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Proud Mary

The 30 coolest winter movies to see this season

From indie dramas by our favorite auteurs to Hollywood at its biggest, here are the movies keeping our hopes warm

Joshua Rothkopf
Phil de Semlyen
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf
&
Phil de Semlyen
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The winter months used to be a wasteland—not just outside with the latest snowpocalypse but within multiplexes as well. After the holidays, everybody’s broke and no one wants to leave home. But things have changed in recent years: The end of December always brings a clutch of prestige releases sneaking in before the Oscars deadline; this year it’s Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson. And then we have an unusually robust three-month span, including several high-profile horror movies, snazzy-sounding thrillers from Clint Eastwood and Ex Machina’s Alex Garland, and even a new Heathers in the form of the hilariously mean Thoroughbreds. If we didn’t know better, we’d say we were about to see the best movies of the year, early for a change. We’re not complaining.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the winter in NYC

Best winter movies in December

The Shape of Water
  • Film
  • Fantasy

Guillermo del Toro’s latest romance should be an orgasmic flood for his fans, who want their fantasies served with a side of adultness. If you can imagine an aggressively adorable (and somewhat effortful) version of Amélie in which our hero fucks the Creature from the Black Lagoon, you'll totally be feeling this. Dec 1    

I, Tonya
  • Film

The tale of notorious ice-skating flameout Tonya Harding gets a dazzlingly complex treatment—one she perhaps doesn’t deserve, but hypnotizing regardless. Anchoring the movie with spunkiness and fragility, Margot Robbie plays the disgraced athlete like a Scorsesian antihero. Dec 8

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Will Luke train Rey as a Jedi? Will Chewie get over Han's death? Will Kylo Ren succeed in his quest to have the galaxy's most luxurious hair? All of these questions—and more—will be answered as the Star Wars saga continues with Episode VIII. Dec 15

The Post
  • Film

Steven Spielberg’s prestige drama looks like an All the President’s Men for 2018. The director brings the story of the Pentagon Papers’ 1971 leak to life with a glorious cast (Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep) and plenty of newsroom atmosphere. Dec 22

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Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread

When Paul Thomas Anderson makes a new movie, you go. And when PTA decides to reteam with his There Will Be Blood star, Daniel Day-Lewis (here playing a controlling London fashion designer in what’s rumored to be his final performance), the stakes couldn’t be higher. Dec 25

Best winter movies in January

Insidious: The Last Key

With Get Out, Split and The Purge behind it, low-budget horror studio Blumhouse can do no wrong at the moment. Its supernatural horror franchise Insidious is back with a fourth instalment and will probably make a zillion dollars. Jan 5

The Commuter

Liam Neeson is retiring from tough-guy roles, which means this train-bound conspiracy thriller is your last chance to see Hollywood’s gruffest action star beating up bad guys. Cherish each precious punch and scowl. Jan 12

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Proud Mary

Female African-American action heroes have been few and far between lately. Hidden Figures’ Taraji P. Henson fills the void as an assassin who meets a young boy and discovers that life isn’t just about neutralizing targets. Jan 12

Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves

A hard-bitten group of robbers target the Federal Reserve Bank in an L.A. heist thriller that features Gerard Butler and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. 50 Cent is their co-star rather than the amount of money they get away with. Jan 19

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Forever My Girl

Happy Death Day’s Jessica Rothe swaps horror for an indie romance in which she plays the jilted bride of a country superstar. The pair reconnect when he returns to his hometown, but will forgiveness follow? Spoiler: probably. Jan 19

Best winter movies in February

Untitled Cloverfield Sequel

J.J. Abrams’ ever-mysterious franchise rolls on, with a new director, new cast and, presumably, at least one new monster. What do we know? It’s set on a space station. If you know much more than that, you probably wrote the script. Feb 2

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Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built

Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built

Australia’s Spierig brothers follow up their Saw spinoff Jigsaw with a horror movie of an eerier stripe: Based on the true story of California’s Winchester House, it stars Helen Mirren as a cursed heiress battling a legion of spectres. Feb 2

The 15:17 to Paris

The 15:17 to Paris

Terrorists attack a train as Clint Eastwood’s follows up Sully with another true story of defiance in the face of looming disaster. Here he even casts real people—the three Americans who actually faced down the wannabe killers—in his gritty re-creation. Feb 9

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Fifty Shades Freed
  • Film
  • Drama

It’s the third and final part of the E.L. James kink-athon and you know what to expect by now: lust, love and more booty than a pirate’s treasure chest. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, in other words. Feb 9

Best winter movies in March

Alpha
  • Film

The Road’s Kodi Smit-McPhee gets back to nature again as a caveman who befriends a wolf when he gets separated from his hunting party. The weather—and presumably other, less friendly wolves—stand between him and home. Mar 2

Death Wish

Death Wish

Bruce Willis takes the famous Charles Bronson role as a man seeking revenge in this remake of the ’70s exploitation thriller. The setting switches from New York to Chicago. With Hostel’s Eli Roth behind the camera, expect plenty of blood. Mar 2

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Foxtrot
  • Film

This tough slab of Israeli realism comes from the director of much-praised 2009 war drama Lebanon. It follows a Tel Aviv couple as they discover the fate of their son, recently killed on active duty. Mar 2

Red Sparrow

Jennifer Lawrence reunites with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence in an action thriller for fans of Marvel’s Black Widow. Lawrence plays a Russian prima ballerina-turned-spy whose allegiances are swayed by a CIA agent (Joel Edgerton). Mar 2

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Gringo

Billed as an action-comedy, Gringo sees Selma’s David Oyelowo as a pharma exec who gets stranded in Mexico and is seduced by the life of crime. That’s right, Martin Luther King, Jr. is breaking bad. Mar 9

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