makes it even better is that he is starring alongside Imogen Poots (an actress I have been championing for years). They look to have some solid chemistry and the film does look like it will be mysteriously thrilling. This film did get decent reviews from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Hopefully this film lives up to those reviews.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16th)
Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Mads Mikkelson, Forest Whitaker, Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelson, Alan Tudyk, Jiang Wen, Riz Ahmed
Last year Star Wars came back in a big way when The Force Awakens was released in theaters. It was exciting to have Star Wars back, which is why the excitement for this film is through the roof (at least for me at least). This is a spin off from the main saga that takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The new characters look to have a strong dynamic, which could lead to some strong emotional moments. The action looks rousingly exciting and the different worlds all look unique and fresh. Even though the only footage I have seen is from the trailer, this looks to be the best shot Star Wars film by far. Even though this film had a bit of reshoots, I do have faith in the talented cast and director Garreth Edwards (he directed the 2014 American remake of Godzilla, which is one of the best blockbusters of this decade). I think this could very well be a dark film, but also a fun one that has a lot of potential.
The Founder (December 16th)
Cast: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern, Nick Offerman, John Carrol Lynch, Patrick Wilson, B.J. Novak
This film was actually due to come out in August (hence why it says August in the trailer). However, it was pushed to December by the Weinstein Company. It could be due to the fact that Michael Keaton could potentially win that elusive Oscar (he almost won back in 2014). He has had a career renaissance after starring in back-to-back Best Picture winners (Birdman and Spotlight) and this film could be added to the list of his recent successful films. Plus, the story of how McDonald’s became the #1 fast-food restaurant in the world could be a deeply fascinating and insightful story. Also the director, John Lee Hancock, directed the underrated Saving Mr. Banks a couple of years ago. He has talent and I think this one could be a winner too.
Collateral Beauty (December 16th)
Cast: Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightly, Helen Mirren, Edward Norton, Naomi Harris, Micheal Pena
At first glance, this film may seem like prime Oscar bait. However, the cast is too talented to ignore. These are some of the best actors working today and they could bring a lot of heartfelt moments. They are the reason I have hope for the film.
Passengers (December 21st)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia
This film looks visual stunning and the special effects do look first rate. Plus, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt have proven to be likable presences in their previous films and having them on screen together could lead to some enjoyable scenes. They also, however, have proven to be strong dramatic actors, and, again, this could lead to some emotionally affective moments. The action scenes look thrilling and any movie with the underrated Micheal Sheen is a major plus. The film is directed by Mortem Tydum, the director of the Academy Award nominated The Imitation Game (he himself was nominated for Best Director for that movie). With all the elements I just mentioned, he looks to have created another winner.
Assassin’s Creed (December 21st)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson
I think the big thing on everyone’s mind is will this film finally be the first film adaptation of a video game that is actually good. There has yet to be a video game adaption that has received any sort of acclaim, but there is reason to think that this film, based off the popular video game, could break that trend. The cast includes some of the most talent actors of today with Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, and Brendan Gleeson. Fassbender and Cotillard had excellent chemistry in last year’s film adaptation of Macbeth (which was one of the best films of that year). In fact, the director of that film, Justin Kurzel, is the director of this film, which is why I have faith. The choreography in the film’s fight and action scenes look impressive and the set pieces do look visually pleasing. Hopefully this can be at least a decent video game adaptation.
Sing (December 21st)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Taron Egerton, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarland, John C. Reilly, Nick Kroll, Leslie Jones, Jennifer Hudson, Nick Offerman
This film does look enjoyable with what looks like amusingly colorful characters where each one has an interesting story. It does look funny and heartfelt. Yeah, that’s really all have to say.
Patriot’s Day (December 21st)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, J.K Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan
The collaborations between director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg have proved to be successful. They did good work for Lone Survivor and even better work in this year’s Deepwater Horizon. However, their third collaboration, Patriot’s Day, looks to be their best yet. The film looks to be a chilling and an extremely emotional film that chronicles one of the most horrible terrorists attacks in recent United States history, and the following manhunt that put the entire city of Boston on lockdown. The film also looks to be an uplifting film too as it does show how people can help one another and the power of determination. The cast includes some highly talented actors and they look to be at the top of their game here. This film received big praise at this year’s AFI Film Festival and this footage seems to confirm those praises.
