Now that we have reached the final month of the year, the remaining award films are coming to theaters along with some very fun end-of-the-year movies. Also, many November films are now going to be wide in the theater, and Top Gun: Maverick is coming back to theaters for two weeks. There is a lot to look forward to this month!
- Violent Night stars David Harbour as Santa Claus who must stop a gang of mercenaries and save Christmas. It is directed by Tommy Wirkola and written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller. The film also stars Beverly D’Angelo, John Leguizamo, Edi Patterson, and Cam Gigandet. It is distributed by Universal Pictures.
- Emancipation is Will Smith’s first major follow-up since his Oscar-winning role in King Richard. It also stars Ben Foster, Charmain Bingwa, Gilbert Owuir, Ronnie Gene Blevins, and Aaron Moten. It is directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Bill Collage. This is an Apple TV+ film opening in limited release.
- The Eternal Daughter is writer and director Joanna Hogg’s first film after The Souvenir: Part II. The film stars frequent collaborator Tilda Swinton. It is another of A24’s many releases this year. This week it will open in limited release.
- Spoiler Alert is directed by Michael Showalter and written by David Marshall Grant and Dan Savage. This film follows the relationship of a couple where one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer. It stars Jim Parsons, Ben Aldridge, Josh Pais, Allegra Heart, and Sally Field. This film is distributed by Focus Features, and it is limited this first weekend and will open wide on December 9th.
- The Whale finally opens wide this weekend. In his big comeback role, Brendan Fraser plays the lead with Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton as his supporting cast. The film is directed by Darren Aronofsky and written by Samuel D. Hunter. The Whale is A24’s final release of the year.
- Empire of Light is written and directed by Sam Mendes and stars Olivia Colman, Michael Ward, Colin Firth, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, and Toby Jones. This is a Searchlight Pictures release.
- Avatar: The Way of Water is James Cameron’s long-anticipated sequel to 2009’s Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time. Considering that this is the only major release this weekend, it is clear that a big office is expected. It was written by James Cameron and Josh Friedman. The film stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Kate Winslet, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Giovanni Ribisi. Avatar: The Way of Water is being released by 20th Century Studios.
- Puss in Boots: The Last Wish brings the beloved character back to the big screen. This film releases on a Wednesday, which is perfect timing for the children who have just gotten released for Christmas break. The film stars Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Harvey Guillén, Florence Pugh, John Mulaney and Olivia Colman. It is directed by Joel Crawford and Januel Mercado, written by Paul Fisher, and will be released by Universal Pictures/Dreamworks Animation. In what could seem like a random addition to the Shrek universe considering the extended time between the original spin-off, the Rotten Tomatoes score is 89% for critics and 98% for audiences, which is a good sign.
- Babylon is one of the most anticipated award contenders of 2022. With a star-studded cast and a three-hour runtime, it is sure to be quite a picture. The film is written and directed by Damien Chazelle, and the cast includes Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Tobey Maguire, and Eric Roberts as well as many other names. It is produced by Paramount Pictures.
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody is another biopic from writer Anthony McCarten and is directed by Kasi Lemmons. This movie follows Whitney Houston’s rise to superstardom, and it stars Naomi Ackie, Stanley Tucci, Tamara Tinue, Ashton Sanders, Nafessa Williams, and Clark Peters.
- Women Talking has one of the best ensemble casts this year. It stars Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley, Judith Ivey, Ben Wishaw, and Frances McDormand. The film is written and directed by Sarah Polley, and is a major contender for many awards, but particularly adapted screenplay. Women Talking is distributed by United Artists.
- Corsage stars Vicky Krieps as Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Other supporting actors include Colin Morgan, Finnegan Oldfield, Tamás Lengyel, and Alma Hasun. The film is written and directed by Maria Kreutzer and is distributed by IFC Films. This is a limited release.
- Living will also be in limited release this weekend. It is directed by Oliver Hermanus and adapted by Kazuo Ishiguro from Akira Kurosawa’s original screenplay. The movie stars Bill Nighy, Aimee Lou Wood, Alex Sharp, Tom Burke, Adrian Rawlins, and Oliver Chris. This movie is supposed to have an excellent performance by Billy Nighy. Right now he is flying a bit under the radar in the awards race, but if anyone can get this performance attention, it is Sony Pictures Classics.
- A Man Called Otto is the American version of the 2015 Oscar nominee, A Man Called Ove. The film stars Tom Hanks, Mariana Trevino, Rachel Keller, and Manuel Gracie-Rulfo. The film is written by David Magee, directed by Marc Forster, and will be released in limited screens this week. The film goes wide on January 13th, 2023.
- Broker will be playing in limited release starting December 26th. The film is distributed by Neon and written and directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. The film stars Song Kang-ho, Dong-won Gang, Bae Doona, Ji-Eun Lee, and Lee Joo-Young.
- Lady Chatterley’s Lover is being released on Netflix on December 2nd. The film stars Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell, and Joely Richardson. It is written by David Magee and directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. This film is a period piece about an unhappy woman who begins an affair with the gamekeeper of her estate.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules will be released on December 2nd on Disney+. It is directed by Luke Cormican and written by Kathleen Shugrue. The movie stars Brady Noon, Ethan William Childress, Hunter Dillon, Erica Cerra, Edward Asner, and Loretta Devine. This is the follow-up film to the 2021 animated film Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It is only a mere 74 minutes long, so it would be a nice quick watch.
- Darby and the Dead is releasing on Hulu on December 2nd. It stars Riele Downs, Auliʻi Cravalho, Chosen Jacobs, Asher Angel, Wayne Knight, Derek Luke, and Tony Danza. The film is directed by Silas Howard and written by Wenonah Wilms and Becca Greene. The movie follows Darby who, due to a childhood accident, becomes a medium and starts a business helping local ghosts with their issues.
- Matilda the Musical premieres December 9th on Netflix. The movie stars Alisha Weir, Lashana Lynch, Stephen Graham, Andrea Riseborough, and Emma Thompson. It is written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Matthew Warchus. This is an adaptation of the Tony-winning musical of a girl with powers and a brilliant mind that must escape a horrible family.
- Night of the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again is an animated film coming to Disney+ on December 9th. This follows Larry Daley’s son Nick as he contemplates following his father’s footsteps and becoming a nightwatchman, too. It is directed by Matt Danner and written by Rat DeLaurentis and William Schifrin. The film stars Joshua Bassett, Thomas Lennon, Joseph Kama, Steve Zahn, Jack Whitehall, Zachary Levi, and Bowen Yang.
Films that have gotten a theatrical release coming to streaming this month:
- Scrooge: A Christmas Carol: Netflix on December 2nd.
- Emily the Criminal: Netflix on December 7th.
- The Banshees of Inisherin: HBO Max on December 13th
- Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths: Netflix on December 16th.
- Nanny: Prime Video on December 16th.
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery: Netflix on December 23rd.
- White Noise: Netflix December 30th.