With the start of December the Awards Season damn bursts wide open, releasing into theaters a veritable onslaught of prestige pictures in the run-up to both the holidays and the 2020 Oscars. The offerings in theaters aren’t all high-brow nor are they all award-seeking, so don’t fret there. Nicely, even the ones audiences expect to be going for cinematic gold come from a variety of genres. There’s an animated tale of child’s toys running amok, a journey to a galaxy far far away; horror tales, war tales, classic novel adaptions, and so much more. To help you figure out what’s to see in theaters this month, EoM presents a short-list of 26 films coming to your local multiplex.
Director: Tom Harper.
Cast: Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Himesh Patel, Tom Courtenay.
In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. While breaking records and advancing scientific discovery, their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world they have left far below them. But they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival.
Playmobil: The Movie
Director: Lino DiSalvo.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Anya Taylor-Joy, Jim Gaffigan.
In PLAYMOBIL’s® animated action adventure, a top secret organization has caused citizens from different lands to vanish from thin air. The dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe) must partner with smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Jim Gaffigan) and Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy) a smart, savvy civilian with her own secret agenda, to rescue them. Against unthinkable odds, the trio go on a fantastic journey across stunning new worlds as they gather clues for their rescue mission.
I See You
Director: Adam Randall.
Cast: Helen Hunt, Jon Tenney, Judah Lewis.
Helen Hunt stars in the mind-twisting psychological thriller I See You. When a 12 year-old boy goes missing, lead investigator Greg Harper (Jon Tenney) struggles to balance the pressure of the investigation and troubles with his wife, Jackie (Hunt). Facing a recent affair, great strain is put on the family and slowly gnaws away at Jackie’s grip on reality. But after a malicious presence manifests itself in their home and puts their son, Connor (Judah Lewis), in mortal danger, the cold, hard truth about evil in the Harper household is finally uncovered.
In Fabric (Limited)
Director: Peter Strickland.
Cast: Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires, Leo Bill, Gwendoline Christie.
A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), recently separated from her husband, visits a bewitching London department store in search of a dress that will transform her life. She’s fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown—which, in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.
From acclaimed horror director Peter Strickland (the singular auteur behind the sumptuous sadomasochistic romance The Duke of Burgundy and auditory gaillo-homage Berberian Sound Studio) comes a truly nightmarish film, at turns frightening, seductive, and darkly humorous. Channeling voyeuristic fantasies of high fashion and bloodshed, In Fabric is Strickland’s most twisted and brilliantly original vision yet.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Director: Céline Sciamma.
Cast: Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luana Bajrami, Valeria Golino.
France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse’s portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.
Director: Jessica Hausner.
Cast: Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox, Kit Connor.
Little Joe follows Alice (Emily Beecham), a single mother and dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a special crimson flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: if kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly and spoken to regularly, this plant makes its owner happy. Against company policy, Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They christen it ‘Little Joe.’ But as their plant grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creation may not be as harmless as its nickname suggests.
Daniel Isn’t Real
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer.
Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Hannah Marks, Mary Stuart Masterson.
Troubled college freshman Luke (Miles Robbins) suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel (Patrick Schwarzenegger) to help him cope. Charismatic and full of manic energy, Daniel helps Luke to achieve his dreams, before pushing him to the very edge of sanity and into a desperate struggle for control of his mind — and his soul.
Knives and Skin
Director: Jennifer Reeder.
Cast: Marika Engelhardt, Grace Smith, Ireon Roach, Kayla Carter, Tim Hopper, Kate Arrington, Audrey Francis, James Vincent Meredith, Ty Olwin, Raven Whitley, Jalen Gilbert, Emma Ladji, Robert T. Cunningham, Tony Fitzpatrick, Marilyn Dodds Frank.
