Jackie is a biographical drama film based on the life of first lady Jackie Kennedy following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. It explores the first lady’s emotional and psychological journey, from grieving for her husband’s death to withholding his legacy. Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actress Natalie Portman takes on the titular role of Jackie. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2016, winning both the Golden Osella, and the Best Screenplay Award. As the Oscar season approaches, Jackie has been gathering heat, and stands as a forerunner in critics’ eyes, not only for its heartfelt plotline, but also for the impressive visuals provided.
Renowned writer, producer, animator, and director Hayao Miyazaki will see one of his best-known works, Spirited Away, re-released on it’s 15th anniversary. The fantasy-anime film details a young girl’s journey into a world of spirits, and will air for a two-night special.
Traveling salesman Ray Kroc encounters a bustling diner called McDonald’s. In this biographical-drama, Kroc uses cunning to acquire the brand from its resisting original owners, franchising the restaurant into over 120 countries.
As the second film in the post-prequel era without a traditional May release, Rogue One proves that Jedis and space battles now own the month of December. If The Force Awakens (2015) and the new trailers for the upcoming standalone tell us one thing, it’s that the executives at Lucasfilm have clearly learned their lesson from their ventures of the 2000s, and this time they’re determined to hold on to their fans, steering safely in the zone of two dimensional theming and premise. The first installment of the Anthology series features yet another hero’s dastardly plan to foil the Death Star-involving plots of the Empire, and a supporting cast the size of a Super Star Destroyer. Like it or not, Stars Wars is the new Marvel, in more ways than just being an inexhaustible gold mine of backstory and characters, and it’s here to stay in our galaxy for a long, long time.
From the director of The Devil Wears Prada (2006) comes a decidedly more somber story about depression and the human condition. The protagonist (Will Smith), after a personal tragedy, writes letters to Death, Time, and Love, and seemingly receives a response. The aforementioned concepts appear to him as people in a Christmas-Carol-like turn of events. Though it seems at first a heavy-handed It Gets Better movie, the cast is filled with serious players like Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, and Kate Winslet. This time of year, there’s only one thing a lineup like that means: Collateral Beauty is going for an Oscar.
As with Academy Award nominee Damien Chazelle’s two previous films, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009) and Whiplash (2014), La La Land is also centered on the music genre. The comedy-drama, set in modern-day Los Angeles, stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as a struggling actress. The two are drawn together by their shared desire to do what they love as they explore the joy and pain of pursuing their dreams. Chazelle brings his own love for jazz into the film, making it an original musical worthy of the Oscar buzz.
After the success of The Imitation Game (2014), Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum returns with a relative rarity in Hollywood – a sci-fi thriller that’s not based off of a popular comic or novel franchise. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as 2 members of a group of volunteer space travelers who unexpectedly wake ninety years before their 120 year hibernation – but quickly fall in love while making the best of their situation. Yes, falling in love on an airship sounds like a great fantasy. But what really happened? With big time names and a surefire, distinct plot, Passengers is bound to be the hit of the 2016 holiday season.
Originating from the popular video game franchise Assassin’s Creed, this spinoff movie is an action-packed blockbuster. Just like in the Assassin’s Creed video game series, the movie will revolve around the centuries-old conflict between the Assassins and the Templar Order. Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) is a hardened criminal who is rescued from his execution by the Abstergo Industries, only to be forced to relive the memories of his ancestor Aguilar, who was an assassin during the Spanish inquisition. Fassbender has highlighted that unlike the video games, there is no clear hero and villain in this movie, accentuating the anti-hero qualities of his character. Instead, Fassbender says, this movie will focus on moral ambiguity, making it a more interesting tale for audiences.
It may be Martin Scorsese’s first movie since The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), but the inspiration for Silence has been hanging around the maestro’s mind since the debut of Goodfellas (1990). The true story of two Jesuit priests searching for their master in 17th century Japan, where Christianity was a forbidden practice, was deemed so important by the cast and crew, that they all took major pay cuts to make it a realization. Premiering at the Vatican, Silence is shaping up to be an Oscar contender in what has been a most interesting year in film.
Writer and director Tom Ford’s second film follows the story of a wealthy art gallery owner who receives a disturbing manuscript from her ex-husband about a family’s terrifying road trip, forcing her to reevaluate her past. The film was premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Film and won the Grand Jury Prize. With a star-studded cast including Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, this thriller just might pave the way for an Academy Award win for Adams.
Peter Berg’s third film to star Mark Wahlberg tells the story of yet another American tragedy, this one much more recent than those in Lone Survivor (2013) and Deepwater Horizon (2016). Patriots Day is the story of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis before, during, and after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Since its premiere at the American Film Institute Festival, critics have applauded Berg’s ability to honor the victims of the attack and retell the amazing stories of Boston’s heroes.
Return to the story of the original Yu-Gi-Oh in a new movie set one year after the original series, featuring all the characters and weird haircuts you remember! Follow the gang as they play card games with a new villain, in a new story by series creator Kazuki Takahashi. This is a limited release in theaters, so make sure to catch it before it’s game over!