Last month, MHT sat out ranking the anticipated releases due to some unforeseen circumstances. December is a big month and it’s headlined by the first Star Wars spin-off: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There are plenty of other solid options in December and a few that should get Oscar buzz. Here’s the list of December releases ranked by anticipation:1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16)
It was at the top of the list at the beginning of the year and still is. Thanks to the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars-related films will likely be at the top of the anticipation list any month they are released. Tickets went on sale on Monday and they are through the roof so we’re not the only one looking forward to this.
2. Collateral Beauty (December 16)
Going up against Rogue One isn’t a great idea but Collateral Beauty looks compelling enough to at least deliver a better fight than Sisters did against The Force Awakens. My bold prediction: This movie will make my allergies act up.
3. La La Land (December 9)
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have been making the rounds promoting this film and usually it’s a process that is necessary and annoying. However, these two really look like they enjoy working together and it adds to the intrigue of the throwback musical.
4. Passengers (December 21)
Speaking of potentially good chemistry, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt look to heat up the screen in Passengers.
5. Fences (December 25)
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are strong Oscar candidates with their roles in this film that also looks Oscar worthy. Throw in November’s Moonlight and Oscar is going to have a tough time remaining so white this year… not that it’s ever stopped them before.
6. Patriots Day (December 21)
Director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg make their third movie together and third movie based on true events. This one hits close to home for Wahlberg as the film deals with the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013.
7. Gold (December 25)
Director Stephen Gaghan previously impressed as the writer of Traffic and the writer/director of Syriana. Now, he delivers Gold which is likely to put Matthew McCounaghey in a position to take home a little gold statue next year.
8. Miss Sloane (December 9)
The trailer for Miss Sloane looks too good to pass up despite our own personal weariness of politics at this point of 2016.
9. Sing (December 21)
There have already been two great animated films this year (Moana and Zootopia) and one really good animated film (Kubo and the Two Strings) and that one that went nuts at the box office even though it really wasn’t that good (The Secret Life of Pets). This has been a pretty good year for animated films and Sing should at least be adequate.
10. Hidden Figures (December 25)
The untold story of three African American women who helped NASA catch up in the Space Race.
11. A Monster Calls (December 23)
Good cast and Liam Neeson as the voice of the “Monster.”
12. Paterson (December 28)
Adam Driver tries to distance himself from Star Wars. Working with Jim Jarmusch should give him a fighting chance.
13. Silence (December 23)
If that didn’t work for Driver, working with Martin Scorsese might do the trick.
14. Office Christmas Party (December 9)
There are enough familiar faces in this ridiculous looking Christmas comedy to at least make it a curiosity. I’m going to bet Jason Bateman’s character is an asshole and T.J. Miller is sarcastic.
15. Live By Night (December 25)
Ben Affleck wrote, produced, directed and stars in this adaptation of a Dennis Lehane crime novel about a bootlegger who becomes a gangster in the 1930s.
16. 20th Century Women (December 25)
Another A24 release is getting rave reviews. Us common folk who don’t attend Film Festivals will have to wait but it sounds like it’ll be worth the wait.
17. Assassin’s Creed (December 21)
I have to admit the mere presence of Michael Fassbender in this film is enough to overcome the fact that it is a lame video game adaptation.
18. Jackie (December 2)
Natalie Portman as a post-JFK assassination Jacqueline Kennedy. One of the many films that could gain the attention of the Academy for its subject matter alone.
19. Solace (December 16)
Anthony Hopkins plays a retired physician with psychic powers who is enlisted to help solve a series of homicides. Need I say it? Ugh!
20. Why Him? (December 23)
I like Bryan Cranston and sometimes James Franco doesn’t annoy me. However, I think this might not be one of those times. BTW, that trailer is NSFW.
21. The Hollow Point (December 16)
A modern Western set in a border town featuring Patrick Wilson as the town’s new sheriff. Maybe it’ll be good but any movie that casts Jim Belushi gives me pause.
22. Sugar Mountain (December 9)
A faked disappearance is at the center of this film’s plot.
23. A Girl Like Grace (December 2)
December’s coming of age movie. There’s always at least one.
24. Incarnate (December 2)
Blumhouse and WWE Studios make another horror film. Shocking!
25. Anonymous (December 2)
A thriller for the dark web set.
26. The Eyes of My Mother (December 2)
Easily the most disturbing looking film of December.
27. The Bounce Back (December 9)
It’s hard not to like Shemar Moore but making it a package deal with Bill Bellamy might be a start.