Worlds Worth Exploring: Your December Movie Guide

Friends, movie goers, assembled geeks, the summer movie season has passed. We had some good times and some disappointments, but now it’s time for the prestige season. It is a time of Oscar bait, lofty tent poles, and some pretension here and there. With all the award season hype, sometimes it’s hard to tell if a movie is going to be good even when the reviews start rolling in… if they come in time for you to make your decision at all. Luckily, we’re here to help you with your decision.

In this installment of the ongoing movie guide, we’re going over all the December releases to figure out if they’ll be worth your hard earned cash and, more importantly, your time. Be sure to check out our comicsTVgames, and November movie guides if you’re worried you’ve missed the newest in geek culture.

Krampus

  • Release Date: December 4th
  • Director: Michael Dougherty
  • Writers: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, and Zach Shields

Will it be Good? The reviews have been alright, but this will definitely be a cult hit the same way Trick ‘r Treat was. Horror fans will probably eat it up. Everyone else… probably not so much.

Verdict: Wait for it to come on One Demand.

Macbeth

  • Release Date: December 4th
  • Director: Justin Kurzel
  • Writers: Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, Todd Louiso, and William Shakespeare

Will it be Good? Putting Shakespeare on screen is always a tricky thing, as many directors end up just making filmed stage plays. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the atmosphere is incredibly thick. Add in a dream cast led by Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard and there’s a very high likelihood this’ll be a very strong film. The reviews have also been very solid, which means this film is a pretty safe bet.

Verdict: If you’re a fan of period pieces, Shakespeare, or Michael Fassbender at all check this one out.

In the Heart of the Sea

  • Release Date: December 11th
  • Director: Ron Howard
  • Writer: Charles Leavitt

Will it be Good? It certainly has an interesting premise, even if we’re wondering why they didn’t just make a Moby Dick movie instead. The actors are strong, but it seems like Ron Howard’s heart isn’t quite in this one all the way. Add in the fact the film seems to be shot on a sound stage (with a lot of CGI backdrops) and the reviews have been lukewarm and it’s easy to lose enthusiasm for this one.

Verdict: Unless you’re an absolutely huge fan of these kinds of films… you might want to wait for home video.

The Big Short

  • Release Date: December 11th
  • Director: Adam McKay
  • Writers: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph

Will it be Good? The premise is interesting and the stars are great. The reviews have been good, but not great. It’s a safe bet the movie will be at the very least entertaining and informative, but we don’t think it’ll be an Oscar contender.

Verdict: If the subject matter interests you check it out in the theater. If not, there’s always cable.

Alvin and the Chimpmunks: The Road Chip

  • Release Date: December 18th
  • Director: Walt Becker
  • Writers: Randi Mayem and Adam Sztykiel

Will it be Good? There’s very, very little chance of that.

Verdict: Let’s be honest, there’s another movie you’re going to be seeing this weekend. Skip it.

Sisters

  • Release Date: December 18th
  • Director: Jason Moore
  • Writer: Paula Pell

Will it be Good? While Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are both incredibly strong performers, their cinematic outings have always been kind of hit and miss. For ever Mean Girls they have an Admission, so this really could go either way.

Verdict: This film was put in as counter programming to Star Wars, but we doubt that’s going to work. If it’s great, see it a week or two later. If not, skip it. After all, Star Wars is going to be a juggernaut across every demographic. Speaking of which…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • Release Date: December 18th
  • Director: J.J. Abrams
  • Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt

Will it be Good? We think so. For the most part, everything we’ve heard thus far has been positive. The filmmakers are really trying hard with this one, learning from the mistakes of the prequels ajd building something that feels like a great Star Wars experience while moving forward.

Verdict: Let’s face it… even if it sucks you’re still going to see it.

Concussion

  • Release Date: December 25th
  • Director: Peter Landesman
  • Writer: Peter Landesman

Will it be Good? Maybe, but we won’t be holding our breath. It’s a great true story, but the murky reviews and trailers make this one out to be pre Oscar bait for Will Smith.

Verdict: Unless you’re really hungry to see another Will Smith film, we expect you’re going to be seeing one of the other many fine choices available in theaters that Christmas.

Daddy’s Home

  • Release Date: December 25th
  • Director: Sean Anders
  • Writers: Brian Burns, Sean Anders, and John Morris

Will it be Good? While Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell have made a winning combination before, we’re not expecting much from this film. While it could be counter programming to everything else coming out that weekend, we’re getting the sneaking suspicion it’s been dumped against the likes of Star Wars and Tarantino to die a quick death no one will remember.

Verdict: Skip it.

Joy

  • Release Date: December 25th
  • Director: David O. Russell
  • Writer: David O. Russell

Will it be Good? David O. Russell is a strong filmmaker and Jennifer Lawrence is a tremendous actress, but the initial reviews have been pretty mixed. However, there’s just so much coming out this weekend we feel it’s going to get lost in the shuffle regardless of its quality.

Verdict: Wait for it to come to home video.

Point Break

  • Release Date: December 25th
  • Director: Ericson Core
  • Writer: Kurt Wimmer

Will it be Good? No chance. It’s clear the studio knew this one was a stinker, which is why them dumped it on Christmas.

Verdict: Skip it.

The Hateful Eight

  • Release Date: December 25th
  • Director: Quentin Tarantino
  • Writer: Quentin Tarantino

Will it be Good? It’s Tarantino, so there’s really no reason to expect it to be bad. After all, Django Unchained was one of his best films yet and he’s shown no signs of slowing down.

Verdict: See it.

The Revenant

  • Release Date: December 25th
  • Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Writer: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Will it be Good? Hot off his win for Birdman, Iñárritu’s new period revenge movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy is said to be a real grueling experience… but also a fantastic one. The reviews are strong, so expect this one to be a much more intense film that builds off the styles you saw in Birdman.

Verdict: If it’s your type of movie, see it. If not, you’ll probably hate it.

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