What Movie Should I See This Weekend?

  • Publish Date: December 19, 2017
  • Comments: ↓ 16 user comments

New releases in theaters for Christmas weekend

movie still
The Shape of Water R DRAMA/FANTASY — Expands nationwide Trailers
Director Guillermo Del Toro won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for this original, adult fairy tale co-written with Vanessa Taylor. Set in 1963 America, the film stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a mute who forms a connection with a creature in a high-security government laboratory. A strong supporting cast (Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Jenkins) and some of the best reviews for any film this year should help this unique love story earn a best picture nomination. It expands across the country this weekend.
Nationwide releases
Darkest Hour PG-13 DRAMA — Expands nationwide Trailers
A certain-to-be-Oscar-nominated Gary Oldman stars as Winston Churchill in a biopic that focuses on Churchill’s first term as prime minister, covering his refusal to negotiate peace with the Nazis and the subsequent inspiration he provided Britain. Directed by Joe Wright, who seems to have shaken off the critical drubbing of Pan, the film follows several other Churchill-related releases this year, including Churchill, starring Brian Cox, which dramatized his D-Day decision, and Dunkirk, which ended with one of Churchill’s famous speeches as read by Fionn Whitehead.
All the Money in the World R DRAMA — Opens Christmas Day Trailers
Until the allegations surfaced against Kevin Spacey, there was little buzz around Ridley Scott’s latest. However, when Scott announced he would replace Spacey with Christopher Plummer, his first choice for the role of J. Paul Getty, and keep the film’s release date, All the Money in the World entered the national discussion. And the last-minute change seemed to breathe new life into the project, with critics responding well to the new casting. The film follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his mother (Michelle Williams) and Getty's advisor (Mark Wahlberg) to convince his billionaire grandfather to pay a ransom.
Downsizing R COMEDY/SCI-FI Trailers
Pictured above. Writer-director Alexander Payne's new satirical sci-fi comedy is his first film since his 1996 debut to score below 80. But Downsizing still has its charms, say reviewers. The film finds Matt Damon literally shrinking himself to seek out a better life, though critic groups feel that it is his lesser-known co-star Hong Chau (Treme) who steals the show. Also starring are Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle PG-13 ACTION-ADVENTURE/FANTASY/COMEDY Trailers
Jake Kasdan (Bad Teacher) directs this comedic sequel to the 1995 children's book adaptation Jumanji, which starred Robin Williams. The new film has, unsurprisingly, an all-new cast that centers on Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan. It also has five credited screenwriters, which you might take to be a bad sign. And you'd be right, though a decent number of reviewers find the film to be pleasant enough family fun.
The Greatest Showman PG MUSICAL/DRAMA Trailers
This long-gestating film is a period biopic in the form of an original musical. Showman stars Hugh Jackman as circus impresario P. T. Barnum, and alongside him are Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson, and Zendaya. Bill Condon co-wrote the screenplay for first-time director Michael Gracey, and the original music comes from the in-demand team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Oscar winners for last year's best picture nominee La La Land (and recent Tony winners for Dear Evan Hansen).
Pitch Perfect 3 PG-13 COMEDY/MUSICAL Trailers
The Bellas reunite for a USO tour in this continuation (and possibly conclusion) of the franchise that began in 2012 with Pitch Perfect and middled in 2015 with Pitch Perfect 2. Returning stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Elizabeth Banks, and John Michael Higgins are joined by newcomers Ruby Rose and John Lithgow. Critics feel that it lacks many of its predecessors' charms.
Father Figures R COMEDY Trailers
When brothers Kyle and Peter Reynolds (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) discover that their mom (Glenn Close) has lied to them about their father dying when they were young, they set out to find their real father. The R-rated comedy from cinematographer-turned-first-time-director Lawrence Sher also stars J.K. Simmons, Katt Williams, Terry Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, Harry Shearer, and Christopher Walken. Critics find it confused and a slog to get through.
