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The best new movie releases in December

2015 finishes with the two most anticipated movies of the year, a new Star Wars chapter and a new Quentin Tarantino Western

By David Ehrlich
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1. In the Heart of the Sea

Movies Drama

The trailers make Ron Howard’s latest look like a high-spirited adventure on the high seas, but this waterlogged historical epic—the true story of an 1820 whale ship that was sunk by an attack from its prey—beats with far darker blood.

In the Heart of the Sea opens on December 11.

2. Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens

Movies Science fiction

A slightly less long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. At this point, adding a new chapter to George Lucas’s iconic space opera is like adding a new book to the Bible, but J.J. Abrams is going to give it the old college try. If you’re not already waiting in line outside of your local theater, there’s still reason to be intrigued.

Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens opens on December 18.

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Sisters

3. Sisters

It doesn’t matter that Baby Mama was kind of a dud: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are still one of the great comedy duos of our time. And a movie that casts them as estranged siblings determined to throw one last rager at their parents’ house sounds like a sure thing.

Sisters opens on December 18.

The Hateful Eight

4. The Hateful Eight

You know the insanely suspenseful opening scene from Inglourious Basterds during which evil Nazi Christoph Waltz interrogates a farmer who might be hiding Jews? Imagine that but stretched over two hours and as a Western. And then imagine that instead of Christoph Waltz, it’s Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and six other gunslingers with itchy trigger fingers. “Merry Christmas,” says Quentin Tarantino.

The Hateful Eight opens on December 25.

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The Revenant

5. The Revenant

Say what you will about Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu, but the guy sure isn’t wasting his Hollywood capital. Instead, he’s making the most of his clout, dragging Leonardo DiCaprio to hell and back in this ultrarugged Western about a fur trapper seeking revenge on the men who left him to die.

The Revenant opens on December 25.

Check out the best movies to see this month

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