Silence (December 23rd)
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Liam Neeson
This trailer arrived so late that there was doubt that this film would be released this year. However, I don’t think there is any cause for concern because this is a Martin Scorsese film and he has directed some of the best films of all time. This looks to be the most visually gorgeous film that Scorsese has made in quite some time between the breathtaking cinematography, set pieces and costumes. Plus it stars three extremely talented actors (it is also great to see Liam Neeson in a live action role that is not a action film for once). A new Scorsese film is always an event as there is always a chance that we all get to see a new great film from the influential director. That is why this film is at the top of my personal most anticipated list.
A Monster Calls (December 23rd)
Cast: Felicity Jones, Lewis McDougall, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Toby Kebbell
This drama/fantasy film looks to be a heartbreaking, but ultimately triumphant film about a mother/son relationship as well as a poignant look at a young kid’s emergence to adolescence and his imagination. Director Juan Bayona’s previous film was the emotionally heartfelt The Impossible. He managed to generate a lot of strong and emotionally charged performances and he looks to do the same here. Felicity Jones look stronger than ever and Liam Neeson’s voice over work as The Monster looks to be tenderly heartfelt too (plus the special effects look great). This film has gotten strong reviews and I think this looks be one of the best fantasy films in some time.
Gold (December 25th)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Corey Stoll, Stacy Keach, Bruce Greenwood, Bryce Dallas Howard
It is always exciting to see a new Matthew Mcconaughey film because there is always a great chance that we as the audience are in for something strong and memorable. He looks great (and almost unreconizable) in what looks to be a humorously manic and commanding performance. His chemistry with the highly underrated Edgar Ramirez seems authentic and I can’t wait to see them work off each other. The film is directed by Stephen Gaghan (who directed the Academy Award winning film Syriana and won the Academy Award for writing Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic). His talent mixed with actors talents could bring us some worthwhile.
Live By Night (December 25th (limited), January 13th (wide))
Cast: Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Chris Cooper, Scott Eastwood, Chris Messina, Brendan Gleeson
Ben Affleck has been 3/3 as a director (in fact, the last film he directed, Argo, won the Oscar for Best Picture). Now comes his fourth outing as a director and it looks to be another winner from Affleck as a director. This prohibition crime/drama looks absolutely beautiful with its cinematography (the shots of the Florida scenes look great and I can’t wait to see them in the movie). The film is also backed up from a talented cast (Chris Cooper always heightens a movie no matter what he is in). The film looks thrilling and looks visually great. It was originally supposed to come out in October 2017, but was pushed to an earlier date. Is this an indication that this could be a big Oscar contender? We shall see….
20th Century Women (December 25th)
Cast: Annette Benning, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, Lucas Jade Zumann, Thea Gill
Annette Benning is one of the most talented actresses of our generation (just watch American Beauty and The Kids are All Right for further proof) and she looks to be at her very best again in this film. The performance and the film does look emotionally resonating that has a great cast. Even better is the fact that this film is directed by Mike Mills. He was the director of the comedy/drama Beginners, which was one of the best films of 2011. I think he just made a film that reached the heights of that film.
Hidden Figures (December 25th)
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Durst, Jim Parsons
This looks to be an insightful and interesting look at a forgotten story. The performances look pretty good and the three main leads look to have some decent chemistry. Plus Kevin Costner has resurged himself in the last couple of years. He looks good here too.
Toni Erdmann (December 25th)
Cast: Sandra Huller, Peter Simonischek, Inrid Bisu, Trysran Putter
This German comedy/drama was actually just named one of the best films of the 21st Century by a film critic BBC poll. That is a pretty great feat seeing as this film has only come out this year. But the film has been earning great praise from a variety of critics and, by the look of it, has a good chance of being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It does look funny and I am sure it will lead to some great laughs.
Fences (December 25th)
Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Stephen Henderson
Denzel Washington has proved to be a talented director with his previous directorial efforts with Antone Fisher and The Great Debtors, and now comes what looks to be his finest work as a director as well as an actor. He looks to give a commanding performance and Viola Davis what looks to be a very powerful performance. This could be one of the most emotionally effective films of the year. The film has earned a lot of praise since it premiered at the AFI Film Festival and it looks like it will live up to that praise.
Paterson (December 28th)
Cast: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Kara Hayward, Method Man
Adam Driver has emerged as one of the most talented actors of today and he looks to give a great performance in this film (he could have a big month between this and Silence). The romance looks poignant and the rest of performances look humorous and likable. I think this small film could be something special.