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Ten new movie releases you need to know about this month

December's biggest, best and trending films


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

To quote Gold Leader on his Death Star bombing run, we’re ‘almost there...’ It's been an agonising wait for the new 'Star Wars' movie. But this month we finally get to find out what Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke, Leia and all the rest have been up to over the past 32 years. Director JJ Abrams is a dyed-in-the-wool 'Star Wars' nerd, so expect a big, noisy blockbuster that also satisfies the hardcore fans.

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Release date: Thursday December 17 2015

By the Sea

Angelina Jolie writes, directs and co-stars with him indoors Brad Pitt as an alcoholic writer and his wife travelling in France in the 1970s. The US reviews have not been kind, calling 'By the Sea' ‘pretentious’ and ‘self-indulgent’. But Time Out’s Joshua Rothkopf says we should all give Angie and her movie a break: ‘It’s ten times more interesting than most Oscar bait.’

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Release date: Friday December 11 2015

When Harry Met Sally…

The perfect – and we do mean perfect – romcom returns. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan play a pair of New Yorkers who meet at university, loathe each other on sight and spend the next 20 years gradually growing closer. The script, written by the much-missed writer-director Nora Ephron, who died in 2012, is a joy.

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Release date: Friday December 11 2015


‘Unforgettable’… ‘exceptionally absorbing’. With praise like that, this doc looks like a can’t-miss. Director Jennifer Peedom travelled to Nepal in 2014 to film the climbing season from the point of view of the Sherpas. During the ascent, disaster struck, killing 16 Sherpas. 

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Release date: Friday December 18 2015


Comedy starring the mighty Lily Tomlin as a cantankerous poet whose granddaughter knocks on the door one morning to borrow $600 for a ‘reasonably priced’ abortion. Trouble is, Elle’s broke. 

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Two of Hollywood’s funniest women in one film? This looks seriously hilarious. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler star as mismatched sisters throwing one big blow-out party at their family home before their parents sell up. 

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Release date: Friday December 18 2015

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict

This doc traces the fabulous life of socialite and art collector Peggy Guggenheim, who was Jackson Pollock's patron, married Max Ernst and had an affair with Samuel Beckett (she consulted a psychic about whether to marry him).

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Release date: Friday December 11 2015

Sunset Song

The classic 1932 Scottish romantic novel (imagine Thomas Hardy on holiday in Aberdeenshire) is adapted into a glorious sunlit epic by director Terence Davies. In only her second film role, London supermodel Agyness Deyn proves her acting chops as the daughter of a farming family who must take charge when both her parents are killed.

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Release date: Friday December 4 2015 Now Showing

In the Heart of the Sea

This old-fashioned oceanic epic is based (fairly loosely, we'd imagine) on the true story of the Essex, the Nantucket whaling ship whose run-in with a mysterious white sperm whale inspired Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick'. Chris Hemsworth swashes his best buckle, with the likes of Brendan Gleeson and Cillian Murphy offering salty support.

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Release date: Saturday December 26 2015

Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie

The most loveable loser of them all, Charlie Brown, is back on the big screen, with a script written by Charles Schulz's son Craig and grandson Bryan.  We approve, but is the 3D strictly necessary? 

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Release date: Monday December 21 2015
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I was lucky enough to catch an advance screening of this movie, and I was extremely glad I did. After watching the previews I felt as though a lot of the movie was given away, but I was blown away by the performances on screen. The movie was centered around a champion prize fighter hitting rock bottom, and slowly climbing his way back into the ring. It was an emotional journey that cannot simply be categorized as a movie about boxing, but rather, an inspiring and riveting tale of parenthood and a father's love for his daughter. The cast was excellent and everyone excelled in their roles. I wouldn't have expected to like Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson in a role as much as I did. Jake Gyllenhaal and Forest Whitaker had Oscar worthy performances. Everyone did a great job with their roles. The cinematography was fantastic, and the fight scenes gave some great first person shots that made you feel as though you were there in the ring fighting along side the actors. Overall, this movie is an experience that is not to be missed

Chris jones
Chris jones

Schoenarts is amazing in 'Rust and Bone' as well, with Marainne Cotillard. By the way he's Belgian, not Dutch, and it not too hard to pronounce if you ignore the spelling - shone (rhymes with bone) arts - shone-arts .