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May 27, 2022

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Holiday flicks promise merry movie season

25 big films, from Spidey to Gaga to the Beatles

9 Photos
Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, in "Encanto." (Disney)
Mirabel, voiced by Stephanie Beatriz, in "Encanto." (Disney) Photo Gallery

The holidays are knocking on your front door, they brought guests, and those guests want to be entertained.

Thankfully, along with the holidays comes the holiday movie season, full of awards season spectacles and big time blockbusters.

Movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence lead “Don’t Look Up,” Adam McKay’s ensemble comedy about the end of the world, which once was considered a far-off thing and now feels like it might only be a Thanksgiving or two away. In it, Leo and J. Law play a pair of astronomers who spot a comet that may be headed toward Earth. Plan accordingly.

Other top movies barreling down the holiday pipeline include a new “Spider-Man” movie, a return to “The Matrix” and an update on “West Side Story.” Ready for more?

Here are 25 big movies due out in theaters and at home before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

(As always, dates are subject to change.)

1. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” — Tom Holland’s third “Spider-Man” adventure (after 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and 2019’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home”) opens up a multiverse of possibilities, with villains (and other heroes?) from previous Spidey movies invited to the party. Hold on to your hat. (In theaters Dec. 17)

2. “Don’t Look Up” — Writer-director Adam McKay (“The Big Short,” “Vice”) takes on the end of the world in a comedy that hopefully doesn’t hit too close to home. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Chris Evans and more. (In theaters Dec. 10, on Netflix Dec. 24)

3. “House of Gucci” — Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons star in Ridley Scott’s soapy epic about the fashion powerhouse, the family at its center and the murder that rocked it to its foundation. High fashion, high drama. (In theaters)

4. “The Beatles: Get Back” — Let it be? Not Peter Jackson, who never met material he couldn’t turn into a trilogy. The “Lord of the Rings” director originally fashioned this doc about the making of the Beatles’ final album as a standalone film, but it has since been transformed into a three-parter, set to unfold over six hours. (On Disney+)

5. “Encanto” — In the latest animated tale from Disney, a family in the mountains in Colombia has special powers, except for one child, Mirabel (voice of Stephanie Beatriz). But when the family’s powers are threatened, only Mirabel can save the day. With John Leguizamo, Wilmer Valderrama and more. (In theaters)

6. “The Matrix Resurrections” — Red pill or blue pill? We’ll take whichever one lets us forget about “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions,” 2003’s underwhelming sequels to 1999’s original “Matrix.” Let’s hope this trip back into the machine fares better. (In theaters and on HBO Max Dec. 22)

7. “West Side Story” — Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler star in Steven Spielberg’s update on the 1957 Broadway musical, which was adapted for the screen in 1961 and went on to win 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The movie was originally due out last Christmas but was delayed due to the pandemic. (In theaters Dec. 10)

8. “The Unforgivable” — Sandra Bullock returns to Netflix, after 2018’s smash hit “Bird Box,” for this update on the 2009 British miniseries, about a woman attempting to put her life back together after serving a prison sentence for murdering two police officers. Vincent D’Onofrio, Viola Davis and Jon Bernthal co-star. (On Netflix Dec. 10)

9. “A Journal for Jordan” — Based on Dana Canedy’s “A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor,” Denzel Washington directs this drama — his first since 2016’s “Fenches” — which follows a soldier stationed in Iraq (Michael B. Jordan) who keeps a journal to give to his infant son. Also with Chante Adams. (In theaters Dec. 25)

10. “Licorice Pizza” — The latest from Paul Thomas Anderson (“Boogie Nights,” “There Will Be Blood”) is a ‘70s set love story about a young hustler (Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his long-game pursuit of his crush, Alana (Alana Haim). (In theaters)

11. “Being the Ricardos” — Lucy, I’m home! Writer-director Aaron Sorkin goes behind the scenes of “I Love Lucy” during a particularly hectic production week where Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) is accused of being a communist, among other distractions. With Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons and more. (On Amazon Prime Dec. 21)

12. “American Underdog” — Zachary Levi drops his “Shazam!” costume to tell a different kind of superhero tale, the real life story of Kurt Warner, who went from stocking shelves in a grocery story to becoming a Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterback. With Anna Paquin and Dennis Quaid. (In theaters Dec. 25)

13. “Bruised” — Halle Berry makes her directorial debut in this story about former MMA fighter Jackie Justice (Berry), who returns to the sport to take on the reigning champion while also dealing with the unexpected return of her young son, whom she gave up for adoption after his birth. (On Netflix)

