Let’s face it. Movies are a huge part of the holiday season. Whether you’re going to the theater to get away from your family, or to spend some quality time together with them, you have a very important decision to make.
Which movie is going to be worth your time and money? This year, Hollywood has cooked up some very interesting, heartfelt and hilarious films. Here are a few selections that you’ll likely be considering:
Office Christmas Party – Now Playing
Starring: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Vanessa Bayer, Rob Corddry
Synopsis: “When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.”
Most of us are familiar with the horrors of an office Christmas party, but this movie is looking to make us laugh, instead. While the film has an incredible ensemble cast, it’s not exactly landing with the critics, or with audiences. The movie has a 43% critic score and a 51% user score on Rotten Tomatoes. If you feel like taking a chance on this R-rated comedy, you’ll probably at least get a few laughs out of it, if nothing else.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – In Theaters Dec. 16
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker, Jiang Wen
Synopsis: “Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.”
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’re certainly going to want to buy a ticket to this one. With an Oscar-nominated actress as the lead and the return of Darth Vader, this film is sure to be a hit with audiences. This is a different story from what we’re used to seeing in the Star Wars franchise, so while you won’t see a lot of familiar characters, this change looks pretty promising. If you’re eagerly awaiting Star Wars: Episode VIII, this will keep you occupied until next year.
Passengers – In Theaters Dec. 21
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Andy Garcia
Synopsis: The film is described as “an exciting action-thriller about two passengers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, with the lives of thousands of passengers in jeopardy.”
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence stole our hearts as Guardian of the Galaxy‘s Star-Lord and The Hunger Games‘ Katniss Everdeen. Now, the two are uniting in a film that looks like an epic adventure. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of movies set in space, this movie will definitely have some romance, action and maybe even a little humor for your viewing pleasure. Let’s be honest, if it has Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in it, the chances of you leaving the theater disappointed are very slim.
Patriots Day – In Select Theaters Dec. 21
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan
Synopsis: “In the aftermath of an unspeakable attack, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and nurse Carol Saunders (Michelle Monaghan) this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of one of the most sophisticated manhunts in law enforcement history and celebrates the strength of the people of Boston.”
After making the critically-acclaimed biopics Lone Survivor (2013) and Deepwater Horizon (2016), Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have teamed up yet again to deliver a heartfelt portrayal of the events surrounding the 2013 Boston marathon bombing. Making a biopic that is genuine and pays respect to the real individuals is no easy feat, but it looks like this movie does it beautifully – the film has already received a 92% from critics. But it will only be in select cities, until Jan. 13. If it’s playing near you over the holidays, don’t miss out on an opportunity to see this incredible tribute.
Why Him? – In Theaters Dec. 23
Starring: James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullally, Keegan-Michael Key
Synopsis: “Over the holidays, Ned (Bryan Cranston), an overprotective but loving dad and his family visit his daughter at Stanford, where he meets his biggest nightmare: her well-meaning but socially awkward Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend, Laird (James Franco). The rivalry develops,and Ned’s panic level goes through the roof when he finds himself lost in this glamorous high-tech world and learns that Laird is about to pop the question.”
If you’re going to see one comedy on Christmas, this is sure to be a contender. Bryan Cranston as the protective father and James Franco as the boyfriend seems like a match made in heaven. Of course, this could be one of those comedies where the funniest parts are in the trailer, but with Jonah Hill as one of the film’s writers, it looks promising. With no reviews from critics yet, it’s hard to tell whether this film will be a hit or a miss, but audience members will be tempted to give it a try.
So, if you have some free time during the holidays and are craving popcorn and a soda, these are a few films you’ll likely be interested in seeing. Not every film is going to be your favorite, but there’s always at least one diamond in the rough when it comes to December movies. Hopefully one of these films will have you leaving the theater full of holiday spirit.