Phantom Thread R DRAMA — Opens Christmas Day   Trailers
One of the year's best-reviewed movies, Phantom Thread is the second collaboration between director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis following 2007's There Will Be Blood, a best picture nominee (and one of critics' favorite films of the century). The star, in what he has declared to be his final film role, plays a fashion designer in 1950s London who runs a successful fashion house with his sister, Lesley Manville. Reviewers are finding the result to be a can't-miss work that's utterly strange, sensuous, and funny.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
The Post PG-13 DRAMA   Trailers
Can you say "Oscar bait"? Steven Spielberg's drama, which begins an awards-qualifying run in LA and NY this weekend before opening nationwide on January 12, tells the timely true story behind the Washington Post's risky unveiling of government secrets with the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The incredible cast is led by Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, appearing together for the first time, and also features Sarah Paulson, Bradley Whitford, Carrie Coon, Matthew Rhys, Jesse Plemons, Alison Brie, and a mini-Mr. Show reunion of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross.
Happy End NR FOREIGN/DRAMA   Trailers
When the latest from writer-director Michael Haneke premiered at Cannes earlier this year, the film received good reviews, but not the overwhelming positive reception of his previous competition films Amour and The White Ribbon. A look at the pathological sickness of a bourgeois family in Calais, Happy End boasts a strong cast (Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz) and features Haneke’s typical precision, but critics were underwhelmed by his reliance on themes he investigated in previous films.
Molly's Game R DRAMA — Opens Christmas Day   Trailers
Accomplished screenwriter Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with this Christmas Day release, a true-story crime drama starring Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, whose high-stakes poker game caught the attention of the FBI when the Russian mafia attended one evening. The film impressed many critics when debuting at Toronto in September, though some experts find it too slight to be a best picture contender (though it still seems likely to be a screenplay nominee).
Hostiles R WESTERN   Trailers
Christian Bale plays an Army captain who must escort a Cheyenne family home under difficult conditions in 1892 in this bleak but slow-paced western from director Scott Cooper (Black Mass). A fairly strong debut at Telluride (where, in a somewhat unusual move, the film screened without a distributor) prompted a bidding war, with relative newcomer Entertainment Studios ultimately grabbing the rights, though early reviews suggest that it isn't the Oscar contender they once envisioned it to be.
Crooked House PG-13 DRAMA   Trailers
The latest Agatha Christie adaptation to reach the big screen stars Max Irons stars as Charles Hayward, a private detective asked by a former lover to catch her grandfather’s murderer. On a sprawling estate, Hayward encounters the family matriarch Lady Edith de Haviland (Glenn Close), the dead man’s young widow (Christina Hendricks), and an actress (Gillian Anderson). Adapted by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner (Sarah’s Key), the mystery also stars Julian Sands, Stefanie Martini, Christian McKay, Amanda Abbington, and Terence Stamp.
Bright NR ACTION/FANTASY — Netflix exclusive Netflix Trailers
Netflix's most expensive original feature to date is a $90 million effects-driven action film starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton as cops in an alternate present-day world where fantasy creatures like elves, fairies, and orcs co-exist with humans. David Ayer (Suicide Squad) directs from a script by Max Landis (Chronicle). Critics mostly hate it, with a few calling it the year's worst movie. Nevertheless, Netflix is already at work on a sequel.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds NR FOREIGN/DRAMA/FANTASY Trailers
Forgotten by God NR FOREIGN/DRAMA    
Hangman R THRILLER   Trailers

