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Winter Movie Preview: 25+ movies we can’t wait to see this holiday season
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Winter Movie Preview: 25+ movies we can’t wait to see this holiday season

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Traditionally, the holiday season means family, food, shopping and movies. This year is no exception as Hollywood serves up a wide variety of releases from now till New Year’s. There are animated films, superhero movies, Oscar contenders, sequels, prequels and more.

Here are the films we’re looking forward to the most.

Note: Films are being released in theaters except where noted. Release dates are subject to change.

Out now

“Encanto”

Starring: Stephanie Beatriz, María Cecilia Botero, Wilmer Valderrama, Adassa, John Leguizamo

Directed by: Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Charise Castro Smith

Synopsis: Disney’s animated fantasy is about a Colombian family who lives in a house that gives every member except for one — a daughter named Mirabel — magical powers. But when the magic is threatened, it’s up to the ordinary girl to save the day. The film features new songs from “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Bruised”

(Netflix)

Starring: Halle Berry, Shamier Anderson, Adan Canto, Danny Boyd, Jr., Adriane Lenox

Directed by: Halle Berry

Synopsis: Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry makes her directorial debut and stars in a gritty drama with “Rocky” vibes about a down-on-her-luck former UFC fighter drawn back to the ring with hopes of providing a better life for the young son she gave up when he was born.

“House of Gucci”

Starring: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Synopsis: This drama about the family empire behind the iconic fashion brand Gucci has everything: a star-studded cast, big-name director, beautiful clothes, not to mention a salacious, based-on-true-events story full of sex, betrayal, scandal and murder.

“Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City”

Starring: Kaya Scodelario, Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper

Directed by: Johannes Roberts

Synopsis: The seventh film in the franchise based on the popular video game is a reboot and origin story that uncovers the circumstances behind the Umbrella Corporation’s exodus from Raccoon City and the zombie apocalypse that followed.

Dec. 1

“The Power of the Dog”

(Netflix)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Directed by: Jane Campion

Synopsis: Benedict Cumberbatch (”Doctor Strange”) stars in this western drama as a bullying cattle rancher who makes life difficult for his brother’s new wife and teenage son. Long-hidden secrets hold the key to explaining his toxic behavior.

Dec. 3

“Encounter”

(Amazon Prime Video)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane, Lucian-River Chauhan, Aditya Geddada

Directed by: Michael Pearce

Synopsis: Under the threat of an alien invasion, a decorated Marine goes on the run with his two young sons.

Dec. 10

“West Side Story”

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Rita Moreno

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Synopsis: The greatest director of our time takes on one of the most beloved musicals ever. Set to the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, the film tells the story of Tony and Maria, young lovers tragically torn apart by their allegiances to rival gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, in 1957 Manhattan.

“Being the Ricardos”

(Also on Amazon Prime Video on Dec. 21)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem

Directed by: Aaron Sorkin

Synopsis: Nicole Kidman is Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem is Desi Arnaz as writer-director Aaron Sorkin (”The Trial of the Chicago 7″) takes the audience inside the complicated relationship between the Hollywood legends during one eventful week on the set of “I Love Lucy.”

“The Unforgivable”

(Netflix)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal, Rob Morgan, Aisling Franciosi

Directed by: Nora Fingscheidt

Synopsis: Sandra Bullock plays Ruth Slater, a woman who served 20 years in prison for killing a police officer. Upon her release, she goes in search of her estranged younger sister only to find the sins of her past keep blocking her path to redemption.

Dec. 17

“Nightmare Alley”

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn

Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Synopsis: From visionary director Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), Bradley Cooper plays a con man who teams up with a deceitful psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) to hustle unsuspecting carnival-goers out of their money.

“Swan Song”

(Apple TV+)

Starring: Mahershala Ali, Glenn Close, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina

Directed by: Benjamin Cleary

Synopsis: In the near future, a devoted father (Mahershala Ali) facing a terminal illness is given an unusual choice: to secretly replace himself with a clone to spare his family from the grief of losing him.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei

Directed by: Jon Watts

Synopsis: Peter Parker’s life is sent into chaos after his identity as Spider-Man is revealed. He goes to Dr. Strange for help, causing a disruption in the multiverse and leading to the return of familiar foes like Alfred Molina as Doc Ock from the Tobey Maguire “Spider-Man” films.

“The Tender Bar”

(Amazon Prime Video)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Tye Sheridan, Christopher Lloyd, Lily Rabe

Directed by: George Clooney

Synopsis: Pulitzer Prize-winning author J.R. Moehringer’s memoir focuses on the writer’s formative years, from growing up in his uncle’s bar to pursuing his passions at Yale.

Dec. 22

“Sing 2″

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Nick Kroll, Halsey, Bono

Directed by: Garth Jennings

Synopsis: Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and his talented animal friends dream of putting on a spectacular show in Vegas-like Redshore City. But their hopes hinge on finding and convincing a reclusive lion rock legend voiced by Bono to join them.

“The King’s Man”

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, Djimon Hounsou, Charles Dance

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

Synopsis: The prequel to “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” explores the beginnings of the first independent intelligence agency when the first agents banded together to stop an evil plot by Rasputin.

“The Matrix Resurrections”

(Theaters, HBO Max)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Directed by: Lana Wachowski

Synopsis: Hopped up on blue pills, Neo (Keanu Reeves) has no memory of the Matrix, Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) or his previous life as the Chosen One. But then a younger version of Morpheus (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) offers him a red pill, opening his eyes to the post-apocalyptic reality.

Dec. 24

“Don’t Look Up”

(Netflix)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi

Directed by: Adam McKay

Synopsis: Wow, what a cast! Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play low-level astronomers who discover a planet-killing comet is on a collision course with Earth. The problem? Nobody seems to be taking them seriously.

Dec. 25

“Licorice Pizza”

Starring: Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Synopsis: Musician Alana Haim makes her acting debut in “Boogie Nights” director Paul Thomas Anderson’s coming of age story about a couple’s complicated journey from friends to lovers.

“The Tragedy of Macbeth”

(Apple TV+)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand

Directed by: Joel Coen

Synopsis: Academy Award-winning director Joel Coen tackles Shakespeare in his first film without brother Ethan. Denzel Washington plays an ambitious general who takes matters into his own hands after a prophecy by three witches says he will rise to become King of Scotland.

“American Underdog”

Starring: Zachary Levi, Anna Paquin, Dennis Quaid

Directed by: Andrew Erwin, Jon Erwin

Synopsis: Zachary Levi (”Shazam!”) stars in the inspiring true story of NFL quarterback Kurt Warner’s unlikely journey from undrafted free agent to grocery store clerk backup quarterback to Super Bowl champion.

“A Journal For Jordan”

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Chanté Adams.

Directed by: Denzel Washington

Synopsis: Based on a true story, Michael B. Jordan (”Creed”) plays an Army sergeant who is deployed to Iraq, where he writes a journal for his newborn son. Bring a lot of tissues.

Dec. 31

“Cyrano”

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Bashir Salahuddin, Ben Mendelsohn

Directed by: Joe Wright

Synopsis: Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett reprise their roles from the stage musical based on Edmond Rostand’s classic love story about a man who falls in love with a beautiful woman named Roxanne but deems himself unworthy because of his appearance. Instead, he helps another man win her heart by writing her letters.

“The Lost Daughter”

(Netflix)

Starring: Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal

Directed by: Maggie Gyllenhaal

Synopsis: Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her directorial debut with this festival favorite, a psychological drama starring Oscar winner Olivia Colman (”The Favourite”) as a woman on a beach vacation whose obsession with a young mother and daughter forces her to confront the sins of her past.

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