December is here, and there are soooo many movies. Strap in, we’ve got a lot to cover!

Prepare yourself for some song and dance numbers as we begin the month with West Side Story. Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) and Rachel Zegler in her film debut, it looks like the Oscar contender of the season. With massive choreographed spectacles and dazzling costumes, Spielberg hopes to get the whole family together starting on Dec. 10.

Next up, the Netflix comedy Don’t Look Up. It tells the story of two astronomers, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, who must warn all of humankind about a comet and its impending collision course with Earth. Written and directed by Adam McKay (The Big Short), the story should have his usual black comedy elements, along with some great performances from a stellar cast. It releases on Dec. 10.

Amazon is gifting us with a sci-fi thriller called Encounter. Starring Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) as a veteran Marine, the story finds him trying to keep his kids safe from both the army and an alien invasion. The trailer leads me to believe there might be some body horror elements, so take a look when it releases on – you guessed it – Dec. 10. 

A psychological thriller courtesy of Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) graces the screen this month. Based on the 1946 novel of the same name, Nightmare Alley boasts an all-star ensemble cast including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette and Willem Dafoe. The trailer is full of carnies, grifters, femme fatales and some truly eye-catching scenery. It will hit theaters Dec. 17.

Marvel’s next heavy hitter comes this month with Spider-Man: No Way Home. As the fourth film in Phase 4 of (what I assume will be the unfortunately never ending) Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) asks Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to use his magic to restore his secret identity, but the results are … not quite perfect. Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx return from previous films, with heavy rumors that previous Spider-Mans Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will show up. We’ll all find out together on Dec. 17.

Over twenty years later, we’re getting another installment in The Matrix franchise with The Matrix Resurrections. Directed by Lana Wachowski, the story continues with Neo (Keanu Reeves) as Thomas A. Anderson, living a seemingly normal life back inside the Matrix. However, things quickly take a turn to open his mind back up. Carrie-Ann Moss returns as Trinity, along with a host of both new and familiar faces. You can jack in on Dec. 22 … as long as you take the red pill.

Lastly, Joel Coen directs a Shakespearean classic with The Tragedy of Macbeth. Starring Denzel Washington in the title role, with Frances McDormand and Brendan Gleeson supporting, the film looks absolutely stunning. Shot in black and white and in 4:3, the tragedy will surely be a spectacle when it releases on Christmas Day.

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Staley Jones