Every year, extra time means extra attention available for movie watching during the holidays. In these days of streaming, a few of the best movies this year can be had online. But if you’re needing to get out to the cineplex with family or friends, and also want to avoid this year’s holiday blockbuster Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, here are some suggestions:

  • Knives Out – Released 11/27, it should still be around for a month or two. The cast is simply amazing with Toni Collette, Michael Shannon and Christopher Plummer in a fun genre: murder mystery whodunit.  The reputation of the film is that Rian Johnson has created an energetic, modern opus in this increasingly rare film genre.
  • Little Women – Releasing Christmas Day, this is the Greta Gerwig adapted version of the classic novel. With Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet and Meryl Streep in the cast, it’s an artsy movie with outstanding performances…think Oscar-likely.
  • Bombshell – Out on December 20th, you’ll get the story of Roger Ailes and his misdeeds influencing the MeToo era.  With Charlize Theron in extensive makeup to look like Megyn Kelly, along with Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and a freakish-looking John Lithgow as Ailes, this will be an interesting drama to watch.
  • 1917 – Also releasing Christmas Day, an admittedly somber subject for the holidays: World War I. But with Sam Mendes (of Best Director Oscar for American Beauty) at the helm, it will be your heavy option and a chance to see a likely Oscar contender on the big screen.

A couple of other suggestions that may be harder to find:

  • Parasite – Having been out since mid-October, it may be hard to find in all markets now. But look around as it’s getting huge best picture Oscar buzz due to winning the Palm D’or at Cannes. I should warn you that it is sub-titled, spoken in Korean.
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Also out for a few weeks now, it could fade away from cinemas before the holiday week.  The story of Fred Rogers as expertly portrayed by Tom Hanks in a poignant drama not to be missed by anyone who grew up watching his show.

If staying in and watching a movie on the small screen is preferred, the streaming services are currently playing a number of great films released over the holiday season (and some from earlier this year), they include:

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Now available for streaming rental on Amazon Prime (among other services), this is a long one but it’s Tarantino so time will fly.
  • The Irishman – This Martin Scorsese film about what happened to Jimmy Hoffa is also very long, but it’s the holidays, you’ve got the time! It’s on Netflix.
  • Dolemite Is My Name – Eddie Murphy is back in an awards-likely movie also playing on Netflix. It’s an entertaining story about 70’s filmmaker Rudy Ray Moore putting Murphy back in Oscar discussions.
  • Marriage Story – A third one on Netflix, a relationship movie with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver by Director Noah Baumbach.

Hope you find some of these films an enjoyable way to spend 2-3 hours at the cinema or curling up next to the fireplace this holiday season.

Feel free to drop us a line if you’ve got other suggestions and happy holidays to all!

Mark Salow, Sr. Consultant