Movies to see this holiday season: ‘Justice League,’ ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ ‘Coco’ and more

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Movies to see this holiday season: ‘Justice League,’ ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ ‘Coco’ and more

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It’s hard to say what the biggest news of this holiday movie-season will be. The final performance of Daniel Day-Lewis? Disney-Pixar’s first Hispanic-themed feature? The Oscar trifecta of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg with the journalism drama “The Post”?

At the moment, the movie industry needs all the excitement it can get. Following a summer of major bombs like “The Mummy,” plus the worst October in a decade (including George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” one of Paramount’s lowest-opening movies ever), this year’s box-office take stands at $8.7 billion. Hollywood has just two months left to reach the $11.4 billion total of last year.

Ticket sales ought to be brisk for at least two holiday-season blockbusters: One is “Justice League,” the superhero ensemble film starring Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and the other is “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which brings back Mark Hammill as Luke Skywalker. There are also high hopes for “The Greatest Showman,” a musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” the rare horror film that’s being hailed as a strong Oscar contender.

Here are 20 movies that could make this season, and this year, a bright one:

Nov. 17

JUSTICE LEAGUE Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman, now friends again, form an alliance with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and the Flash (Ezra Miller).

WONDER A boy with facial differences (Jacob Tremblay, “Room”) tries to fit in at a new school. Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts play his parents.

ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. Denzel Washington plays the title role in this drama about a do-gooder attorney who gets mixed up with some very bad people. With Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo.

Nov. 22

COCO Disney-Pixar’s latest animated film is a Latin-themed fantasy about a budding young musician, Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez), who must prove his worth by entering the Land of the Dead. With the voices of Benjamin Bratt and Gael García Bernal.

DARKEST HOUR Gary Oldman, wearing roughly 20 pounds of makeup and prosthetics, plays British Prime Winston Churchill during the early years of World War II. In early Oscar betting, Oldman is the current favorite.

Nov. 24

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Luca Guadagnino’s romantic drama has drawn some criticism for its age-inappropriate relationship between a teenager (Timothee Chalamet) and a 24-year-old scholar (Armie Hammer). Based on Andre Aciman’s novel.

Dec. 1

THE DISASTER ARTIST The story behind the 2003 drama “The Room,” often called the worst film ever made. James Franco plays the enigmatic filmmaker Tommy Wiseau, while Dave Franco plays young actor Greg Sestero, whose tragicomic memoir is the basis for this film. Directed by Franco.

THE SHAPE OF WATER In Guillermo del Toro’s latest, Sally Hawkins plays a mute cleaning woman at a government facility where a strange creature is held captive. With Michael Shannon.

WONDER WHEEL In Coney Island during the 1950s, four people cross paths: a hard-luck actress (Kate Winslet), a carousel operator (Jim Belushi), an aspiring playwright (Justin Timberlake) and a girl on the run from gangsters (Juno Temple). Written and directed by Woody Allen.

Dec. 8

I, TONYA The tragic-comic story of figure-skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), whose connection to a physical attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, ended her career. With Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan.

Dec. 15

FERDINAND An animated adaptation of the 1936 children’s book about Madrid’s gentlest bull. John Cena is the voice of the title role. Also with Kate McKinnon and Bobby Cannavale.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI The second film in the new “Star Wars” trilogy sees the return of Daisy Ridley as the scrappy warrior Rey, Adam Driver as the powerful Kylo Ren and Mark Hamill as the now-legendary Luke Skywalker. Directed by Rian Johnson (“Looper”).

Dec. 20

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Hugh Jackman plays the circus impresario P.T. Barnum in this musical biopic. With Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya. Songs by Oscar-winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”). Directed by newcomer Michael Gracey.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE In this sequel to the 1995 family film “Jumanji,” four teenagers are sucked into an old video game and must play for their lives. With Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan.

Dec. 22

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. A drama about the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer). In a last-minute move by director Ridley Scott, Kevin Spacey’s performance as oil tycoon John Paul Getty will be removed from the film due to recent sexual assault allegations against the actor. Spacey is being replaced by Christopher Plummer (no relation to Charlie). Also starring Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg.

DOWNSIZING In the near future, scientists discover the solution to overcrowding and climate change: shrink everyone to just five inches tall. Matt Damon plays a man who decides to take the plunge. With Christoph Waltz and newcomer Hong Chau. Directed and co-written by Alexander Payne (“Election”).

PITCH PERFECT 3 The a cappella superstars of the Barden Bellas are out of college, in the workforce and looking for any excuse to get the band back together. Elizabeth Banks returns to direct this threequel, which stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld.

THE POST In 1971, The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), and editor, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), incur the wrath of the U.S. government for publishing the Pentagon Papers. Directed by Steven Spielberg.

Dec. 25

MOLLY’S GAME Aaron Sorkin makes his directorial debut with the wild tale of Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a one-time Olympic skier who later ran some of the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker games. With Michael Cera, Kevin Costner and Idris Elba.

PHANTOM THREAD In what is intended as his final performance, Daniel Day-Lewis plays a famous dressmaker whose new muse (Vicky Krieps) proves difficult to control. Paul Thomas Anderson (“American Hustle”) wrote, directed and served as cinematographer.


THE STAR (Nov. 17) An animated film about the very first Christmas, seen through the eyes of the animals. With the voices of Oprah Winfrey and Tracy Morgan.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (Nov. 22) The story behind the story of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” With Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer.

FATHER FIGURES (Dec. 22) Owen Wilson and Ed Helms play brothers who, after a surprise admission from their mother (Glenn Close), go in search of the father they never knew.

HOSTILES (Dec. 22) In 1892, an Army captain (Christian Bale) agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) back to his tribal lands.

FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL (Dec. 29) Annette Bening plays Gloria Grahame, the Oscar-winning screen siren, who begins a late-life romance with a man nearly 30 years her junior (Jamie Bell).

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