Holiday movies you should (and shouldn’t) see over break


Donald Tong

Whether you’re watching at home or in theaters, popcorn is always the premier movie snack choice.

Shrey Parikh, Reporter

The Favourite (R | Limited Nov. 23)

Following her Oscar-winning turn as struggling actress Mia in 2016’s ​“La La Land​,” Emma Stone aims to replicate her success by playing against type as Abigail Masham. Chronicling the fight between Masham and Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) for the role of Queen Anne’s (Olivia Colman) Favourite in her court, director Yorgos Lanthimos (​“The Lobster”​) brings his signature madness to this historical tale. Expect the unexpected as this film aims for Oscar gold in the acting and Best Picture categories.


Mary Queen of Scots (R | Limited Dec. 7)

With heavyweights Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan co-starring as Queen Elizabeth I & the titular Mary, the film chronicles the conflict between the countries of the two cousins. Both women are spectacular actors, and their performances in this should make strong cases for their nominations in various acting categories. This period piece will be a contender come awards season, so those invested in the awards races should make it a point to see it.


Vox Lux (R | Limited Dec. 7)

In a ​Black Swan​-esque role, Natalie Portman digs deep into the psyche of an aging pop star, forced to deal with a violent event that brings back memories of the trauma that shaped her childhood. Jude Law co-stars as her manager, and Portman will likely be shooting for Awards season success in her role as Celeste, the singer. This divisive drama will be one to keep an eye on as the Best Actress race nears.


Once Upon A Deadpool (PG-13 | Wide Dec. 12-24)

As Disney’s acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox becomes more certain, the incorporation of Ryan Reynolds’ “Deadpool” in the MCU has remained hazy, given his foul-mouthed and violent tendencies. With this tamer re-release of ​“Deadpool 2​,” Fox aims to make “Deadpool” more appealing to younger audiences. With new scenes shot in less than a day, including Fred Savage in a Christmas-themed frame story, look for this to be the beginning of Deadpool’s role in the MCU.


Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (PG | Wide Dec. 14)

Sony’s second foray into the Spider-Man universe this year looks to improve upon the mistakes ofOctober’s​Venom.​ This animated flick features Miles Morales rather than Peter Parker,as well as eye-popping visuals that look as though they’ve been ripped straight from the pages of a comic book. Early reviews claim this may be the best Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s originals, and with its slick production, this is likely the strongest competition for Pixar’s ​“The Incredibles 2”​ in the Best Animated Feature Category at the Oscars.


The House That Jack Built (R | Limited Dec. 14)

Controversial director Lars von Trier returns to the big screen with his first film in 5 years. This time, he focuses on serial killer Jack (Matt Dillon) and five of his murders over the course of several years. Featuring plenty of violence, so over the top that it inspired much of its audiences to walk out of theaters at film festivals, as well as Jack’s fascinating internal monologue and struggle, “​The House That Jack Built”​ certainly won’t be for everyone, but for those who can stomach the violence, it’ll be well worth your time.


If Beale Street Could Talk (R | Limited Dec. 14, Wide Dec. 25)

The first adaptation of a book by famed author-activist James Baldwin, director Barry Jenkins looks to follow up his Best Picture win for 2016’s ​“Moonlight”​ with another movie about the quintessential black experience. Armed with more gorgeously shot scenes laden with deep meaning and relevance, ​“Beale Street”​ will be a serious contender in most Oscar races.


Mary Poppins Returns (PG | Wide Dec. 19)

Emily Blunt stars in the role that Julie Andrews made famous in the 1964 original. Though Andrews turned down a supporting role in this sequel for fear of overshadowing the rest of the movie, she gave her full support to Blunt’s incarnation of the character. Featuring plenty of singing, including a sequence inspired by the 20th century Disney 2D style of animation, ​“Mary Poppins Returns”​ also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep with a cameo from Dick Van Dyke, Andrews’ co-star from the original. With this and “​A Quiet Place​,” Emily Blunt is cementing herself as the star of 2018.


Aquaman (PG-13 | Wide Dec. 21)

For those still believing in the future of the DCEU, Aquaman looks to replicate the success of last year’s ​Wonder Woman.​ With a similar fish-out-of-water story, the main goal of the filmmakers will be to inject a unique voice into the universe following the bloated sameness of many of its previous entries. Jason Momoa’s “Aquaman” was one of the better parts of ​Justice League​, and early reactions have been relatively positive, so James Wan’s (​“The Conjuring”​) entry into the DCEU may surprise us yet.


Bumblebee (PG-13 | Wide Dec. 21)

The first Transformers movie to not be directed by Michael Bay, this may be the first movie in the series with a somewhat beating heart at the center of its story. Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena co-star in this prequel origin story about one of the most lovable autobots from the series. Expectations should be lowered any time you walk into a Transformers, but that may be slightly less necessary with this entry into the franchise.


Holmes and Watson (PG-13 | Wide Dec. 21)

The third collaboration between Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, this comedic interpretation of the famous titular duo is their 6th on-screen incarnation of the past decade. The movie should be able to coast on the chemistry between the two actors, but from the trailers, it doesn’t appear to be anything special. For those looking for a passable couple of hours at the theater with little commitment, this movie will likely do that, though not much more.


Welcome To Marwen (PG-13 | Wide Dec. 21)

Starring Steve Carell as a man dealing with an attack that left him without his memory, ​“Welcome To Marwen” tells the true story of Mark Hogancamp, as related earlier in the 2010 documentary Marwencol.​ Though it has an interesting premise and an all-star cast, this drama film appears to be of the Oscar-bait variety, similar to Carell’s ​“Beautiful Boy” from earlier this year. Come December 21, we’ll see what ​Marwen​’s chances are in awards season.


On the Basis of Sex (PG-13 | Wide Dec. 25)

With the release of the documentary “​RBG”​ earlier this year and Kate McKinnon’s impressions on SNL, it’s been a banner year for Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in pop-culture, and deservedly so. The second woman to serve on the court, this film will follow Ginsburg’s earlier years, including her struggle against sex discrimination, both at Harvard Law School and in her years as a lawyer fighting it in the courts. Felicity Jones (“​Rogue One”​) stars as RBG, with Armie Hammer (​“Call Me By Your Name”) co-starring as her husband, Martin.


Vice (R | Wide Dec. 25)

Christian Bale (​“The Dark Knight”)​ undergoes yet another extreme body transformation to embody Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States under George Bush. Written and directed by Adam McKay, of ​“The Big Short”​ fame, this comedy-drama focuses on Cheney’s grab for power following the 2000 election. The film is rounded out by an all-star cast, including Amy Adams, Steve Carell, and Sam Rockwell as President Bush.