What happened to Carolyn Harper? Part suburban nightmare, part neon-soaked teenage fever dream, this tantalizing mystery traces the wave of fear and distrust that spreads across a small Midwestern town in the wake of a high school girl’s mysterious disappearance. As the loneliness and darkness lurking beneath the veneer of everyday life gradually comes to light, a collective awakening seems to overcome the town’s teenage girls—gathering in force until it can no longer be contained. Unfolding in a hallucinatory haze of lushly surreal images, Knives and Skin is a one-of-a-kind coming-of-age noir that haunts like a half-remembered dream.
Jumanji: The Next Level
Director: Jake Kasdan.
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner, Alex Wolff, with Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.
Everything you know about Jumanji is about to change.
In Jumanji: The Next Level, the gang is back but the game has changed. As they return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored, from the arid deserts to the snowy mountains, in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
Director: Sophia Takal.
Cast: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O’Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, Simon Mead and Cary Elwes.
Just in time for the holidays comes a timely take on a cult horror classic as a campus killer comes to face a formidable group of friends in sisterhood.
Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. But as Riley Stone (Imogen Poots, Green Room) and her Mu Kappa Epsilon sisters—athlete Marty (Lily Donoghue, The CW’s Jane the Virgin), rebel Kris (Aleyse Shannon, The CW’s Charmed), and foodie Jesse (Brittany O’Grady, Fox’s Star)—prepare to deck the halls with a series of seasonal parties, a black-masked stalker begins killing sorority women one by one.
As the body count rises, Riley and her squad start to question whether they can trust any man, including Marty’s beta-male boyfriend, Nate (Simon Mead, Same But Different: A True New Zealand Love Story), Riley’s new crush Landon (Caleb Eberhardt, Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle) or even esteemed classics instructor Professor Gelson (Cary Elwes).
Whoever the killer is, he’s about to discover that this generation’s young women aren’t about to be anybody’s victims.
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Director: Xavier Dolan.
Cast: Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Thandie Newton, Ben Schnetzer, Emily Hampshire, Sarah Gadon.
A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces about the written correspondence he once shared with the former, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives.
Director: Clint Eastwood.
Cast: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Ian Gomez, Dylan Kussman, Wayne Duvall, Mike Pniewski, Nina Arianda.
Directed by Clint Eastwood and based on true events, Richard Jewell is a story of what happens when what is reported as fact obscures the truth.
“There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have thirty minutes.” The world is first introduced to Richard Jewell as the security guard who reports finding the device at the 1996 Atlanta bombing—his report making him a hero whose swift actions save countless lives. But within days, the law enforcement wannabe becomes the FBI’s number one suspect, vilified by press and public alike, his life ripped apart. Reaching out to independent, anti-establishment attorney Watson Bryant, Jewell staunchly professes his innocence. But Bryant finds he is out of his depth as he fights the combined powers of the FBI, GBI and APD to clear his client’s name, while keeping Richard from trusting the very people trying to destroy him.
Cast: Adam Sandler, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian, Judd Hirsch.
From acclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie comes an electrifying crime thriller about Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score. When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.
A Hidden Life
Director: Terrence Malick.
Cast: August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Maria Simon, Tobias Moretti, Bruno Ganz, Matthias Schoenaerts, Karin Neuhäuser, Ulrich Matthes.
Based on real events, from visionary writer-director Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keeps his spirit alive.
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Zazie Beetz, Yvan Attal, Stephen Root, Colm Meaney with Vince Vaughn and Anthony Mackie.
Seberg is inspired by true events about the French New Wave darling and Breathless star, Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart), who in the late 1960s was targeted by the FBI because of her support of the civil rights movement and romantic involvement with Hakim Jamal (Anthony Mackie), among others. In Benedict Andrews’ noir-ish thriller, Seberg’s life and career are destroyed by Hoover’s overreaching surveillance and harassment in an effort to suppress and discredit Seberg’s activism.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Director: J.J. Abrams.
