- Soctt Garfield/Netflix
The holidays are upon us so that means it’s time to take in the movies that studios and distributors hope will find award season attention – along with a few popcorn movies mixed in (we’re looking at you “Bright” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”).
From Pixar’s latest “Coco” to “I, Tonya,” which depicts the troubled life of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s anticipated “Phantom Thread,” the rest of the year has some movies you should be excited to check out.
Here are 19 movies we think are worth your time:
“Coco” — In Theaters
The new Pixar movie weaves a story about family and never forgetting loved ones who have passed on, while celebrating the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos. It’s perfect for the whole family.
“Darkest Hour” — In Theaters
- Focus Features
Gary Oldman gives a master class (and is almost unrecognizable) playing Winston Churchill. Set at the time the Nazis have the allies on the run, Oldman plays Churchill as a man driven to not give into his critics, and continue to fight though all the odds seem against him. It’s one of the best performances of the year and could earn Oldman his first-ever Oscar win.
“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” — In Theaters
Starring Denzel Washington as a defense attorney whose life is turned upside down after his partner at his law firm becomes ill, the actor gives a powerful performance as a man who in his fight for justice turns to a darker path.
“Call Me by Your Name” — November 24
- Sony Pictures Classics
This beautiful story based on the novel of the same name, and brought to life by director Luca Guadagnino, leads Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet to deliver memorable performances as two young men who fall in love over a summer in Italy.
“The Disaster Artist” — December 1
James Franco takes on the story behind the creation of one of the worst movies ever made, “The Room,” and gives a hilarious and touching look at the people behind it – namely its stars Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. Franco gives a scary good performance as Wiseau, with his brother Dave playing Sestero. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, and Alison Brie also star.
“The Shape of Water” — December 1
- Fox Searchlight
Guillermo del Toro’s latest fairy tale mixes “The Creature of the Black Lagoon” with a Cold War melodrama to present one of the most unique movies you’ll see this year. Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, and Richard Jenkins all give top-notch performances. And Doug Jones, as the creature, once again shows off his unique acting talents (he almost always stars in movies where he’s in makeup playing a nonhuman).
“I, Tonya” — December 8
The good, bad, and ugly of Tonya Harding’s life are depicted in this unusual biopic. Margot Robbie plays the disgraced figure skater, and she gives an Oscar-worthy performance as we follow her rise to become an Olympic caliber ice skater, and her downfall when her boyfriend devises an assault on Harding’s rival, Nancy Kerrigan. Sebastian Stan and Bobby Cannavale also star, but the standout in the supporting roles is Allison Janney, who plays Harding’s despicable mother.
“Ferdinand” — December 15
- 20th Century Fox
WWE superstar John Cena voices the gentle bull. In this update of the story of a bull who doesn’t want to participate in bullfights, Ferdinand is taken from his home and with the help of a misfit group of animals embarks on a journey back home.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” — December 15
The “Star Wars” saga continues with more screen time for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) continuing to realize her full potential using the Force. Director Rian Johnson (“Looper”) takes the reigns on this chapter, and we don’t need to tell you the anticipation for this one is very high.
“The Greatest Showman” — December 20
- 20th Century Fox
Told through musical numbers and loads of CGI, this movie looks at the birth of the circus with Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” — December 20
- Columbia Pictures
Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan star as the adult avatars of four teens who suddenly find themselves in a video game.
“All the Money in the World” — December 22
Based on a true story, we follow the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his mother (Michelle Williams) to get him back. That includes getting the billionaire grandfather, Jean Paul Getty, to pay the ransom. Directed by Ridley Scott, this is the movie where Kevin Spacey as Jean Paul Getty was replaced by Christopher Plummer following the sexual misconduct allegations toward Spacey.
“Bright” — December 22 (theaters and Netflix same day)
Following their work together on “Suicide Squad,” director David Ayer and star Will Smith join forces again for this fantasy crime movie set in a world where humans and creatures walk among one another. In the movie, Smith plays a human police officer who teams with an Orc cop (Joel Egderton) to track down a powerful weapon.
“Downsizing” — December 22
Alexander Payne’s latest movie is a social satire that delves into the lives of people who decide they would have a better life if they shrunk themselves. Matt Damon, Kirsten Wiig, and Christoph Waltz star.
“Pitch Perfect 3” — December 22
- Universal Pictures
The Bellas return for one final performance. The group have split up since the last movie, but they all re-team for one final competition at a USO tour overseas.
“The Post” — December 22
- 20th Century Fox
Made at break-neck speed due to its relevance to current politics, Steven Spielberg’s latest looks inside The Washington Post and The New York Times as they prepare to post the leaked documents of the Pentagon Papers. Meryl Streep plays Kay Graham, The Washington Post’s publisher, and Hanks plays its editor, Ben Bradlee.
“In the Fade” — December 27
Diane Kruger gives the best performance of her career as a mother who tries to cope with the loss of her husband and son after the two die in a bomb attack. It’s a tough watch, but Kruger’s performance is really it.
“Molly’s Game” — December 27
- STX Entertainment
Based on the life of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-class skier who later ran the world’s most elite high-stakes poker game, Aaron Sorkin’s feature length directing debut is a thrilling look at a woman who refused to play by the rules. Jessica Chastain stars as Bloom, and (no surprise) she absolutely owns the role.
“Phantom Thread” — December 27
- YouTube/Focus Features
Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest movie is set in 1950s Paris and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a renowned dressmaker who meets his match in a strong-willed woman (Vicky Krieps) who eventually becomes his muse. The one thing you can say about PTA: He never tells the same story twice.