“The Disaster Artist” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”: Films to see in December

Folks, it’s now December. Can you believe it? I know I can’t. We’ve reached the final month of 2017 already. Absolutely crazy how the time flew by, right? Well, with this end of the year comes the end of new releases, but Hollywood tends to save the best for last. As such, this rundown is as strong as it has ever been. From Academy Award contenders to blockbusters in the making, it’s all here. Oscar will almost certainly take notice when it comes to most of these, so you should as well. Much like last month, even the honorable mentions are superb, so don’t sleep on ones that didn’t make my ten. Now though, I present the cream of the movie crop…

Here are the very best cinematic bets for December:

10. All the Money in the World – Much of the interest around this one has to do with controversy. Christopher Plummer’s scenes are already being shown in promotions, so Ridley Scott has turned this one are fast, post Kevin Spacey. Scott tends to be a hit or miss filmmaker though, so we shall see how this one ends up…

9. Downsizing – The rare Alexander Payne misfire, at least in my humble opinion. At the very least, he absolutely wastes a clever premise. Matt Damon even is one of the meh end of the spectrum. Alas, it happens for everyone, and this Payne outing just doesn’t really cut it.

8. Wonder Wheel – As I wrote back when the film debuted at the New York Film Festival, Woody Allen has perhaps his best looking movie here. Kate Winslet is dynamite, though I think this one will fall through the cracks. Allen returns to Brooklyn, but this period piece seems destined to be (somewhat sadly) ignored.

7. Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with this biopic of Molly Bloom. Sorkin dialogue mixes perfectly with Jessica Chastain, who tears into the script with gusto. They’re a match made in cinematic heaven. Stay tuned to see if it can slip in to the Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay fields…

6. The Shape of Water – Earlier this week, I wrote about Guillermo del Toro’s latest. This is one of his most awards friendly outings, seemingly poised to be cited in a number of categories. It’s out now in limited release, so see for yourself whether del Toro is in line for his first Best Director nod!

5. Phantom Thread – I’ve seen this heavily embargoed new collaboration between Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, but won’t be able to write about it for a few days still. Once that embargo lifts, believe me…I’ll have plenty to say. For now though, just sit tight.

4. The Post – Another currently somewhat embargoed title, look for a piece on it in a few days, right around the same time as Phantom Thread. I can share this social media response I had to it, which went as follows: “Steven Spielberg targets Donald Trump with his version of Spotlight. Very much in the Bridge of Spies wheelhouse, it has a really strong Tom Hanks turn and performance by Meryl Streep that gets better as it goes along. By the end, she’s doing something really great. Look for Oscar to nominate it here and there, though I’m skeptical about any wins.”

3. I, Tonya – One of the year’s very best movies, this biopic of Tonya Harding is a real marvel. Margot Robbie deserves Best Actress buzz, with the same being said for Allison Janney especially in Best Supporting Actress. I’ll have more on it next week, but just know, it’s among the very best films of 2017…

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – C’mon, it’s Star Wars! A new Star Wars! Shouldn’t that be enough? I see it in just over a week, so once I do, you’ll have all the juicy details on what Rian Johnson brought to the saga. We’re counting the days down at this point, and that’s pretty exciting to me.

1. The Disaster Artist – My favorite film of the year so far. I’ve raved about what James Franco captured here in his love letter to moviemaking, Tommy Wiseau, The Room, and dreamers everywhere. It’s truly quite a special work. It’s begun its theatrical run to, so you have no excuses. Race out and see it. You can thank me later…

Honorable Mentions: Ferdinand, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, The Greatest Showman, Happy End, Hostiles, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Pitch Perfect 3

Be sure to check out these various films all throughout the month of December!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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