Kristen Stewart is Princess Diana in Spencer.
As we approach December, the best movies of the year are still on the horizon. Finally, audiences across America will get a chance to see the critical darlings of festival season and the year’s biggest superhero movies. Late fall through December brings us some of the greatest films of the year in anticipation of the impending awards season. Whether you’re an indie junkie or psychological thriller fan, the upcoming slate of movie releases has it all. Read on for 16 films that you must see before the year ends.
Catch Joie Comer, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Adam Driver in Ridley Scott’s historical drama based on the real-life last sanctioned duel in France. When Marguerite de Carrouges (Comer) claims squire Jacques Le Gris (Driver) raped her, her husband Jean de Carrouges challenges him to combat.
Denis Villeneuve takes on the epic tale by Frank Herbert. Starring Timothée Chalamet as Paul Atreides, a gifted young man must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to save his family and people. The cast also includes Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolon, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem.
Wes Anderson returns with a cinematic love letter to journalism. Set in a fictional 20th-century French city, The French Dispatch tells a collection of stories published in the titular magazine.The cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Christoph Waltz, Owen Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton, Liev Schreiber, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Anjelica Huston, Benicio Del Toro, Frances McDormand and Bill Murray.
Edgar Wright’s psychological drama exposes the ills of looking back on the past with a rose-colored lens. When Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), an aspiring fashion designer, is mysteriously able to transport to the ‘60s, she encounters a dazzling wannabe singer, Sandy (Anya Taylor-Joy). The glamour quickly spins out into something much darker when Eloise witnesses Sandy’s murder and becomes her only hope to save her.
Pablo Larraín’s captures Princess Diana Spencer during the Christmas holiday of 1991 in the days leading up to her decision to leave Prince Charles. Festival buzz around the film has nearly certified Kristen Stewart as a front-runner for the 2022 Oscar race for her portrayal of the People’s Princess.
After sweeping the 2021 Oscars with Nomadland, director Chloe Zhao takes helm of the newest Marvel adventure that focuses on a race of immortal beings with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth and must reunite to battle the evil Deviants. It stars Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, Kumail Nanjiani, Brain Tyree Henry, Barry Keoghan, Salma Hayek and Gemma Chan.
Opting for a more intimate film? Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical, black-and-white film chronicles the life of a working class family and their young son’s childhood during the tumultuous ‘60s in the Northern Ireland capital. Ultimately, Belfast is a tale of love, laughter and loss. Cast includes Judi Dench and Jamie Dornan.
Will Smith goes for an Oscar in his portrayal of the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. King Richard explains how the sisters came from an unlikely background to dominate the sport at the behest of coach and father Richard. The Williams sisters serve as executive producers.
In her follow up to A Star is Born, Lady Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). It unfurls the events surrounding Gucci’s murder, which was sanctioned by Reggiani. Ridley Scott has rounded up Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek and Al Pacino for what is sure to be a fun time.
Cooper Hoffman (son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Alana Haim (of the band Haim) make their feature film debut in Paul Thomas Anderson’s coming-of-age love story set in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley in the 1970s. The cast also includes Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph, John C. Reilly and Benny Safdie.
From the director of The Florida Project comes a comedy-drama about Mikey Saber (Simon Rex), a former porn star who returns to his native Texas smalltown and learns you can't really go home again.
Steven Spielberg tackles the legendary musical about a pair of teens from different ethnic backgrounds who fall in love in 1950s New York City. Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort star as the star-crossed lovers caught in the crosshairs of the Sharks and the Jets. Rita Moreno, who won an Academy Award for her 1961 performance as Maria, serves as an executive producer.
Tom Holland brings his tenure as Spider-Man to a close with this third installment. No longer a masked stranger, stakes heighten and become even more dangerous when he asks for help from Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). In the process, he discovers what it truly means to be Spider-Man. Cast includes Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau, Jamie Foxx, Martin Starr and Alfred Molina.
Based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham, an ambitious carny with a knack for manipulation teams up with a woman psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is and together they trick people into giving them money. From director Guillermo del Toro, it stars Rooney Mara, Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe and Toni Collette.
Long live the Keanu renaissance. After nearly 20 years, Neo (Reevs) is back and plagued by strange memories that tumble out to his return back inside the Matrix. Carrie-Anne Moss and Jada Pinkett Smith also return and are joined by Yahya Abdul-Matten II, Chrisitna Ricci, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Henwick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. Lana Wachowski serves as producer, director and co-writer.
Denzel Washington takes on the classic William Shakespeare role as the Scottish lord who resolves to seize power and become the next king of Scotland after receiving a prophecy from a trio of witches. Also starring Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth, the film marks Joel Coen’s first directorial effort sans brother Ethan.
Photography by: Courtesy NEON