Holiday Blockbusters to Watch this Holiday Season

Illustrated by Emma Fried • The Spectator
Illustrated by Emma Fried • The Spectator

The Holidays are a time for family, friends and togetherness. They are also a time for some of the best movies of the year, as many of the Awards Season movies are released. Let this guide assist you in deciding which movies to see, whether you are watching with friends and family, or wrapped up in a blanket drinking hot cocoa.


[Dec. 4] —PG-13—
While it might be a little out of place, this Christmas/Horror/Comedy film might just be your ticket to family bonding as you laugh together, hold each other tight and remember to be good or else “Krampus,” a character from German folklore who is said to have been a pre-Christian version of Santa Claus who delights in punishment rather than gift giving, will come to get you. Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation”) and Toni Collette (“Little Miss Sunshine”) star.


[Dec. 4] —R—
Coming off of his Oscar-winning film, “The Great Beauty,” director Paolo Sorrentino returns with this tender, haunting film about life, love, music and growing old. Michael Caine looks to woo audiences and the Academy with his delicate, heart-breaking performance as a retired
orchestra conductor.

In the Heart of the Sea

[Dec. 11] —PG-13—
Despite being pushed back almost a year, Ron Howard’s incredible true story of the events that spawned the tale of Moby Dick is now coming out amid Oscar Season. Chris Hemsworth stars as the captain of the whaling ship named the Essex and is determined to kill a special whale, but is soon pushed to obsession by his crew’s death.

The Danish Girl

[Dec. 18] —R—
Probably one of the most important movies of the year, it portrays Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe (in another transformative performance from Eddie Redmayne), who underwent the first-ever male to female sex reassignment surgery. With direction from Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”) and a beautiful performance from rising star Alicia Vikander, “The Danish Girl” should be one on your list of must see movies this Winter.


[Dec. 18] —R—
With the misfortune of being released on the same day as the next film on our list, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s on-screen reunion is sure to be one of the funniest and quotable movies of the year. John Cena, John Leguizamo, Maya Rudolph and James Brolin also star. Jason Moore (director of the first “Pitch Perfect”) is expected to infuse the film with the same heart and humor that “Pitch Perfect” had and it will serve as a suitable replacement for those not interested in this
next movie….

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

[Dec. 18] —PG-13—
Is there anything else that needs to be said for this movie? If you aren’t already shaking with excitement for the long-awaited return of the series (and reunion of Han Solo, Luke and Leia) then there’s just nothing else I can do to pump you up. Will it end up being like “The Phantom Menace”? I certainly hope not. If the movie itself is half as good as the previews, the movie is sure to impress…and that’s saying something about the phenomenal marketing campaign behind the film.

The Big Short

[Dec. 23] —R—
This one really appeared out of nowhere on my radar, but it is now one of the most promising movies of the year. From director Adam McKay comes an acting power-house with a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell and Christian Bale. The movie revolves around the events that led to the credit and housing bubble collapse of 2007. I’m expecting this film to be a big contender come Award Season.

The Hateful Eight

[Dec. 25] —R—
Following a cancellation after the original screenplay was leaked, Quentin Tarantino’s return to the western genre (after “Django Unchained”) is bound to be filled with blood-shed, dark humor and an always entertaining screenplay. With a giant cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Dern, Kurt Russell, Zoe Bell, Channing Tatum and Tim Roth, be sure to add this one to your list of must sees. I mean, when you have a tagline that reads “Spend the holidays with someone you hate,” you know you’re in for one heck of a ride.


[Dec. 25] —PG-13—
Jennifer Lawrence continues to prove herself one of the most talented performers in Hollywood today. Reuniting with David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”), this movie is seemingly written for Lawrence. Also starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, “Joy” follows a family across four generations under the leadership of the titular matriarch. Expect Lawrence to be nominated for multiple awards for a second straight year.

The Revenant

[Jan. 8] —R—
Looking to repeat his success with last year’s “Birdman,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu directs this gorgeous revenge-tale with a performance from Leonardo DiCaprio that might just net him an Oscar. At this time, “The Revenant” is seemingly this year’s film to beat for the Oscar gold, so it should be top on your list to see if you want to be a part of Oscar-talk.

Note: Not all of these films will be released nationally on their listed dates, as some are only released in select cities.

Scott may be reached at [email protected]