2017 Holiday movie preview: What’s appearing on the silver screen?


Courtesy of starwars.com poster gallery

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters this December.

Shrey Parikh, Reporter

The Disaster Artist (R | Limited Dec. 1, Wide Dec. 8)

The Disaster Artist is the true story of the making of 2003’s cult film, The Room, widely considered the worst movie ever made. The story follows Tommy Wiseau, played by James Franco (who also directed and produced the film), a mysterious man who decides to make a movie of his own with his friend, Greg Sestero, played by the younger Franco, Dave. The movie is an adaptation of Sestero’s book of the same name and explores Tommy’s path to creating The Room, a movie he directed, wrote, produced, starred in, and even personally financed. The film is a comedy that at the same time tells a touching and relatable story about achieving your dreams, no matter what, and early reviews have praised it for its humor and the amount of heart in Tommy’s story.

I, Tonya (R | Limited Dec. 8, Wide TBA)

The true story of Olympic ice-skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and her 1994 plot and attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan that was widely covered by the media at the time. Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney also appear, playing Tonya’s ex-husband/co-conspirator and her mother, respectively.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PG-13 | Dec. 15)

The Last Jedi is the 8th chapter in the Skywalker saga, picking up where 2015’s The Force Awakens left off. All your favorite characters are back, including Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Isaac), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The movie also features Carrie Fisher’s final performance as General Leia following her tragic death last year. Director Rian Johnson promises that this chapter will be a dark one for our heroes, in the vein of episode 5, The Empire Strikes back, and the trailers seem to confirm that, showcasing spectacular lightsaber battles, new planets and creatures, and ominous villains. Episode 8 will be a must-watch for Star Wars fans of all ages

The Greatest Showman (PG | Dec. 20)

The Greatest Showman is a musical biography about P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman) and his journey to starting the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Along with Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya also appear as performers in the circus, and Michelle William plays Barnum’s wife. The songs are all written by the Academy-Award-Winning Lyricists behind last year’s La La Land, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, so fans of the music from that movie have something to look forward to. There’s also the added appeal of Jackman once again being able to show off his vocal talents after his role in 2011’s Les Misérables, and Efron and Zendaya finally dusting off the mic to relive their Disney Channel days, so overall, The Greatest Showman should appeal to a wide audience.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (PG-13 | Dec. 20)

The original Jumanji is a widely beloved movie, both by children and adults, so when it was announced that Sony would be releasing a reboot, many reacted with one word: Why? Robin Williams’ iconic performance as Alan Parrish required no update or reimagining, so why the reboot. However, the movie was revealed to be a sequel that would serve as a continuation of the story of the original. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan star as the avatars of four high school students sucked into a videogame version of Jumanji and have to play through the game in the body of their avatar to escape. Early reactions indicate a surprisingly funny take on the franchise that does its best to be its own thing while simultaneously paying homage to the dearly departed Robin Williams. Jumanji seems like it will provide quality entertainment and plenty of laughs for the whole family.

Pitch Perfect 3 (PG-13 | Dec. 22)

The third and final installment of the popular Pitch Perfect franchise follows the Barden Bellas’ attempt to end their acapella careers on a high note with a battle of the bands style tour of performances. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, and many others return for this final installment.

Molly’s Game (R | Limited Dec. 25, Wide Jan. 5)

Aaron Sorkin, the writer behind critically acclaimed films like The Social Network, Moneyball, and Steve Jobs, makes his directorial debut with Molly’s Game, an adaptation of a book of the same name about the true story of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), an Olympic skiing hopeful whose life was upended after she was put under investigation by the FBI for running an underground poker empire. Sorkin also wrote the screenplay, so his trademark rapid-fire dialogue is also present, with actors like Idris Elba and Kevin Costner on hand to prove their fluency in Sorkin-ese. Complete with poker, the FBI, The Russian Mafia, and the Italian Mafia, the stakes are high, and Molly’s Game looks to be a tightly paced and intriguing crime thriller.

The Post (PG-13 | Limited Dec. 22, Wide Jan. 12)

Tom Hanks. Meryl Streep. Steven Spielberg. Three Hollywood titans come together to bring to life the unbelievable true story of the publishing of the leaked Pentagon Papers by the Washington Post. Streep plays Kay Graham, the first female newspaper publisher in the country, and Tom Hanks plays the newspaper’s editor, Ben Bradlee, who pushed for the truth to be revealed to the public. The buzz around the film suggests an Oscar-worthy drama that may be Spielberg’s best yet.

Phantom Thread (R | Limited Dec. 25, Wide TBA)

Daniel Day Lewis appears in his final film before he goes into retirement, a decision he announced June. Here, the three-time Oscar winner for Best Actor (a record) appears as a dressmaker in 1950s London. Day-Lewis’ supposed final film will be an event you won’t want to miss.