December is arguably the most important month for spending time with your family. With several holidays around the corner, and the end of the semester coming sooner than we think, it is a great time to inform you about what an incredible movie month December is going to be. Sure, you can stay home with your family and a mug of hot chocolate to watch your favorites, but these six films are bound to get you to the theater. Start ordering your tickets now, because these films are going to be the holiday’s hottest tickets.
The first notable film releasing is “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse” on Dec. 14. Most may immediately dismiss this film for being yet another Spider-Man film, but aimed towards children due to an animated format. However, this film’s style of animation is visually stunning with lots of colors and incredible detail. It tells the story of young Miles Morales, a version of Spider-Man who encounters Peter Parker, the most commonly known iteration of the web slinger, through a form of interdimensional travel. From here, Peter trains Miles in how to use his abilities while running into other versions of Spider-Man from other dimensions. It even features Spider-Ham, a talking pig with the same abilities as the famous superhero, voiced by comedian John Mulaney. Early buzz from advanced screenings state that “Into the Spiderverse” is not only the best superhero movie of the year, but one of the best films of the year. The New York Film Critics Circle also voted it the best animated movie of 2018. Praise for this film could not be better, and it is all the more reason to see it when it hits theaters this December.
One film you won’t have to leave your home for this December is Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma.” This title is going to directly to Netflix, but do not let this fool you about its quality. The film currently holds a 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with 137 reviews and is being hailed as the current Best Picture frontrunner for the 91st Academy Awards in February 2019. The film has also earned the number one spot on TIME magazine’s top 10 films of the year. If that isn’t enough hype for what very well might be the best film of the year, Oscar winning director Guillermo Del Toro told Cuaron after seeing the film, “This is not only your best movie, it’s one of my top five movies of all time.” Definitely check this one out when it hits Netflix on Dec. 14.
Falling on the Wednesday, Dec. 19, comes Disney’s lone film next month, “Mary Poppins Returns.” This tale is a sequel to the original “Mary Poppins” from 1964, with Emily Blunt replacing Julie Andrews in the titular role. Early reactions to the film call it one of the best of the year, as well as most believing Blunt and the film itself will receive Oscar nominations. With an all-star cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Dick Van Dyke, Colin Firth and Meryl Streep, and with “Chicago” director Rob Marshall at the helm, this film should be nothing short of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Looking to turn around a streak of five consecutive Transformers films with a “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes is “Bumblebee,” releasing on Dec. 21. This film is a prequel to the rest of the Transformers series. It follows fan-favorite Autobot Bumblebee when he comes to Earth and meets Charlie, played by Hailee Steinfeld. The film follows the pair as they build their relationship and try to keep Bumblebee from the government and other Transformers hunting him down. So why, after five poor entries in this franchise, should you look forward to “Bumblebee”? First of all, the trailers appear to reflect a reimagining of the classic animated film, “The Iron Giant,” with a larger extra terrestrial bonding with a human character. This story will definitely be something more emotional and simple than most of the other Transformers films. Steinfeld, of “True Grit” and “The Edge of Seventeen” fame, picks her projects very carefully, possibly showing that this script stood out to her in some way. Paramount is also setting up public advanced screenings two weeks prior to the film’s national release date, meaning they must have some faith in it. No reviews or reactions have been released, but based on the talent involved and the studios faith in the project, I’d definitely put this on your radar.
DC’s “Aquaman” wouldn’t have made this list a week ago, but with new reactions surfacing about how the film is “bonkers,” “a total blast” and “one of DC’s best films,” I am absolutely on board. Acclaimed horror director, James Wan, seems to be bringing the same style of high energy action set pieces that he showcased in “Furious 7” to the comic book movie genre. Jason Momoa reprises his role of the King of Atlantis with a stellar cast including Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman. The talent in front of and behind the camera is ever present in this film, so check it out when it splashes into theaters on Dec. 21.
Lastly, one of the more serious and socially relevant films on this list comes to theaters this Christmas in the form of “Vice.” Helmed by the director of “The Big Short,” Adam McKay, “Vice” serves as a biography for former vice president, Dick Cheney, played by Christian Bale. If the story of “Vice” doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, this film is an absolute necessity for what is going to be the performance to talk about in 2018. Christian Bale’s incarnation of Dick Cheney has already planted him atop the conversation for Best Actor in this year’s Academy Awards. Bale gained 45 pounds for the role, shaved his head, practiced neck thickening exercises and ate a lot of pies to gain the hefty physique of the infamous V.P.. Bale is no stranger to transforming his body for a role, but this appears to be his most demanding feat yet. The film also includes Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush. This film can definitely make an impression on Oscar voters and will likely be one of the best films of the year.