14. “C’mon C’mon” — Joaquin Phoenix stars as a radio journalist who is forced to take care of his sister’s son in writer-director Mike Mills’ (“20th Century Women”) tender drama, which was partially filmed in Detroit. Gabby Hoffman, Scoot McNairy and Woody Norman also star. (In theaters Dec. 3)

15. “Sing 2” — Buster Moon (voice of Matthew McConaughey) is back, looking to put on another big show, in this sequel to the 2016 hit. With the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Halsey and more, and a new song by U2 on the soundtrack. (In theaters Dec. 22)

16. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” — Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand lead director Joel Coen’s adaptation of the Shakespeare drama, about the power struggle for the crown in Scotland. With Brendan Gleeson, Harry Melling, Sean Patrick Thomas, Stephen Root and more. (In theaters Dec. 25, on Apple TV+ Jan. 14)

17. “The King’s Man” — The third installment in “The Kingsman” series goes back in time, telling the origin story that lead to the events of 2014’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” With Ralph Fiennes, Djimon Hounsou, Rhys Ifans and more, and originally due out in November 2019. (In theaters Dec. 22)

18. “Nightmare Alley” — In his first film since the Best Picture-winning “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro returns with this thriller about a carny (Bradley Cooper) who has a gift for manipulating minds who meets his match in a psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett). Also with Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara and more. (In theaters Dec. 17)

19. “The Power of the Dog” — Benedict Cumberbatch is a cranky cowboy in Jane Campion’s story of a rancher with an attitude in 1920s Montana. Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons play ranching brothers, with Kirsten Dunst as Plemons’ character’s wife and Kodi Smit-McPhee as her son who shows up and stirs the pot. (On Netflix Dec. 1)

20. “The Tender Bar” — Ben Affleck is a Long Island bartender who doles out drinks and advice to his customers, including his nephew J.R. (Tye Sheridan) in George Clooney’s coming-of-age drama. (In theaters Dec. 17, on Amazon Prime Video Jan. 7)

21. “Red Rocket” — Former MTV VJ Simon Rex heads up the most unlikely big screen return of the year in writer-director Sean Baker’s (“The Florida Project”) comedy about a former male porn star who returns to his Texas hometown. (In theaters Dec. 3)

22. “Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City” — The ongoing zombie-killing series (this is the seventh film in the franchise) gets a reboot, sans Milla Jovovich, with Kaya Scodelario taking over the lead. (In theaters)

23. “Flee” — This acclaimed animated documentary, a winner at this year’s Sundance festival, follows the story of a man who leaves his home country of Afghanistan and heads to Denmark as a refugee. (In theaters)

24. “The Lost Daughter” — Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman stars in writer-director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s psychological drama about a woman who becomes obsessed with a mother and her daughter while on vacation. (In theaters Dec. 17, on Netflix Dec. 31)

25. “The Humans” — A Thanksgiving drama about a family coming together for the holiday, based on Stephen Karam’s one act play and starring Richard Jenkins, Steven Yeun, Beanie Feldstein and more. (In theaters and on Showtime Wednesday)

10 more to keep an eye out for

It’s the 1980s and there’s no better gift to find under the tree than a Nintendo Entertainment System in “8-Bit Christmas” (on HBO Max); a boy thinks he’s a wolf in “Wolf,” from writer-director Nathalie Biancheri (in theaters); Paul Verhoeven (“Basic Instinct,” “Starship Troopers”) takes on a 17th century convent in “Benedetta” (in theaters, On Demand Dec. 21); the popular book series returns with the animated “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (on Disney+); the world is ending, but let’s not let it ruin Christmas is the theme of the apocalyptic holiday tale “Silent Night” (in theaters); Riz Ahmed plays a man trying to protect his kids from the threat of an alien invasion in “Encounter” (on Amazon Prime Video); a star football player stands up for athletes’ rights in “National Champions” (in theaters); director Paolo Sorrentino (“Youth,” “The New Pope”) looks back at his own childhood in Naples in the 1980s in “The Hand of God” (on Netflix Dec. 15); a man facing a terminal illness (Mahershala Ali) gets an opportunity to replace himself with a clone in “Swan Song” (on Apple TV+ Dec. 17); and “Parallel Mothers” (in theaters Dec. 24), the latest from Pedro Almodovar, concerns two women (Penelope Cruz and Milena Smit) and their trajectories through motherhood.


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