Tis the season for cinematic adventures (after all, you've finally got some much-needed time to relax), so we here at Instyle have created the ultimate guide to 13 new movies to go see during the holidays. To help you channel the features' vibes, we paired each film with a drink suggestion, along with all the nitty gritty details you need to know to make your decision. Bottoms up!
Opened Dec. 5
Buzz: Witherspoon nabbed both Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her gritty (read: no makeup) portrayal of the determined hiker, a reformed heroin addict.
Bonus: Michiel Huisman as a sexy tryst–mate, Thomas Sadoksi (of Newsroom fame) as her supportive ex-husband, and Laura Dern as her quirky, loving mom. Also—breathtaking vistas of the Oregon-Washington wilderness and a cool, eclectic soundtrack ranging from Bruce Springsteen and Simon & Garfunkel, to First Aid Kit and Portishead.
Bring: Your best friend or your mom.
Beverage: Snapple (Strayed craved them all along the hike).
2. Inherent Vice
Opened Dec. 12 (wide release: Jan. 9, 2015)
Buzz: Joaquin Phoenix got a Globe nom for best supporting actor.
Bonus: Katherine Waterston, daughter of actor, Sam—who plays Doc’s ex-lover, is a new talent to watch. Quirky appearances abound from Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Maya Rudolph, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Jena Malone, and Martin Short.
Bring: Your Grateful Dead–loving brother.
3. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Opened Dec. 17
Buzz: Happy holidays to The Hobbit, which opened on Wednesday to a whopping $24.5 million, making it the third-highest opening Wednesday in box office history!
Bonus: See it in a theatre with Dolby Atmos for the full visual and sound experience.
Bring: Your sci-fi fantasy fanatic college pal, your childhood dungeons and dragons playmate, your cool high school English teacher.
Opened Dec. 19
Buzz: Quvenzhané Wallis got a Globes nomination for best actress in a musical or comedy for her portrayal of the sassy, singing, and ever-optimistic foster child.
Bonus: Sandy the dog made the cut as did the song “Tomorrow” and the soundtrack fertures the likes of Sia and Beck. Supporting performances by Rose Byrne and Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan.
Bring: Your kids, your neighbors kids, your BFF's kids.
Beverage: Ovaltine, obviously.
5. The Gambler
Opened Dec. 19
Buzz: Wahlberg has said he took the role based on the script and because he was a huge fan of the original, including its star James Caan, whom he counts as a friend.
Bonus: A strong supporting cast: Brie Larson as the brilliant student whom Wahlberg beds, Jessica Lange as his bitter mother, and John Goodman as a loan shark. Plus, cool L.A. location shots and amoody soundtrack that includes everything from Bob Dylan to Cole Porter and Chopin.
Bring: Your black jack–loving uncle.
Beverage: A whiskey sour.
6. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Opened Dec. 19
Buzz: The third and last in the series, Secret of the Tomb still offers up lots of characters from the other films, including Owen Wilson as a tiny cowboy and Steve Coogan as a tiny Roman as well as jokes and special effects galore, but this installment is imbued with an emotional father-son subplot as well.
Bonus: In a bittersweet twist, Robin Williams (as Teddy Roosevelt) and Mickey Rooney (as a former museum guard), who both died earlier this year, appear in this: their last film. On a lighter note, cute Dan Stevens aka Matthew from Downton Abbey does a turn as a self absorbed Sir Lancelot and Rebel Wilson romps as randy Tilly, the security guard.
Bring: Your little brother and his bestfriend.
Beverage: Pimms or a nice cup of Earl Grey tea.
7. American Sniper
Opens Dec. 25 (wide release: Jan. 16, 2015)
Basics: Directed by Clint Eastwood this true story stars Bradley Cooper, as Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle nicknamed “Legend.” Kyle is credited with being "the most lethal sniper in U.S. history" and saving thousands of fellow soldiers' lives. The film explores both his heroism and the toll it took on his personal life and family. Sienna Miller plays his wife.
Buzz: Some were surprised at the film’s lack of Globes nominations; others say it could get some Oscar attention.
Bonus: Bradley Cooper! Need we say more?
Bring: Your uncle, the war veteran.
Beverage: The bullseye (a vodka, lemon juice, beef bullion cocktail that is a close relative of the Bloody Mary).
8. Into the Woods
Opens Dec. 25
Buzz: Blunt got a Globes nomination for best actress in a comedy or musical and Meryl wracked up her 29th Globe nom for best supporting actress in the same category.
Bonus: Colleen Atwood’s fanciful costumes; the songs!
Bring: The whole family, from Grandma to Jr.
Beverage: Apple cider.
Opens Dec. 25
Buzz: Although it failed to garner SAG or Globes nominations, Jolie was nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award as were the Cohen Brothers.
Bonus: The Cohen Brothers adapted the screenplay from Lauren Hillenbrand’s best selling novel. Jolie got to meet the real Zamperini before he died last summer. Jack O’Connell is one to watch (He won the National Board of Review’s “Breakthrough performance “ award,) and the film features Coldplay’s new song “Miracles”
BRING: Your boyfriend, your husband, your dad, or all three.
10. Big Eyes
Opens Dec. 25
Buzz: Golden Globe nominations were granted to both Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz.
Bonus: The music by Danny Elfman’s is incredible and Lana Del Rey got a Globe nom for her song “Big Eyes.”
Bring: Your mom, your BFF, your artistic daughter.
Beverage: A chocolate malt with sprinkles.
Opens Dec. 25
Buzz: David Oyelowo, who nabbed a Golden Globe nom for his portrayal of Dr. King, is having quite a moment: he also appeares in Interstellar and A Most Violent Year. DuVernay and the film itself also got Globes noms as did John Legend for his original song "Glory.”
Bonus: Oprah Winfrey as a hospice nurse, Carmen Ejogo as King’s wife, Coretta King, Cuba Gooding Jr. as a civil rights attorney, Martin Sheen as a judge.
Bring: Your history-buff college pal.
Beverage: Sweet ice tea with a splash of bourbon.
12. A Most Violent Year
Opens Dec. 31
Buzz: The National Board of Review named it Best Picture while our January cover girl Chastain garnered a Golden Globe nomination.
Bonus: Oscar Isaacs is the new Al Pacino, all brooding and handsome, with thick tumbles of hair and soulful dark eyes---his pent up frustrations masked by his quiet resolve to do the right thing. Chastain’s cool period outfits include a sexy crimson Armani dress and plenty of chic coats and Jackie O. sunglasses. David Oyelowo, who seems to everywhere this fall (Interstellar, Selma), as a muckraking D.A.
Bring: Your dad, or anyone from New York who remembers the '80s.
Beverage: A dry martini.
Opens Dec. 31 (wide release: Jan 23.)
Buzz: Aniston’s heartfelt performance has garnered the actress Globe and SAG nominations as well as a standing ovation when it screened at the Toronto Film Festival.
Bonus: Sam Worthington as the widower and Anna Kendrick as the support group pal.
Bring: Your best friend.
Beverage: Bitters on the rocks.