Winter Movie Preview: December 2017

Let’s be honest, the only movie you care about this month is Star Wars, but there are a lot of solid indie options once you’ve seen that.

December 1

The Disaster Artist

James Franco’s hilarious and often touching adaptation of the book about the making of one of the most famous best-worst movies of all time, The Room. You do not need to know The Room to get The Disaster Artist, one of the year’s best comedies.

Full review here.

The Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro scales back to tell an intimate story in fairy-tale style, with his trademark monster madness. Do not miss the performances in this sweet, lovely film about a woman who fucks a fish monster.

Full review here.

NYC Only

Wonder Wheel

Woody Allen’s latest bad movie.

Limited

December 8

I, Tonya

A Tonya Harding biopic done as a pitch black comedy with a lot to say about class and competition. Another terrific ensemble whose work should not be missed.

Full review here.

Limited

Just Getting Started

They make this movie every couple of years. It’s sweet.

The Shape of Water

GO SEE IT

Expands

December 15

Ferdinand

Looks kinda cute, but sent to die opposite Star Wars.

The Ballad of Lefty Brown

Also sent to die opposite Star Wars.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Needs no introduction.

December 22

All the Money in the World

Ridley Scott’s eleventh-hour miracle, in which he replaced scandal-ridden Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer six weeks before release. Also, the movie looks a lot better with Plummer.

Bright

David Ayer bounces back from Suicide Squad with a movie about MAGIC WAND COPS. This looks terrible, but I can’t wait to see it.

Netflix

Downsizing

Alexander Payne and Matt Damon miss the mark in their not-quite-anything comedy/drama/satire.

Full review here.

Father Figures

This movie has been delayed for almost two years. So for real this time, maybe?

Hostiles

Christian Bale and Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper reteam for a Civil War drama. I love the under-seen Furnace, so I’m all in for their repeat performance.

Limited

Jumanji

It’s The Rock and Kevin Hart. At the very least, they will be funny. Also probably the only movie to make money in the wake of Star Wars.

Pitch Perfect 3

I really like Pitch Perfect, but the sequel was diminished returns. This does not look much better.

The Post

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep got together to tell the story of the publishing of the Pentagon Papers and the landmark court case that followed. You can tell this one was rushed to meet the moment.

December 29

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Jamie Bell and Annette Bening star in this romantic drama about the May-December romance between amateur thespian Peter Turner and one-time Hollywood glamour girl Gloria Grahame. Director Paul McGuigan can’t resist a little gimmickry in the past/present plot structure, but Bell and Bening power the movie on their respective charm and mutual chemistry.

The Greatest Showman

PT Barnum was a con man and a liar who bought an old woman and kept her as a slave, passing her off as George Washington’s 160-year-old nursemaid. He does not deserve Hugh Jackman’s performance, and I do not understand why anyone chose PT BARNUM to be the subject of a glossy biopic. Barnum’s life story ought to be directed by like, PT Anderson.

Molly’s Game

Jessica Chastain stars as Molly Bloom, the one-time Olympic skier turned “poker princess”, who ran a high-class card game for some of the richest and most famous people in the world. Half the fun of her story is guessing who the celebrities really are. (Michael Cera’s performance as “Player X”, rumored to be Tobey Maguire, is hilariously vicious.)

Full review here.

Phantom Thread

Daniel Day-Lewis and PT Anderson reunite for Phantom Thread, the story of a mid-century English couturier. This is (allegedly) Day-Lewis’s final performance.

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