Moana came out on top with $18.8 million last weekend as she should, as the daughter of a chieftain who is not a princess and savior of her people. Close behind, her Hei Hei, if you will, was Christmas Party, with $17.5 million. Pretty good for an R-rated comedy. You should totally see Moana, it’s great (and I hate Disney films*).
This weekend sees some Oscar contenders and at least one film my mom and Navani should see together while I see Moonlight again. There are some mid-week releases for next week that will open wide on Christmas. I’ll post the Christmas releases but many readers will find that the Christmas Day films at the cineplex were featured on this blog weeks ago.
Collateral Beauty stars Will Smith as the tortured genius and startup CEO who is dealing with his grief by writing letters to time (Jacob Latimore), love (Kiera Knightley, of course), and death (who I thought would look like Cinnamon Hadley but is played by Helen Mirren).
Solace stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as an FBI Investigator who calls on an old colleague, played by Anthony Hopkins, to help him solve a series of crimes.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a Star Wars prequel starring Felicty Jones as a rebel leader hellbent on destroying the Death Star. Diego Luna also stars.
Neruda is a film from Chile, Argentina, France, and the US. It’s nominated for a Golden Globe in the foreign language category. Luis Gnecco plays Pablo Neurda, a fugitive in the ’40s as a result of joining the Communist Party. Gael García Bernal is an inspector on the hunt for the poet.
The Bad Kids is a documentary about a school that uses love and empathy to reach at-risk teens.
A Kind Of Murder is a thriller starring Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biehl. Wilson gets caught up in the story of murder and fantasizes about murdering his own wife. Ew!
The Hollow Point is also a thriller starring Patrick Wilson. Whoa, dude. Wilson is a small-town sheriff investigating a drug deal gone wrong.
City of Dead Men is the name of my all-girl pop-metal band. It stars Jackson Rathbone, who is presumably the American tourist in Medellín who falls in league with eccentric men living in a psychiatric hospital.
The Wasted Times finds a mob boss in war-torn Shanghai making a business deal with the government.
And coming Wednesday, December 21:
Dangal stars Aamir Khan as Mahavir Singh, a man who trained his daughters to become wrestlers.
Sing is an animated film from Illumination and features a bunch of animals hoping to win a singing contest. That would include Reese Witherspoon as a beleaguered stay-at-home pig with too many children and Taron Egerton as a gorilla who wants to sing but has a pushy mob father who thinks otherwise. In a Muppets move, the contest is to save an old theater. And the prize is only $1,000.
Passengers stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as two people who wake 90 years too early on a spaceship destined for a new colony. One assumes they fall in love while investigating what lead to their awakening.
Julieta is another awards season contender, and the latest from Pedro Almodóvar. Based on three short stories from Runaway by Alice Munro; the film tells the story of Julieta, a woman hoping to reconnect with a daughter she hopes to end an estrangement.
Assassin’s Creed is a thriller action film based on the popular video game franchise. Michael Fassbender stars as a man who is rescued from execution and forced to relive his ancestor’s life during the Spanish Inquisition. Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons, Michael K. Williams, and Brendan Gleeson.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe stars Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch as father-son coroners who face the supernatural following the autopsy of a woman found in a shallow grave.
And coming Thursday, December 22:
Downsizing is a film from Alexander Payne starring Matt Damon. A man realizes his life would be simpler if he could shrink himself. Currently the trailers online at fanmade. The Thursday release is likely to qualify for the Oscar race.
*That’s right. I hate Disney and I hate musicals. There’s a pineapple where my heart should be.