Movies in December 2015

The wait is almost over! Episode VII of the Star Wars saga hits theaters this month.  Oh yeah, other movies will be premiering too. Here's the rundown.

WEEK-BY-WEEK MOVIE PICKS FOR DECEMBER


Macbeth (December 4)
I've been excited to see this adaptation of my favorite Shakespearean tragedy, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, since I first heard of it.


In the Heart of the Sea (December 11)
Ron Howard directs Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Brendan Gleeson in this true story that inspired Moby Dick.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18)
The first Star Wars back in 1977 sparked my love of cinema and speculative storytelling. Now the fun starts all over again.


The Hateful Eight (December 25)
Quentin Tarantino's latest is a Western with an all-star cast.

OTHER KEY MOVIES IN DECEMBER 2015


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip
This is the fifth in a series that mixes live-action and computer generated animation. Personally, although I considered the original old-fashioned cartoons enjoyable, I'm surprised this franchise has been so successful.


The Big Short
Brad Pitt and Christian Bale headline this drama about the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash.


Chi-Raq
Spike Lee is one of my favorites and this time he adapts the ancient Greek play Lysistrata, setting it amid gang violence in Chicago.


Concussion
Will Smith plays a doctor who uncovers the truth about brain injuries in NFL players.


Daddy's Home
Stepdad Will Ferrell's life is turned upside down when the biological dad, played by Mark Wahlberg, returns.


Joy
David O. Russell once again directs Jennifer Lawrence, this time alongside Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.


Krampus
You better watch out indeed. The folklore Christmas demon is coming to town.


Point Break
Based on the classic 1991 hit, this remake tells the tale of a young FBI agent who goes undercover with a bunch of extreme sports athletes who might be masterminding corporate heists.


The Revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio is a frontiersman in the 1820s who seeks revenge when he is left for dead after a bear mauling.


Sisters
What better counterprogramming for Star Wars than a comedy starring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.

THE REST OF THE MOVIES IN DECEMBER 2015


Christmas Eve
A power outage traps six different groups of New Yorkers in elevators the night before the holiday.


The Dark Horse
Based on a true story, a New Zealand hero and chess champion finds the courage to lead and pass on his gift to the children of his community.


Hitchcock/Truffaut
This documentary features filmmakers who were inspired by Francois Truffaut's book-long interview with Alfred Hitchcock (a book that motivated me as well to write a thesis about the auteur when I was studying cinema as a university undergrad).


The Lady in the Van
Maggie Smith plays a woman living in a vehicle parked in a man's driveway.


Legend
Tom Hardy plays a double role as twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray.


The Letters
The life of Mother Teresa is explored in this drama based on the correspondence she had over 50 years with her spiritual advisor, Fr. Celeste van Exem, played by Max von Sydow.


Life
A photographer for Life magazine is assigned to shoot pictures of James Dean.


MI-5
A terrorist escapes custody and needs to be apprehended before he strikes.


A Royal Night Out
On V.E. Day in 1945, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed out to enjoy the celebrations.


Son of Saul
Another bold counterprogramming move on the same day that the new Star Wars debuts, here is an intense drama about a concentration camp inmate.


The World of Kanako
A former detective searches for his missing daughter.


Youth
Michael Caine is an accomplished composer, vacationing with his filmmaker friend, played by Harvey Keitel, and his daughter, when he's invited to play for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

We know Star Wars will be a hit, but what else will strike cinematic gold?

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