Good recent releases still in theaters

The following is a list of selected films now in theaters that have received positive reviews from critics. Films with an asterisk (*) are limited releases that are playing in a smaller number of cities.

Movie Stream   Released
American Made Doug Liman's international caper stars Tom Cruise as a pilot enlisted by the CIA Trailers Sep 29
Battle of the Sexes Emma Stone (as Billie Jean King) and Steve Carell (Bobby Riggs) play tennis Trailers Sep 22
* Birdboy: The Forgotten Children post-apocalyptic, Spanish, animated coming-of-age tale Trailers Dec 15
* Blade of the Immortal latest violent action film from Takashi Miike is his 100th film iTunes Amazon Trailers Nov 3
Blade Runner 2049 sequel to the sci-fi classic is better than anyone imagined, though it's not a hit Trailers Oct 6
* BPM (Beats Per Minute) Cannes 2nd place-winner follows AIDS activists in early '90s Paris Trailers Oct 20
* Brawl in Cell Block 99 S. Craig Zahler’s violent prison thriller stars Vince Vaughn iTunes Amazon Trailers Oct 6
* The Breadwinner indie animated feature from co-director of The Secret of Kells Trailers Nov 17
* Call Me by Your Name Luca Guadagnino's 1980s gay romance is one of the year's best films Trailers Nov 22
Coco Pixar's latest is Mexico's highest-grossing film ... and a hit in America, too Trailers Nov 22
* Columbus hugely acclaimed indie drama is the debut feature from video essayist Kogonada Trailers Aug 4
* Darkest Hour Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill in Joe Wright's period drama Trailers Nov 22
* Dina documentary follows a dating couple on the autism spectrum Trailers Oct 6
The Disaster Artist James Franco chronicles the making of one of cinema's worst films Trailers Dec 1
* The Divine Order Swiss entry for this year's foreign-language Oscar centers on a suffragette Trailers Oct 27
* Ex Libris: New York Public Library latest impressive doc from Frederick Wiseman Trailers Sep 13
* Faces Places latest doc from Agnes Varda was this year's highest-scoring Cannes film Trailers Oct 6
* A Fantastic Woman Sebastián Lelio’s follow-up to Gloria is one of 2017's highest-scoring films Trailers Nov 17
* Félicité Senegalese drama was the 2nd place-winner at this year's Berlinale Trailers Oct 27
* The Florida Project latest indie drama from director of Tangerine could be an Oscar contender Trailers Oct 6
* Foxtrot acclaimed Israeli drama won the Silver Lion at this year's Venice festival     Dec 8
* God's Own Country British drama is a gay love story set on a Yorkshire farm iTunes Trailers Oct 25
* Human Flow artist Ai Weiwei's documentary chronicles the worldwide refugee crisis Trailers Oct 13
* I, Tonya Margot Robbie stars as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in a comedic biopic Trailers Dec 8
It adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel is a record-setting box office hit Trailers Sep 8
* Jane documentary focuses on the early career of legendary primatologist Jane Goodall iTunes Trailers Oct 20
* The Killing of a Sacred Deer another unsettling, provocative film from the director of The Lobster Trailers Oct 20
* Lady Bird actress Greta Gerwig's directorial debut is one of 2017's best films; Saoirse Ronan stars Trailers Nov 3
* Last Flag Flying Richard Linklater directs a sequel to Hal Ashby's 1973 film The Last Detail Trailers Nov 3
* Loveless Russian drama is Cannes Jury Prize winner from writer-director Andrei Zvyagintsev Trailers Dec 1
* Lucky the late Harry Dean Stanton takes the lead in an indie drama that showcases his talents Trailers Sep 29
Marshall biopic stars Chadwick Boseman as future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall Trailers Oct 13
* Most Beautiful Island SXSW award winner is a thriller about an undocumented female immigrant Trailers Nov 3
* Mr. Roosevelt comedy is the directorial debut for SNL veteran Noël Wells, who also stars Trailers Oct 27
* My Friend Dahmer adaptation of the graphic novel centers on a teenage Jeffrey Dahmer Trailers Nov 3
* Novitiate indie drama stars Margaret Qualley as a young woman who seeks to become a nun Trailers Oct 27
* On the Beach at Night Alone director of Right Now, Wrong Then gets personal with latest drama Trailers Nov 17
Only the Brave Joseph Kosinski's ensemble drama follows a crew battling a 2013 wildfire Trailers Oct 20
* The Other Side of Hope Finnish feature is Aki Kaurismäki’s deadpan follow-up to 2011’s Le Havre Trailers Dec 1
Professor Marston & The Wonder Women details the life of Wonder Woman's creator Trailers Oct 13
* Rat Film unconventional documentary examines history of Baltimore through its rat population Trailers Sep 15
The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro's adult fairy tale is a likely best picture nominee Trailers Dec 1
* The Square latest dramedy from Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund looks at the art world Trailers Oct 27
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rian Johnson's Episode 8 is the #2 film in the series, by Metascore Trailers Dec 15
* Sweet Virginia Alaska-set ensemble drama stars Jon Bernthal, Imogen Poots iTunes Amazon Trailers Nov 17
* Thelma Joachim Trier's latest is a supernatural thriller Trailers Nov 10
Thor: Ragnarok Marvel's best stand-alone Thor movie yet adds a more comedic tone Trailers Nov 3
* Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Frances McDormand stars in dark crime comedy Trailers Nov 10
* Walking Out a father-son hunting trip hits a major hurdle in this indie adventure tale iTunes Amazon Trailers Oct 6
Wonder Stephen Chbosky adapts R.J. Palacio‘s best-selling novel; Jacob Tremblay stars Trailers Nov 17
Wonderstruck Todd Haynes' follow-up to Carol adapts Brian Selznick’s acclaimed (two-)period novel Trailers Oct 20
* The Work SXSW-winning doc follows a four-day group therapy session at Folsom Prison Trailers Oct 20

View a full list of films now in theaters >

At home

Staying in this weekend? Here are your best bets:

Amazon VideoAmazon HBO Go / HBO Now
HBO Go/Now


Comments (16)

  • Tibygod  

    hello, what happened to this heading

  • Tiber5  

    Can they put the Rugrats movie on Metacritic, please?

  • MinecraftF  

    Can you please put the Rugrats Movie on Metacritic?? Please? Please??

  • DanBurrito  

    But no matter how awful these Transformers movies get, they'll still make money for the studio to crank out more. I hate humanity.

  • DanBurrito  

    Excited for Wonder Woman. Glad to know the reviews are positive.

  • LamontRaymond  

    What was with the hype over The Lost City of Z? I dug it, but nowhere close to justifying the hype.

  • opinionatethis  

    Not Jack Reacher

  • DanBurrito  

    Surprised by positive reception for Bridget Jones' Baby. The trailer was almost unwatchable!

  • DanBurrito  

    Jason Bourne is already out in Euroupe, and I can honestly tell you, it's better than the reviews say. Not the best in the franchise, but still very enjoyable.

  • FelicityFenwick  

    Triple 9 looks really good, despite the critical pounding.

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