December. So many movies. So little time … and so little space on the page. Here we go.
For your kaiju (Japanese media involving giant monsters) fix, check out Godzilla Minus One. Set in post-World War II Japan, the titular monster rises to the surface, causing the country’s economic state to dip into the negatives. With arresting visuals, a wholly unique setting and a memorable central figure, the film has massive potential to be one of the best of the year when it drops on Dec. 1.
For pure action, look no further than Silent Night. Directed by John Woo (Mission: Impossible 2), his first American film in twenty years, the story follows Godluck (Joel Kinnaman, Easy Money) as he descends into the underworld on Christmas Eve to avenge his son’s death. The trailer indicates heavy action, explosions and an all-around good time for the whole family … if the whole family is over 17, of course. It also releases on Dec. 1.
If you need a thriller, check out Eileen. Based on the book of the same name, it follows Eileen (Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit), a secretary at a Boston prison, and her interactions with a newly arrived counselor named Rebecca (Anne Hathaway). Twists and turns are in full swing as their parasitic relationship grows to a fever pitch. You can try and unravel it yourself on Dec. 1.
For those with a love for animation, don’t miss The Boy and the Heron. The latest film from legendary director and animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), the story follows Mahito Maki, who discovers an abandoned tower in his new town. Lauded for its beautiful animation and themes surrounding coming of age and coping with loss, the film has been a monumental success in Japan. It was released with almost no information or trailer and although one exists now, I strongly advise against watching it. Go in as blind as you can when it releases in the U.S. on Dec. 8.
For a weird time, check out Poor Things. A surrealist science fiction film, the story concerns Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) being brought back to life by Dr. Goodwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Unattached to the prejudices of the time, she roams the world with Duncan (Mark Ruffalo) as a woman in search of liberation. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) and based on the 1992 novel of the same name, the film is sure to be out of the ordinary and a perfect combination of strange and science when it hits theaters on Dec. 8.
For your biographical sports drama, take a look at The Iron Claw. The story focuses on the Von Erich family, a dynasty of wrestlers, and their highs and lows both inside and outside of the ring. Zac Efron leads the film, supported by Jeremy Allen White (The Bear), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter) and Lily James (Pam & Tommy). Released by A24, it looks to be a superbly made drama with stellar performances. It hits theaters on Dec. 22.
Lastly, if you want to watch folks go real fast and enjoy a splash of family drama, don’t skip Ferrari. Starring Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari, the film follows his personal and professional struggles after the death of his son and the impending collapse of his company. This is director Michael Mann’s (Heat) first film in eight years, it looks to be a sleek return to form for the 80-year-old director. It releases on Christmas Day.