“1917,” “Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker,” And “Uncut Gems”: Films To See In December


Believe it or not, we’ve entered the month of December. Somehow, yesterday was December 1st. It’s crazy, right? We’re officially in the final month of the year. As such, the last crop of film releases will be hitting screens over the next few weeks. The movies coming out are a pretty eclectic mix of big budget titles and Academy Award hopefuls, as it always is around this time of year. Hell, one or two of them even hope to be both. Below you’ll be able to see ten of the best bets for the month, along with a bunch of really worthy Honorable Mentions as well. We’re going to wrap up the year with some truly interesting flicks. I’ve seen almost all of the too, so you can trust me when I say that, not that you shouldn’t already trust me by now…

Here are the very best cinematic bets for December:

10. Cats – It exists! The adaptation of the hit Broadway musical has gotten some incredibly poor buzz this year, mainly due to a terrible trailer and rumors of how expensive it is, alongside a rush to finish post production by the end of the year. We’ll hopefully be seeing it soon, so that will be the time to judge. For now, if nothing else, it’s a curiosity?

9. Clemency – From the Sundance Film Festival to being one of the final releases of the year, this death row melodrama hopes to get Alfre Woodard a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards. Personally, I think this one is more of a mixed bag than most, but Woodard and Aldis Hodge are as good as advertised. Sit tight for more on this one at the end of 2019.

8. A Hidden Life – Terrence Malick is back in critics’ good graces for this World War II era character study. Depending on how much Fox Searchlight pushes Jojo Rabbit to the finish line as their prestige player, this could either be a surprise Academy favorite or ignored completely. Malick himself has tons of respect, but will that translate into any notable awards attention over the next few weeks?

7. Little Women – This adaptation by Greta Gerwig is going to be an interesting one to follow at the end of the year. Will audiences and voters flock to it like the previous cinematic versions of the classic novel? That remains to be seen. Gerwig’s fans will give it a chance, but time will tell if Oscar, as well as the masses in general, do as well. If they do, they’ll find a solid new take on old material, at the very least.

6. Richard Jewell – Clint Eastwood’s late breaking Oscar hopeful has gotten mostly strong reviews. I saw this one a week and change ago and thought it’s pretty solid, though not without its issues. Look for a full review soon, but it’s a potential eleventh hour game changer for the Academy to consider, that’s for sure…

5. Just Mercy – Frankly, I wish that Warner Bros. would push this one into 2020 and try again for awards love, since it looks like this high quality true life legal drama is going to get lost in the shuffle. It’s such a rock solid flick, it deserves better. Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Rob Morgan are aces, while the story itself, though trafficking in well worn territory, is so well done, you’ll never notice. It’s going to deserve a better fate than it receives, mark my words!

4. Bombshell – Look for this highly entertaining and tremendously well acted biographical drama to be a big Academy Award player. Charlize Theron in Best Actress and Margot Robbie and Best Supporting Actress especially are logical places for voters to honor this one, especially considering how well liked they are already. Look for this one to follow the Vice playbook, though potentially with less controversy surrounding it…

3. Uncut Gems – Adam Sandler deserves a Best Actor nomination. Believe it. His collaboration with the Safdie Brothers is a work of anxiety generating brilliance. Nothing he’s done previously will prepare you for this one. Even without Sandler, this is a vintage Safdie success, but he helps to really lift it above and beyond!

2. 1917 – I was among the very first audience last month to gaze upon Sam Mendes’ war epic. While most are more over the moon than I am, this is undeniably a great movie, with major Oscar prospects. Roger Deakins’ cinematography takes center stage, while the visuals and sound on the whole are huge standouts. More soon, but while you can anticipate a rave from me as well, it might not be quite as fawning as everyone else’s.

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – It’s all been building up to this. The end of the Skywalker Saga and a major turning point for the Star Wars franchise. Two weeks from now, I’ll have laid eyes on it, so expect a full report then, once the embargo lifts. Until that point, it’s just a waiting game for one of the biggest films of the year…

Honorable Mentions: The Aeronauts, After Class, Black Christmas, Daniel Isn’t Real, In Fabric, Jumanji: The Next Level, Knives And Skin, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Seberg, and Spies in Disguise

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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