This year’s award season may have officially started, but we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Sure, we’ve seen a few interesting picks and a few options for those award nominations, but we’ve also seen plenty of disappointments. But now is the time when the studios pull out their big guns: their most promising contenders and their winter blockbusters. Now is when things get really crazy in theaters. So brace yourself…because it’s time to take a look at the movies of November and December.
As always, a quick note about release dates before we begin: films are listed by week, generally using Friday as the standard release date. Some, however, will open earlier in the week (especially around holiday weekends), while many will open in limited release, gradually making their way to wider and wider markets. So release dates in your area may vary. Please check your local listings for exact dates.
The last couple of months of the year are a combination of award contenders and holiday season crowd pleasers—and the first weekend in November offers some of both.
Up first, Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, which finds Chris Hemsworth’s Thor imprisoned and fighting for the survival of his home planet. Or, for something completely different, there’s A Bad Moms Christmas, which catches up with the original trio from last year’s Bad Moms as they try to survive another holiday season.
Also this week…Saoirse Ronan stars in the latest comedy from director Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird. A group of Vietnam vets reunite 30 years later in Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying. A future serial killer battles his way through high school in B>My Friend Dahmer. And Woody Harrelson stars as a future president in Rob Reiner’s LBJ.
Kristin’s Pick: All of this week’s picks have some kind of appeal—but I’m going to give my pick to the least likely of the four. I love my Marvel movies—and I’m looking forward to the award season dramas—but, as a tired mama, I’m eagerly awaiting the release of A Bad Moms Christmas, the sequel to one of my favorite guilty pleasures.
This week starts with another festive film, Daddy’s Home 2, which follows the holiday adventures of Brad and Dusty (Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg) as they deal with their dads.
Meanwhile, there’s also Kenneth Branagh’s star-studded take on the classic Agatha Christie mystery Murder on the Orient Express. And a mother puts pressure on the local police to find her daughter’s mother in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Kristin’s Pick: This week brings more difficult decisions—but I can’t help but look forward to the latest from the guy responsible for In Bruges, so I’ll give Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri my pick.
This time of year isn’t just about the award season dramas. It’s also about the fun of the holidays. And, this week, DC Comics fans hope that the success of Wonder Woman will continue in Justice League, as Ben Affleck’s Batman recruits a band of heroes to take on a new enemy.
Also this week, Jacob Tremblay stars as a remarkable little boy tackling elementary school in the adaptation of the bestselling novel Wonder. A group of animals tells the story of Christmas in the animated adventure The Star. And Louis C.K. directs and stars in I Love You, Daddy, about a father struggling to decide how to handle a difficult situation with his daughter.
Kristin’s Pick: Though I’m eager to see how DC follows up Wonder Woman, my pick this week goes to Jacob Tremblay and Wonder.
Thanksgiving weekend is always a busy one at theaters, so we’ve got a little bit of something for everyone opening this week—like the family pick, Pixar’s Coco, which follows a young musician on a journey through the Land of the Dead.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Polaroid, following the story of a teenage girl who finds an old Polaroid camera with deadly powers.
Also this week, Denzel Washington stars as a prosecutor who switches to the other side in Roman J. Israel, Esq.. Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. Dan Stevens stars as a young Charles Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas. And director John Curran takes a closer look at a mysterious moment in history with Chappaquiddick.
Kristin’s Pick: There are so many intriguing choices this Thanksgiving—but I’m thankful for another Pixar movie, and I’m looking forward to checking out Coco.
As December begins, it’s almost time for that final award season buzz. But first…a quieter weekend for new releases. This week, James Franco directs and stars in The Disaster Artist, which tells the story of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.
Also this week, Woody Allen takes viewers to 1950s Coney Island for the story of a carousel operator and his wife in Wonder Wheel.
Kristin’s Pick: Both of this week’s options are intriguing—but, while Allen’s films can be hit or miss, I’ll give my pick to Wonder Wheel.
This week’s releases mix award season hopefuls and December’s lighter fare, starting with Guillermo del Toro’s latest, The Shape of Water, the Cold War story of a pair of government workers who uncover a classified experiment.
Meanwhile, for something fluffier, Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones team up for action-comedy Just Getting Started, about a former FBI agent and former mob lawyer who are forced to work together.
This week also offers a couple of real-life dramas: I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie as figure skater Tonya Harding, and Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, which tells the story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III.
Kristin’s Pick: This week offers more great options—and more tough decisions. And since I still remember the real-life story of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, I’m looking forward to seeing I, Tonya.
There was a time when mid-December meant the release of a new adventure through Middle-Earth. Now, it means the release of a new Star Wars movie. This year, Rian Johnson directs Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which continues the story of Daisy Ridley’s Rey and she teams up with Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker. Do you have your tickets yet? Because if you don’t, you probably aren’t seeing this one this weekend.
Not a lot of films dare go up against Star Wars—so the only other new release this week is the animated adventure Ferdinand, which follows a lovable bull as he goes on a journey to return to his family.
Kristin’s Pick: I’m a Rian Johnson fan, which means that I’ve been looking forward to the release of The Last Jedi since it was first announced—so it gets my pick this week.
Christmas is almost here! It’s time for Santa Claus, family time, presents, and, of course, a ton of new movies! This holiday weekend, you can head to theaters to see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which follows four teenagers as an old video game console transports them into the game.
In Steven Spielberg’s latest, The Post, a newspaper publisher and her editor take on the government. And Michael Haneke’s Happy End tells the story of a family in Calais during a refugee crisis.
Also this week, the Bellas reunite in Pitch Perfect 3 for an overseas USO tour. Owen Wilson and Ed Helms go on a road trip to find the father they’ve never met in Father Figures. And Matt Damon decides to shrink himself down to four inches tall in Alexander Payne’s social satire Downsizing.
Kristin’s Pick: Though this week offers plenty of light-hearted adventures, I’ve got to give my pick to Spielberg and The Post.
As moviegoers head to theaters for more holiday viewing, the award season hopefuls continue to make their way into theaters. This year’s Christmas-week options include a number of biographies: The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain as Olympic skier turned FBI target Molly Bloom, and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, the story of the romance between a Hollywood star and a young actor.
Also this week, Paul Thomas Anderson takes viewers to 1950s London for the story of a dressmaker (played by Daniel Day-Lewis in his final film) and his young muse.
Kristin’s Pick: Again this week, we’ve got a lot of promising possibilities. But I’m most intrigued by the music and wonder of The Greatest Showman.
So what do you think? Do you know which of this year’s award season releases will take home the most award season gold? Only time will tell! Until then…put some extra butter on that popcorn and enjoy the show!