Coming To Theaters: December 2018

While outlet after outlet are hitting you with their end of the year lists, don’t forget that there’s still plenty of new films coming out in December. Especially with the craziness of the holidays, it might be helpful to duck into a theater for a while to escape and enjoy a silly comedy, a web-slinging adventure, go on a trip through history, or indulge in a gripping drama. As always, to help navigate your choices for November, here’s out short-list of 22 films hitting theaters this month to consider.

To help you stay up on these teasers, trailers, and more, make sure to follow Elements of Madness on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


December 7th


Mary Queen of Scots

Director: Josie Rourke.

Cast: Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.

Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I (Robbie).  Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.


Ben Is Back (Limited)

Director: Jeff Hedges.

Cast: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, and Kathryn Newton.

9 year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family’s suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben’s mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother’s undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe.


Vox Lux (Limited)

Director: Brady Corbet.

Cast: Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Stacy Martin, Jennifer Ehle, and Raffey Cassidy.

Vox Lux begins in 1999 when teenage sisters Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) and Eleanor (Stacy Martin) survive a seismic, violent tragedy. The sisters compose and perform a song about their experience, making something lovely and cathartic out of catastrophe — while also catapulting Celeste to stardom. By 2017, the now 31-year-old Celeste (Natalie Portman) is mother to a teenage daughter of her own and struggling to navigate a career fraught with scandals when another act of terrifying violence demands her attention.


Tyrel (Limited)

Director: Sebastián Silva.

Cast: Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott, Michael Cera, and Ann Dowd.

Tyrel follows Tyler, who joins his friend on a trip to the Catskills for a weekend birthday party with several people he doesn’t know. As soon as they get there, it’s clear that (1) he’s the only black guy, and (2) it’s going to be a weekend of heavy drinking. Although Tyler is welcomed, he can’t help but feel uneasy in “Whitesville.” The combination of all the testosterone and alcohol starts to get out of hand, and Tyler’s precarious situation starts to feel like a nightmare.


Clara’s Ghost

Director: Bridey Elliott.

Cast: Chris Elliott, Paula Niedert Elliott, Abby Elliott, Haley Joel Osment, Isidora Goreshter, and Bridey Elliott.

Set over the course of a single evening in the Reynolds family home in suburban Connecticut, Clara’s Ghost tells the story of Clara Reynolds who, fed up with constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her.


December 14th


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Director: Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr., and Rodney Rothman.

Cast: Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, and Lily Tomlin.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.


Once Upon A Deadpool

(Special Two-Week Engagement)

Director: David Leitch.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Beetz, T.J. Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Jack Kesy, and Fred Savage.

To kick off the holiday season audiences of almost all ages will soon be able to enjoy the Merc with the Mouth’s reimagining of Deadpool 2 filtered through the prism of childlike innocence.

Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for Once Upon A Deadpool in an homage to Savage’s starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic The Princess Bride. Fred remarked, “while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab”

For every ticket sold, $1 will go to the charity Fudge Cancer – previously known as Fuck Cancer, who have graciously changed their name to be more PG-13 friendly for the 12 days of Once Upon A Deadpool’s release.


The Mule

Director: Clint Eastwood.

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest and Andy Garcia, as well as Alison Eastwood, Taissa Farmiga, Ignacio Serricchio and Loren Dean, Eugene Cordero.

Eastwood stars as Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well—so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.


Mortal Engines

Director: Christian Rivers.

Cast: Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang.

Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London—now a giant, predator city on wheels—from devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy (Sheehan), an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.


If Beale Street Could Talk

Director: Barry Jenkins.

Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Beach, Ed Skrein, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, and Pedro Pascal.

Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.


December 21st


Aquaman

Director: James Wan.

Cast:

Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Kidman, Ludi Lin, and Temuera Morrison.

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king.


Bumblebee

Director: Travis Knight.

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Ortiz, Jason Drucker, Pamela Adlon, and Stephen Schneider.

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug.


Mary Poppins Return

Director: Rob Marshall.

Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, and Dick Van Dyke.

In Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.


Second Act

Director: Peter Segal.

Cast: Jennifer Lopez, Leah Remini, and Vanessa Hudgens with Treat Williams and Milo Ventimiglia.

Second Act is a comedy in the vein of Working Girl and Maid In Manhattan. Jennifer Lopez stars as Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.


Welcome to Marwen

Director: Robert Zemeckis.

Cast: Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Merritt Wever, Janelle Monáe, Eiza González, Gwendolyn Christie, Leslie Zemeckis, and Neil Jackson.

When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) and wipes away all memories, no one expected recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one.


Cold War

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Cast: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, and Borys Szyc.

Cold War is a passionate love story between a man and a woman who meet in the ruins of post-war Poland. With vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, they are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, it’s the tale of a couple separated by politics, character flaws and unfortunate twists of fate — an impossible love story in impossible times.


American Renegades

Director: Steven Quale.

Cast: J.K. Simmons, Sullivan Stapleton and Sullivan Stapleton.

American Renegades is about a team of Navy Seals on assignment in war-torn Europe who discover a treasure of gold at the bottom of a lake — rumored to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In an effort to help the locals, they go rogue and engineer a heist to retrieve the gold and return it to its rightful owners. But in a deadly turn of events, they are detected by the enemy and left with only 10 hours to carry out their mission.


December 28th


Holmes & Watson

Director: Etan Cohen.

Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, and Ralph Fiennes.

Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon learn that they have only four days to solve the case, or the queen will become the next victim.


Vice

Director: Adam McKay.

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carrell, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Plemons, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Tyler Perry, Justin Kirk, LisaGay Hamilton, Shea Whigham, and Eddie Marsan.

Vice explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.


Destroyer

Director: Karyn Kusama.

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Bradley Whitford, Jade Pettyjohn, and Scoot McNairy.

Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.


On the Basis of Sex

Director: Mimi Leder.

Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, and Cailee Spaeny.

The film tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination. The feature will premiere in 2018 in line with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court.


Stan & Ollie

Director: Jon. S. Baird.

Cast: Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Nina Arianda, and Shirley Henderson.

Laurel & Hardy, one of the world’s great comedy teams, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As the charm and beauty of their performances shines through, they re-connect with their adoring fans.

The tour becomes a hit, but Stan & Ollie can’t quite shake the specter of Laurel and Hardy’s past; the long-buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages, they are aware that they may be approaching their swan song, trying to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.


 



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