Winter Movie Preview: December 2016

Badly balanced batch. Could have put a few of these earlier in the month.

December 2



“The Kennedys were space aliens” is the subtext of this movie. A strong performance from Natalie Portman positions the former First Lady as an intergalactic traveler just realizing she is stuck on Earth forever.

December 9

La La Land


Not even I could resist this musical, with its lovely original music and bittersweet undertone. Gosling + Stone are one of the great screen couples for sure.

Full review here.



By all accounts a heart-wrenching tale of how a young man uses Google to find his biological family. The trailer kinda makes it look like Google Earth: The Movie, but festival audiences have been eating it up all fall.

Miss Sloane


Jessica Chastain is…a hot bitch in charge. (Again.)

Office Christmas Party

This looks like the party montage from The Hangover stretched out to feature length. Lot of funny people involved, though. Holiday comedies usually suck (which is why we keep watching the same three every year), but maybe this one will surprise us?

December 16

Collateral Beauty

This movie looks like it wants to be It’s A Wonderful Life for the 21st century. But It’s A Wonderful Life is a dumb movie and this title is nonsense.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The first of the new Star Wars spin-offs. Death Star something something trench battle something something Darth Vader. I hope Rogue One—which will feature no Skywalkers or Jedi—can go a little further outside the known Star Wars universe than The Force Awakens did. This is an expansive universe—expand it.

December 21

Assassin’s Creed

The problem is, for fans of the video game there are already dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of cinematic storytelling within the games, so I’m not sure they’re really clamoring for a feature film. And to non-fans, this is just confusing. Smelling “bomb” all over this one.


This one, despite its star power, is also starting to get a suspicious stink about it.

Patriot’s Day


I liked Deepwater Horizon more than I thought I would, and no one does these real-life disaster/event movies better than Peter Berg. Only thing working against this movie is whether or not audiences want to relive such a dark, and recent, chapter of history right now.


This movie is going to make alllllllll the cash. Also, it looks cute.

December 23

A Monster Calls



Full review here.



Everyone is getting hard for Martin Scorsese’s passion project about Jesuit priests in Japan, but this looks like The Religious Revenant to me.

Why Him?

Last year we got the unexpected holiday delight from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg with The Night Before. This year, Rogen’s buddy James Franco, along with Bryan Cranston, looks to have the actually-good holiday comedy on the roster. Strong vibe of Meet the Parents here, but every moment of Cranston and Franco on screen together is funny.

Red Band NSFW

December 25

20th Century Women


Annette Bening stars in this Mike Mills (Beginners) film about a group of women dealing with life and love in the 1970s. Getting a lot of buzz for Bening, who hasn’t had a juicy role in a while.


Denzel Washington returns to the director’s chair for this adaptation of August Wilson’s play. Just the trailer gets to me—I love how he says, “What law is there saying I got to like you?” This will probably make everyone cry and call their parents.




That will never not be funny.

Hidden Figures


The true story of real-life superhero Katherine Johnson, finally getting her due after history attempted to erase the contributions women, and African-American women, made to the space race. ABOUT TIME.

Live By Night


This movie has produced cool trailers, I will give it that much.

December 28



Missed this at TIFF and have been kicking myself ever since.

3 thoughts on “Winter Movie Preview: December 2016

  1. Anna

    You review convinced me to see A Monster Calls at the London Film Festival and I don’t think I had ever cried that much because of a movie before, so cheers for that! Loved it so much. Loved Lion too, there’s less Google Earth in it than the trailer suggests (also made me cry like a baby).

  2. Agent K

    I follow the movie biz and keep forgetting Assassin’s Creed is coming out. That can’t be good. Passengers just feels like something I have seen before. Unless the reviews are great I am not sure I will be bothered with either.

    The timing on Passengers and Assassin’s Creed fascinates me. I get that the calendar is pretty full but this just seems like disaster waiting to happen. If Rogue One is bad (doubtful, knowing Disney) it will still make a mint it’s first two weeks and they take a hit. If it is good, it will be headed for a billion, suck up repeat business and they will probably under perform. If Rogue One is great? They are going to get slaughtered. I feel for the staff at Sony especially; ulcers all around.

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