13 Movies to Definitely See in December 2015
Some of the best movies come out in the last month of the year. How come? A few reasons. First, the holiday season is one of the most popular times to go to the movies, and theaters want blockbusters to get people in the seats (hello, Star Wars!). It’s also the last possible opportunity to be considered for an award show nomination, with movies dropping in December to get in just before deadline (The Big Short, The Revenant). And finally, it’s also the time for just feel-good flicks (Sisters, Joy). This month is truly like no other—scroll down to find out which flicks should not be missed.
Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel headline this film, in which they play aging best friends on a memorable vacation in the Swiss Alps. Throughout their time there, they struggle to find peace with aging, only to find out that the most important memories aren’t always in the past.
The Lady in the Van
Based on a true story, this film follows Miss Mary Shepherd (Maggie Smith), who parks her van in the driveway of a Londoner named Alex Jennings (Alan Bennett) temporarily—only she ends up staying 15 years.
Spike Lee co-wrote, produced, and directed this drama, which is based on the Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes. In the ancient story, women withheld sex from their partners to punish them for taking part in war. Lee’s modern adaptation is set in Chicago, and follows Lysistrata (Teyonah Parris) and more as they abstain to prevent gang violence. Nick Cannon, La La Anthony, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Cusack also star.
In the Heart of the Sea
Chris Hemsworth stars in this Ron Howard-directed action and adventure film about the 19th-century New England shipmen who fight to survive after whale attacks cripple their boat. Their story eventually inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick.
The Big Short
This drama, adapted from Michael Lewis’s book of the same name, goes behind-the-scenes to uncover the causes behind the 2007 financial crisis. Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Finn Wittrock, and Max Greenfield all star, making it an amazing ensemble film—so good in fact, it already won an award for its casting. The National Board of Review will award the Best Ensemble honor to The Big Short cast in New York City on Jan. 6.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Son of Saul
This Hungarian drama, starring Geza Rohrig as Saul Asulander, is set in Auschwitz in 1944. Working at the camp as a prisoner, he thinks he finds the body of his son, and he goes through great lengths to give the body a proper burial, even with all the chaos going on around him. The film won the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix award—we foresee some foreign Oscar nominations headed its way.
Leonardo DiCaprio is back, on the move to get a Best Actor nod for the fourth time—and his turn as fur trapper Hugh Glass in this biographical western might just get him his first win. The Alejandro G. Inarritu-directed movie follows DiCaprio’s frontiersman character on an expedition out west, but after being attacked by a bear, he is left for dead by those he’s traveling with (Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and more). Of course, he’s not dead, and now he wants revenge.
The Hateful Eight
Will Smith is already garnering positive reviews for his role in this sports-driven drama as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who took on the NFL to reveal brain damage in football players.
The stop-motion comedy about a man trying to connect with people features the voices of Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan, and David Thewlis. Its innovation helped it win the Venice International Film Festival’s top honor, the Grand Jury Prize.