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rogue one a star wars story

The best new films in cinemas this Christmas

Feeling festive? Here's our pick of the best new film releases to watch in cinemas over Christmas 2016

By Tom Huddleston

Need a break from family rows, cold turkey sandwiches and on-tap Baileys? Here are seven new films to catch in cinemas over the Christmas 2016 holiday, from the new ‘Star Wars’ spin-off to Martin Scorsese’s epic.

Christmas 2016 film releases

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Film Science fiction

Well, the Death Star kind of looks like a giant bauble, right? Sure, it brings death and destruction rather than festive cheer, but you can’t have everything. This sort-of prequel to the original ‘Star Wars’ sees Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed leading a team of rebels on a mission to steal the plans to the Empire’s new battle station. Packed with action, explosions and nerdy nods to 'Star Wars' past, this is wall-to-wall fun.

2. The Eagle Huntress

Film Documentaries

‘Star Wars’ actress Daisy Ridley narrates the voiceover on this inspiring documentary set in the snowy wilds of Mongolia. Its subject is a 13-year-old girl who has grown up in a strict Kazakh community, but is rebelling centuries of tradition to become her family’s first female eagle hunter.


3. Passengers

Film Science fiction

It was only a matter of time before Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt hooked up on screen. That it would happen on a spaceship 30 years out into deep space was less predictable. In this sci-fi romance from Morten Tyldum, director of ‘The Imitation Game’, J-Law and, um, C-Prat play passengers on an interstellar voyage who are awakened early from cryo-sleep and face 90 long years alone together.

4. Why Him?


That old comedy chestnut, the meet-the-family romcom, gets wheeled out again in time for the festive season. But the cast gives us reason to hope: Bryan Cranston plays the cantankerous old Dad who can’t understand what his daughter sees in tattooed, overprivileged douchebag boyfriend James Franco. If it’s half as good as ‘Meet the Parents’ we’ll be perfectly happy.


5. Silence

Film Drama

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a spot of bleak old-time religion. So you can either go to church with your grandparents or slip off to Martin Scorsese’s new film, an epic drama about three Catholic priests who anger the authorities in seventeenth-century Japan. Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson lead the cast, and early word suggests this might be a late-career masterpiece from Scorsese.

6. Assassin's Creed

Film Action and adventure

If you’re eager for some brutal religious persecution but think ‘Silence’ looks a tad dour, skip along to blockbuster videogame adaptation ‘Assassin’s Creed’. Michael Fassbender plays a modern man given the power to explore the memories of his ancestors, one of whom fought the Spanish Inquisition as part of a mysterious guild of assassins.


7. A Monster Calls

Film Drama

A dark fairytale for the Christmas comedown. In this adaptation of Patrick Ness’s grim kids’ book, a boy (newcomer Lewis MacDonald) calls on an ancient tree spirit (voiced by Liam Neeson) to help him deal with traumatic events.

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