Last month, I ranked the most anticipated movies for the month of November. We had many big blockbusters to look forward to such as Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Arrival along with some smaller budget movies such as Hacksaw Ridge and Edge of Seventeen. Overall, the November movie month lived up to the hype and to be completely honest it was likely my favorite movie month of 2016.
However, that could quickly change as December is about to begin and like November, it holds a bulk of intriguing installments that us movie fans are dying to see. Due to the huge number of great movies to look forward to this holiday season, let's rank some of the most exciting releases that are about to become.
- Release Date: December 2
- Director: Brad Peyton
- Cast: Arron Eckhart, David Mazouz, Carice van Houten, Emjay Anthony, Catalina Sandino Moreno
Coming in at number 10 is Incarnate, which comes out this weekend. Usually, I am not a huge fan of horror and/or thriller movies. However, one sub-genre of horror I have always enjoyed watching are exorcism movies. If you love those types of movies such as The Exorcist, The Conjuring, and even Beetlejuice, then this is your type of movie!
Specifically, this movie follows an exorcist played by Aaron Eckhart who has to perform an exorcism on a possessed boy (David Mazouz). Not only will it be exciting to see Two-Face trying and exorcise Batman but in all seriousness, the two actors are really great at expressing their emotions — which is exactly what Incarnate needs. I will see this weekend whether or not the movie lives up to its hype.
9. Patriots Day
- Release Date: December 21
- Director: Peter Berg
- Cast: Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin Bacon
The next entry on this list is a drama movie based on a true life event: the Boston Marathon bombings. The film focuses on the aftermath of the bombings and shows police, investigators, witnesses, the media, and the rest of Boston investigating the crime scene and quickly trying to find out the identity of the terrorists before time runs out and they perform another act of violence.
Some critics were able to see Patriots Day extra early and as a result the film has already scored a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes (as of now). This movie looks really appealing as the action seems top-notch and it seems like the film gives off a very powerful message to its viewers about terrorism. Also, this is a real-life story and truthfully, a lot of my favorite movies this year have been true stories, such as Hacksaw Ridge, Sully, and Eddie the Eagle. All in all, the film has a very talented cast behind it with Wahlberg, Goodman, and Simmons in the lead and I'm very curious to see how it is received by the general audience.
8. Office Christmas Party
- Release Date: December 9
- Director: Josh Gordon & Will Speck
- Cast: Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon
Office Christmas Party gathers some of the funniest actors in Hollywood to create an absolutely hilarious movie. In this appealing comedy, a few employees at a tech company are in danger of losing their job and in a last, desperate attempt to try to impress a big client, they throw a ginormous Christmas party at their office.
Listen, I am fully aware that Office Christmas Party isn't going to be one of the best movies of the year, let alone the funniest. On the other hand, this shouldn't take away the fact that this movie is being made for pure entertainment and some holiday laughs. However, by the trailers we have received, Office Christmas Party could potentially become another holiday comedy classic. The movie is stacked with a great array of Hollywood legends from Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller to Jennifer Aniston and Kate McKinnon. All in all, expect some hefty laughs from this December comedy, even if most critics say otherwise.
- Release Date: December 21
- Director: Garth Jennings
- Cast: Taron Egerton, Matthew McConaghey, Scarlett Johanson, Reese Witherspoon, Seth McFarlane
This upcoming animated feature film revolves around the world's greatest singing competition that holds would-be amateur performers hoping for their shot at glory. In Sing, five very unlikely candidates are chosen to compete: A mouse, a timid elephant, a pig, a gorilla and a punk rock porcupine.
While 2016 hasn't been the greatest movie year, the animation genre has shined with original, enthusiastic films that are great family films that really make your brain think. It appears to be that Sing is no exception as it dons a rich plot that doesn't follow other cliche animated blockbusters. I haven't been extremely disappointed with any animated movies yet this year and I believe Sing will continue that streak.
6. La La Land
- Release Date: December 9
- Director: Damien Chazelle
- Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock, J.K. Simmons, Hemky Madera
La La Land comes to theaters next weekend and focuses on a relationship between an actress and a musician who both have a lot of talent. They move to modern-day Los Angeles where they soon learn that pursuing their dreams isn't as easy as they thought, experiencing both joy and pain in their journey to success.
This drama-comedy has already stole the hearts of critics as it is currently sitting at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes with the following "critic consensus":
'La La Land' breathes new life into a bygone genre with thrillingly assured direction, powerful performances, and an irresistible excess of heart.
Like Sing, La La Land is another feel-good movie, which 2016 has been stocked with. Movies such as Sing Street, Hacksaw Ridge, and Eddie the Eagle were movies that made its audience very joyful and positive. On top of all this, La La Land is a musical as well. A love story, musical, feel-good story? This feels very similar to one of 2016's best films, Sing Street, so I like it already!
