The 6 Films of Christmas: Your cinema viewing guide for the holiday season

We take you through the top 6 films to look out for over the holiday period. From violent period dramas to awe-inspiring space opera, these movies are not to be missed.

1. The Night Before (Out Now)

We couldn’t have a list of films to see at Christmas without a Christmas film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie set about New York on Christmas Eve in search of the ultimate Christmas Party.  With some outrageous comedy and (weirdly) lovable characters from the guys that brought us The Worlds End and Bad Neighbours, this looks to be a good bag of gags for those in need of a festive romp.

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – 17th December

This film really doesn’t need an introduction. It continues on one of, if not the most famous movie sagas of all time, picking up the story where the original trilogy left it at the end of Return of the Jedi, bringing back fan favourite characters such as Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, Mark Hammill’s Luke Skywalker, whilst also introducing a plethora of new Characters with the likes of Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn, and Adam Driver’s Sinister new villain, Kylo Ren. At the helm – as we should all know by now – is J. J. Abrams, whose work on rebooting Star Trek for a modern audience has received both critical and commercial acclaim. There are too many reasons to be excited about this film.

In The Heart of the Sea/Warner Bros. Pictures

3. In The Heart of the Sea – 26th December

Ron Howard returns to the big screen, following an illustrious career with films such as Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind among his filmography (not to mention his role as narrator on Arrested Development). And he’s back with a whale of a film (I couldn’t resist). Based on the true story that inspired Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea brings to life a crew of whalers shipwrecked for 90 days by an attack from an exceptionally vicious prey. With a strong supporting cast from the likes of Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw and new Spider-Man Tom Holland, all behind the almighty Thor… sorry, Chris Hemsworth.

4. The Danish Girl – 1st January

Eddie Redmayne, with the help of Alicia Vikander, attempts to establish a life around art, whilst also juggling the social difficulties of being transsexual in the early 20th Century. Based in 1920s Denmark, director Tom Hooper attempts to bring the story of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, and their relationship, to life and establish a strong narrative revolving around love and the hardships of intolerance. This is a powerful story with equally powerful themes.

The Hateful Eight/The Weinstein Company
The Hateful Eight/The Weinstein Company

5. The Hateful Eight – 8th January

The newest instalment in Quentin Tarantino’s portfolio of insanity. Following on from the remarkable success of his previous film Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight continues Tarantino’s habit of exploring period settings. Boasting a stellar cast of Tarantino regulars, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell and Michael Madsen (and cameo appearances from a few others you might not expect), the film follows eight strangers sheltering from a vicious blizzard, and subsequently getting embroiled in various plots of deception and betrayal. This level of star-spangled casting, and with Ennio Morricone providing the score, means this should prove to be entertainment for many a viewer – and don’t forget to look out for Tarantino’s trademark cameo.

The Revenant/20th Century Fox
The Revenant/20th Century Fox

6. The Revenant – 15th January

Still high on the success of his previous, multi-Oscar winning film of 2015, Birdman (Best Picture and Director), Alejandro G. Iñárritu takes on the American Frontier in the 1820s and the story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is seeking revenge on those who betrayed him and left him for dead following a vicious attack by a bear. With a supporting cast including the increasingly popular Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson (and even Will Poulter), this film is hotly-tipped for next year’s Oscars. A particularly violent film, its supposedly not for the faint hearted, although has been well-received by those lucky few who have attended previews. The production has taken on a mythology of its own, too, with rumours of a gruelling shoot in freezing temperatures led by a man crazed by his own Oscars success – nice, light-hearted viewing then.

Matt Bolland

Featured image: Columbia Pictures



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