As December arrives and the cold pushes in, the desire to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a hot beverage, indulging in the stories of our youth rises. Whether it’s a traditional film that helps you celebrate the oncoming holiday season or just simple comfort food for the soul, it’s easy to forget about the outside world for a while.
As wonderful as that may be, there are still many wonderful films coming to theaters in December that it would be a shame to miss on the big screen. While this list doesn’t encompass all the films releasing in December, this short-list of twelve provides a glimpse of cornucopia of stories available to you and your family.
The Shape of Water (Limited)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones, and Nick Searcy.
From master story teller, Guillermo del Toro, comes The Shape of Water – an other-worldly fable, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
The Disaster Artist
Director: James Franco
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogan, Alison Brie, Paul Sheer, Josh Hutcherson, Megan Mullally, Zac Efron, Bryan Cranston, Brett Gelman, and Sharon Stone.
Based on best-selling tell-all about the making of aspiring filmmaker Tommy Wiseau’s cult-classic disasterpiece The Room (“The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”), The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend— and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, and Bobby Cannavale.
Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational 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 infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. I, Tonya is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career in all of its unchecked––and checkered––glory. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Laura Dern, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher.
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens joins the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past. (Summary courtesy of the official website.)
Director: Carlos Saldanha
Cast: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, David Tennant, Gina Rodriguez, Daveed Diggs, Gabriel Iglesias, and Anthony Anderson.
Ferdinand tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast, he is captured and torn from his home. Determined to return to his family, he rallies a misfit team on the ultimate adventure. Set in Spain, Ferdinand proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Director: Jake Kasdan
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Missi Pyle, Jack Black, Bobby Cannavale, Kevin Hart, Rhys Darby, Tim Matheson, and Nick Jonas.
In the brand new adventure Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the tables are turned as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, into the bodies of their avatars. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – Jumanji plays you. They’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
The Greatest Showman
Director: Michael Gracey
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, and Zac Efron.
Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Pitch Perfect 3
Director: Trish Sie
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Hailee Steinfeld, Ruby Rose, Brittany Snow, Elizabeth Banks, John Lithgow, Anna Camp, Rebel Wilson, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, and Alexis Knapp.
Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Director: Alexander Payne
Cast: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Udo Kier, Jason Sudeikis, James Van Der Beek, Neil Patrick Harris, and Margo Martindale.
When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population, Paul and his wife Audrey decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford, and Zach Woods.
Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee, as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, and Lesley Manville.
Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock and his sister Cyril are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutants and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)
Molly’s Game (Limited)
Director: Aaron Sorkin
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Chris O’Dowd, and Graham Greene.
Molly’s Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob. Her only ally was her criminal defense lawyer Charlie Jaffey, who learned that there was much more to Molly than the tabloids led us to believe. (Summary courtesy of the official YouTube trailer.)