Lastly, Emma Stone has proved her worthiness in Hollywood with many great movies — and bad ones! While The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a train wreck, Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield's romantic chemistry was a highlight as they both conveyed real and touching emotions. Hopefully, Emma will continue to impress us with her great acting.
5. Why Him?
- Release Date: December 23
- Director: John Hamburg
- Cast: Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Zoey Deutch, Megan Mullally, Griffin Gluck
Office Christmas Party isn't the only comedy coming to theaters this December! Why Him? is about a loving father named Ned, played by Cranston, who has to come to terms with his daughter's new boyfriend, Laird, who has no filter and is very inappropriate, played by Franco. Things begin to escalate when Laird about to ask Ned's daughter to marry him and Ned must begin to make sure Laird doesn't join his family.
While there are other promising comedies coming out next month, Why Him? looks like it will be the funniest. By watching the trailers, I am convinced that Bryan Cranston and James Franco are the best comedy-duo that you probably never thought of. The chemistry between these two actors seems very authentic and witty. Daddy's Home was Christmas' comedy movie last year and was similar in the way where one main character (Will Ferrell) plays a caring father and the other character is an inappropriate father/boyfriend (Mark Wahlberg). Even though it wasn't the greatest comedy ever produced, the movie had a couple laughs along the way and that experience is what I am looking for with Why Him? next month.
4. Assassin's Creed
- Release Date: December 21
- Director: Justin Kurzel
- Cast: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Essie Davis
Assassins Creed is another attempt from Hollywood to put out a great video game movie and looking at the trailers, it seems like this could be the starting point of awesome video game blockbusters in cinemas. The movie revolves around a criminal named Callum Lynch, who is rescued from his own execution with one exception: He is forced to participate in a venture titled the Animus Project, where he will re-live the memories of his ancestor, Aguilar de Nerha, who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition in 15th century.
No matter how one judges video game movie adaptations, it is a fact that they haven't performed well critically and financially. From Super Mario Bros., to Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter to this year's video game movie flop Warcraft, there has been a steady pattern in Hollywood of one video game feature film stinker to another.
While The Angry Birds Movie this year could be considered a partial success, it is an animated movie (which is a lot easier to pull off) and is based off an app — which is a whole different conversation. However, if there's going to be any star to break the streak of bad video game blockbusters, it would be Michael Fassbender.
He is one of the best actors in Hollywood right now with many iconic performances from Steve Jobs to Magneto. Also, you could argue that the trailers look fantastic — but Hollywood have shown us time after time that a great-looking trailer doesn't correlate to how the film turns out *cough Transformers 2, 3, & 4 cough*.
- Release Date: December 25
- Director: Denzel Washington
- Cast: Russel Hornsby, Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Steven Henderson
Christmas should be very interesting this year if you go to your local movie theater and see Fences. This drama film stars Denzel Washington (who also directed), as a former professional baseball player and a father who creates tension between himself and his son after he comes home with a baby from an affair. Watch the powerful trailer below:
Fences looks like it will be be a powerful and emotional piece of art. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis apparently give outstanding performances according to various sources and are already being eyed by the Academy. I wouldn't be surprised if this movie is nominated for multiple Oscars and managed to snag a few. Given that, don't be that guy who hasn't seen one of the featured movies in the Academy Awards and go check it out on Christmas (or after Christmas if you celebrate the holiday because let's be honest, Fences doesn't look too jolly).
- Release Date: December 21
- Director: Morten Tyldum
- Cast: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Lawrence Fishburne, Keanu Reeves
While the majority of the year's blockbusters consisted of sequels and reboots, the holiday season seems like it will not follow that path with many original, compelling blockbusters set to release — namely Passengers. This brand new science fiction blockbuster revolves around a ship loaded with 5,000 sleeping people that are all on a journey to a new planet. Jim and Aurora, played by Pratt and Lawrence, are two passengers that wake up a full 90 years early when the ship malfunctions and they soon discover that their awakening was no accident.
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Was there any ever doubt? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is Lucasfilm's first attempt at a spin-off movie in the Star Wars universe. The events of this movie take place right before the beginning of A New Hope, where Darth Vader boards the Rebel ship Tantive IV looking for the Death Star plans, which have already been transferred to R2-D2 thanks to Princess Leia.
This movie shows how the Rebels managed to get their hands on the blueprints of the most powerful weapon in the entire galaxy. Even without viewing any trailers or other media, I can assure you that the Rebels did not have an easy mission...
Even though I am a huge Star Wars fan, that is not the only reason I believe Rogue One deserves to rank number 1 on this list. This is an original story that will follow brand new characters we have not met before in an impossible journey. This movie will have an array of major action sequences that we have not seen in any other Star Wars movie before — even The Force Awakens! Also, you can't go wrong with seeing Darth Vader, the most iconic movie villain in history, show up once again.
What do you guys think? Which movie are you most looking forward to? Tell me below!