The best movies to see this month

Ten December film releases you need to know about

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  • St Vincent

    Why we’re excited
    Two words: Bill Murray. Two more: Melissa McCarthy. Our most favourite funny people star in a comedy together. He’s an alcoholic Vietnam vet; she’s his new neighbour whose kid he keeps an eye on after school. Paternal bonding and lessons in self defence ensue.

    What could go wrong?
    Critics seem to agree that Murray and McCarthy are a dream team, but not everyone is sold on the script. Time Out’s Joshua Rothkopf called it ‘dangerously sentimental’.

    ‘St Vincent’ is out on December 5.

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    St Vincent
  • Big Eyes

    Why we’re excited
    Tim Burton has ditched the spook-ooky ghouls and ghosts to direct the true story of Margaret Keane, whose husband stole the credit for her paintings of big-eyed girls in the 1960s. When the couple divorced the judge ordered a paint-off in the courtroom. Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz sound like pretty perfect casting to us. And as Burton’s first smaller-scale drama in ages, we’re excited to see how that turns out.

    What could go wrong?
    Well, it’s Tim Burton’s first smaller-scale drama in ages. Will he be able to return to the scale of ‘Edward Scissorhands’ after so many effects-heavy films like ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’?

    ‘Big Eyes’ is out on December 26.

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    Big Eyes
  • The Hobbit: Five Armies

    Why we’re excited
    This is it, the final fling for Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth series – the third and last movie in ‘The Hobbit’ series. Rumour has it that ‘Five Armies’ is more in the spirit of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films than the previous two ‘Hobbit’ flicks.

    What could go wrong?
    Let’s hope it’s not an anti-climax. Hopes are high and expectation can breed disappointment – which sounds like the beginning of a Tolkien-esque riddle. Also, this will be the final judgment on whether Peter Jackson was right to split the slender source novel into three movies.

    ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ is out on December 12.

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    The Hobbit: Five Armies
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings

    Why we’re excited
    Swords! Sandals! Moses! The last time Ridley Scott went (almost) this far back in time, he gave us ‘Gladiator’.

    What could go wrong?
    There’s a fine line between historical epic and epic camp (as proven by Scott’s lackluster ‘Gladiator’ follow-up ‘Kingdom of Heaven’). Let’s hope the eyeliner and wigs don’t obscure the wonders.

    ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’ is out on December 26.

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    Exodus: Gods and Kings
  • Annie

    Why we’re excited
    Everyone loves Annie, the tough-talking New York orphan whose 1982 musical was famously sampled by Jay Z for ‘Hard Knock Life’ (the rapper actually has a producer’s credit on this new film). The remake features the pretty genius casting of Quvenzhané Wallis (the little girl Oscar nominated for ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’) and Cameron Diaz as boozy Miss Hannigan.

    What could go wrong?
    Well, everyone loves the old ‘Annie’. Let’s hope that misty-eyed nostalgia doesn’t affect our view.

    ‘Annie’ is out on December 26.

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    Annie
  • Unbroken

    Why we’re excited
    This WWII drama is a labour of love for Angelina Jolie, who directs a script by Joel and Ethan Coen. And it’s based on a truly an amazing survival story. Louis Zamperini was the Olympic runner who survived 47 days on a raft adrift in the Pacific before being captured by the Japanese and tortured in a prisoner of war camp. ‘Unbroken’ stars the brilliant 24-year-old British actor Jack O’Connell.

    What could go wrong?
    Angelina Jolie’s first film as a director, ‘In the Land of Bread and Honey’ was competent and admirable but a notch short of dazzling.

    ‘Unbroken’ is out on December 26.

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    Unbroken
  • Get Santa

    Why we’re excited
    Because the trailer features Jim Broadbent as Father Christmas, banged up in the slammer and getting hardman tips from Stephen Graham, while a reindeer trots over Tower Bridge and an elf hangs from the neck of a copper. Which in December equals an instant warm fuzzy feeling.

    What could go wrong?
    That warm fuzzy feeling could get a bit queasy over 102 minutes, especially if the storyline involving a divorced dad and his son trying to bust Santa out of the nick goes all huggy and sickly.

    ‘Get Santa’ is out on December 5.

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    Get Santa
  • Black Sea

    Why we’re excited
    We’re hoping for edge-of-the-seat thrills from this submarine thriller starring Jude Law as the captain of motley crew of British and Russian sailors on a mission to extract $182 million of Nazi gold from a sunken U-boat.

    What could go wrong?
    Well, Jude Law has been picking up stick for his Aberdonian accent. Judge for yourself on the trailer. And director Macdonald can veer between nailbiting (‘The Last King of Scotland’) and so-so passable (‘The Eagle’) drama.

    ‘Black Sea’ is out on December 5.

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    Black Sea
  • Dumb and Dumber To

    Why we’re excited
    They’re back! Twenty years after comedy classic ‘Dumb & Dumber’ Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels return as Lloyd and Harry who reunite for a cross-country road trip. We want maximum gross-outs.

    What could go wrong?
    Critics in the US have been the opposite of kind to ‘Dumber and Dumber To’. Here’s a sample: ‘Time can be cruel, especially to sequels’… ‘mostly this is just a kick in the nuts.’

    ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ opens on December 19.

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    Dumb and Dumber To
  • Night at the Museum 3

    Why we’re excited?

    This is sadly one of Robin Williams’s final films, returning once again to play Theodore Roosevelt in the family-friendly fantasy franchise about a museum where the exhibits come to life after dark.

    What could go wrong?
    We all know what can happen when a franchise is stretched out too long – and ‘Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian’ was no masterpiece. Let’s hope this series isn’t on the road to being a museum relic anytime soon.

    ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ is out on December 19.

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    Night at the Museum 3

St Vincent

Why we’re excited
Two words: Bill Murray. Two more: Melissa McCarthy. Our most favourite funny people star in a comedy together. He’s an alcoholic Vietnam vet; she’s his new neighbour whose kid he keeps an eye on after school. Paternal bonding and lessons in self defence ensue.

What could go wrong?
Critics seem to agree that Murray and McCarthy are a dream team, but not everyone is sold on the script. Time Out’s Joshua Rothkopf called it ‘dangerously sentimental’.

‘St Vincent’ is out on December 5.

Read more


Users say

3 comments
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 .

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