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Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Photograph: Lucasfilm Ltd/Disney

Festive films, creepy cats and the end of a ‘Star Wars’ saga – the best things to see in December

Written by
Time Out Film

You can rely on the last month of the year to deliver some blockbuster movie magic, and this year there are some absolutely cracking film releases and events. Here are five of our picks for December. 

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’

This month’s underdog release is the latest in the little-seen ‘Star Wars’ series of movies… ah, who are we kidding? It’s going to be HUGE. The eagle-eyed will have noticed that Luke Skywalker didn’t exactly emerge from ‘The Last Jedi’ unscathed. How much rising he does in this film is just one of the big questions surrounding a typically mystery-shrouded sequel from JJ Abrams. Opens Dec 19.

‘ET the Extra-Terrestrial’ in Concert

Santa doesn’t have a monopoly on moonlit sky rides this Christmas. Elliott and his pal will be reprising their airborne bike ride with full-bore orchestral accompaniment from the BBC Concert Orchestra. Hear John Williams’s mighty score come to life under those giant acoustic mushrooms. Royal Albert Hall. Sun Dec 8, 1.30pm and 7pm. You can buy tickets here


Whether you’re a ‘Cats’ devotee of long-standing or recently traumatised by the trailer, you’ll no doubt be under the strange spell of this all-star movie musical. But will it be fur-bulous or a total cat-astrophe? And what exactly is ‘digital fur technology’? One thing is for sure: none of us is ever looking our cat in the eye again. Opens Dec 20.

Christmas at the Prince Charles Cinema

Photograph: Camimage/Alamy Stock Photo

It’s Christmas all year round at the Prince Charles, a cinema where even a Tarkovsky marathon is a party. But this month it really is Christmas. There’s a feast of treats to satisfy even your inner, cinema-starved Tiny Tim, including ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘Home Alone’, ‘Elf’ and ‘Die Hard’. Yippee-ki-Yuletide! Prince Charles Cinema. Until Dec 24. Visit the website for info on the full Christmas season. 

Bafta Screenwriters’ Lecture Series

Photograph: BAFTA

Roll up, budding scribes: this lecture series from Oscar-tipped writer-filmmakers is underway for a tenth year of genius-level insights. There’s still time to pick up tickets to hear Robert Eggers talk about ‘The Lighthouse’ and Noah Baumbach on writing ‘Marriage Story’, but hurry, they’re selling fast. Curzon Mayfair. Until Dec 12. Go here for tickets and dates. 

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