7 Biggest Movies Hitting Theaters this Month
December has become a pivotal month for movies to hit theaters. Big blockbusters swoop in to rake in some big box-office numbers and awards hopefuls start their theatrical campaigns. With theaters trying to make a comeback as we start to come out of the pandemic, December’s going to be a big month for them to get some butts in seats and luckily for them, there are some big flicks heading to theaters. Let’s take a look at what’s hitting theaters this month.
West Side Story (Releases December 10th)
Director Steven Spielberg returns behind the camera to deliver his take on the iconic West Side Story, originally conceived by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, and the late Stephen Sondheim. The story is a Romeo and Juliet type tale that sees the maligned love between a young Puerto-Rican girl named Maria (Rachel Zegler) and young White man Tony (Ansel Elgort) spark a war between rival street gangs in 1950s New York City. Whether he’s making a fun popcorn flick or a serious drama, Spielberg knows how to create a can’t miss theater experience and it looks like he’s done it again with West Side Story.
The cast looks incredible with Zegler leading the way with an amazing breakout performance that could equally lead the charge in West Side Story’s awards campaign as her performance has already garnered wide praise and the film, itself, is a huge awards favorite. Just from what we’ve seen in the trailers, the music and cinematography from Janusz Kaminski are already putting in work in creating a unique portrayal of 1950s NYC. Before his passing, Sondheim actually spoke about Spielberg’s adaptation on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert calling it “really terrific” and saying that there will be some “real surprises” for big West Side Story fans. Frankly, if someone like Sondheim gives Spielberg’s adaptation their blessing, you know its worth seeing when the film hits theaters on December 10th.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Releases December 17th)
Spider-Man returns to the MCU for a multiverse threat that sees iconic Spider-Man villains and actors returning to the big screen. The film catches up with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as he’s forced to fight villains like Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Electro (Jamie Foxx), and others after they’re brought into MCU after Peter botches a spell Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) conjures to make people forget that Peter is Spider-Man. Spider-Man: No Way Home brings the entire legacy of Spider-Man together as it sees Molina, Dafoe, Foxx reprise their iconic villain roles from past Spider-Man movies in a story that truly kicks off the MCU’s trek into the Multiverse.
The dark vibes of the trailers and Holland describing No Way Home as “dark and sad” make this entry unique and have fans speculating. Although we’ve seen most of the villain roster return, many are wondering if there’s a sixth just lurking in the shadows and who exactly is punching The Lizard? Is it Doc Ock turning good to help Peter or are there other past Spider-Men returning to fight alongside this Spider-Man? The jury is still out if Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are making their return, but fans are already buying tickets like it’s Avengers: Endgame again so there’s no better time than now to swipe your tickets for No Way Home before it swings into theaters on December 17th.
Red Rocket (Releases on December 10th)
When you’re looking for indie delights, look no further than rising indie force A24 and their latest reunion with The Florida Project director Sean Baker could be an awards dark horse. Red Rocket follows the return of washed-up porn star Mikey “Red Rocket” Saber (Simon Rex) to his Texas hometown as he clashes with is past. The film’s been described as a tensioned filled experience akin to Uncut Gems and Rex’s performance has already gained wide acclaim. Although Uncut Gems couldn’t get the awards love many, including myself, felt it deserved, Red Rocket and Rex’s performance could swoop in as a late dark horse in this awards season and regain some of the early love that many had for it when it premiered at Cannes Film Festival. Those on the hunt for possible awards hopeful will likely be in for a treat with Red Rocket when it comes to theaters on December 10th.
The King’s Man (Releases on December 22nd)
The Kingsman franchise returns to the big screen with an explosive prequel that brings fans back to the group’s bloody WWI origins with a new set of spies. Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman films have been a breath of fresh air in modern comic book adaptations with their unique style and characters, and it looks like The King’s Man is going to be just as epic.
Honestly, what can’t you say about this prequel? It looks fun as hell with its stylish action and carries an energy that immediately makes you want to see it on the biggest screen possible. Best of all, it features an ensemble cast comprised of Ralph Fiennes, Harris Dickinson, Gemma Arterton, Djimon Hounsou, Daniel Bruhl, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and many others playing around in the Kingsman world, which is worth the price of admission alone. The Kingsman universe is expanding and delving into its action-packed origins that fans can check out when The King’s Man heads into theaters on December 22nd.
Nightmare Alley (Releases December 17th)
Iconic director Guillermo del Toro returns to the big screen with his own vision of William Lindsey Gresham’s 1946 novel Nightmare Alley. The film brings together del Toro’s strongest cast to date to tell the story of ambitious carny Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) using his mentalist abilities to try to swindle tycoons and rich folk until he meets a formidable opponent. It looks like del Toro’s returning to the horror genre in top form with the level of mystery and eeriness Nightmare Alley has shown so far and with the cast he’s brought together, made up of Cooper, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Cate Blanchett, Ron Pearlman, Rooney Mara, Richard Jenkins, and many others, there’s a lot to be excited about. Nightmare Alley also enters the awards season race as a big favorite, but we’ll have to wait and see first reactions before it hits theaters on December 17th.
Licorice Pizza (Releases December 25th)
Although it’s currently playing in a handful of theaters, director Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Licorice Pizza, is set to expand nationwide on Christmas day. The big awards favorite just demolished the pandemic record for the average opening weekend gross per theater by raking in a per theater gross of $83, 825 in just four theaters.
The film is a coming-of-age love story set in San Fernando Valley, California during the 1970s that surely going to win the hearts of awards jurors for its devotion to the love of film and humble coming of age indie vibes. Anderson’s work isn’t always everyone’s taste, but there’s just something special about Licorice Pizza’s vibes and the fact that he’s working with Charlie Hoffman, the son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who Anderson collaborated with on films like The Master and Punch-Drunk Love, instantly gives this film a sense of heart that goes past the screen. Indie film lovers won’t want to miss Anderson’s latest when it expands nationwide on Christmas.
The Matrix: Resurrections (Releases on December 22nd)
Arguably the most highly anticipated release of the year, The Matrix franchise returns with Resurrections. The film sees franchise veterans like Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprising their roles and new faces like Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Jessica Henwick joining the fray as Neo (Reeves) reenters the Matrix.
To say that Resurrections looks like the ultimate theater experience would be a total understatement with the level of influential and mind-melting action The Matrix franchise has brought over the years. With one of the original trilogy’s directors, Lana Wachowski, making a return, Resurrections has the talent behind it to be something more than just another reboot of a nostalgic franchise and could be a strong step forward for the franchise. Although Resurrections is also debuting on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters on December 22nd, what’s already been shown proves that the best way for fans to reenter the Matrix is by seeing it in theaters.
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