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Billy Dee Williams, Adam Driver, Keri Russell, Ian McDiarmid, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Anthony Daniels, Richard E. Grant, Joonas Suotamo, Domhnall Gleeson, Billie Lourd, Matt Smith, Lupita Nyong’o.
The saga will end, the story lives forever.
Director: Tom Hooper.
Cast: James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Francesca Hayward.
Oscar®-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables, The Danish Girl) transforms Andrew Lloyd Webber’s record-shattering stage musical into a breakthrough cinematic event.
Featuring Lloyd Webber’s iconic music and a world-class cast of dancers under the guidance of Tony-winning choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, In the Heights), the film reimagines the musical for a new generation with spectacular production design, state-of-the-art technology, and dance styles ranging from classical ballet to contemporary, hip-hop to jazz, street dance to tap.
Director: Jay Roach.
Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow, Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell, Allison Janney.
Starring Academy Award® winner Charlize Theron, Academy Award® winner Nicole Kidman, Academy Award® nominee John Lithgow and Academy Award® nominee Margot Robbie, based on the real scandal, Bombshell is a revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.
Director: Karim Aïnouz.
Cast: Julia Stockler, Carol Duarte, Flávia Gusmão.
Rio de Janeiro, 1950. Eurídice, 18, and Guida, 20, are two inseparable sisters living at home with their conservative parents. Although immersed in a traditional life, each one nourishes a dream: Eurídice of becoming a renowned pianist, Guida of finding true love. In a dramatic turn, they are separated by their father and forced to live apart. They take control of their separate destinies, while never giving up hope of finding each other. A tropical melodrama from the director of Madame Satã.
Director: Greta Gerwig.
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, Louis Garrel, Tracy Letts, James Norton, Bob Odenkirk, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen, Meryl Streep, Emma Watson.
Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms — is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.
Spies in Disguise
Director: Nick Bruno and Troy Quane.
Cast: Karen Gillan, Will Smith, Tom Holland, Ben Mendelsohn.
Super spy Lance Sterling (Will Smith) and scientist Walter Beckett (Tom Holland) are almost exact opposites. Lance is smooth, suave and debonair. Walter is … not. But when events take an unexpected turn, this unlikely duo are forced to team up for the ultimate mission that will require an almost impossible disguise – transforming Lance into the brave, fierce, majestic… pigeon. Walter and Lance suddenly have to work as a team, or the whole world is in peril.
The Song of Names
Director: François Girard
Cast: Tim Roth, Clive Owen, Eddie Izzard, Catherine McCormack, Saul Rubinek, Luke Doyle, Max Macmillan, Gerran Howell, Jonah Hauer-King, Misha Handley.
Martin Simmonds (Tim Roth) has been haunted throughout his life by the mysterious disappearance of his “brother” and extraordinary best friend, a Polish Jewish virtuoso violinist, Dovidl Rapaport, who vanished shortly before the 1951 London debut concert that would have launched his brilliant career. Thirty-five years later, Martin discovers that Dovidl (Clive Owen) may still be alive, and sets out on an obsessive intercontinental search to find him and learn why he left.
Just Mercy (Limited)
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
A powerful and thought-provoking true story, Just Mercy follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Larson). One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie. In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.
Ip Man 4 (Limited)
Director: Wilson Yip.
Cast: Donnie Yen, Scott Adkins, Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, Wu Yue, Van Ness.
Ip Man’s life remains unchanged after his wife’s death, but he and his son are slowly drifting apart. To seek a better future for his son, Ip Man decides to travel to the U.S. only to find the stable, peaceful life abroad is only skin deep. Underneath lies a deep rooted racial discrimination that is far worse than he has expected. Ip Man re-examines his position and ponders on the reason he took up martial arts in the beginning.
Director: Sam Mendes.
Cast: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.
Director: Chinonye Chukwu.
Cast: Alfre Woodard, Wendell Pierce, Vernee Watson, Aldis Hodge.
Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard). As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.