The weather outside may be frightful, but the movie selection this month is truly delightful. We’re right on the cusp of awards season, which means all the heavy hitters that have been garnering critical acclaim since festival season are finally coming out. But don’t worry, there are more than just dark dramas and cerebral flicks available to us this month. You’ll be able to laugh out loud, sing along, and even curl up on the couch with a Netflix exclusive. Take a break from holiday shopping and read on for the movies you can’t miss this month!

By Courtney Higgs
Updated December 07, 2016
Courtesy 20th Century Fox

This article originally appeared on

Courtesy 20th Century Fox


December 2

Natalie Portman wows as Jacqueline Kennedy in this chillingly intimate look at the days immediately following the 1963 assassination of her husband and former POTUS, John F. Kennedy. Awards buzz has been swirling ever since this one hit the festival circuit earlier this year, and for good reason—Portman gives a stellar performance! Check it out if you're in the mood to take in a dramatic, award-worthy pic.


December 9

The long-gestating nod to the golden age of old Hollywood musicals is finally here! Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star as Sebastian and Mia, a couple of modern day dreamers trying to make it big in Los Angeles. As if you needed another reason to love these two together (Crazy, Stupid, Love. is still one of our all-time fave movies), their coordinated song and dance sequences will definitely win you over. John Legend and J.K. Simmons also appear. It will be available in select markets beginnind Dec. 9, before it expands nationwide on Dec. 16, so check in with your local theater to find out when you'll be able to enjoy this one!

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December 9

Get ready to laugh your way into the holiday season! Funny man T.J. Miller stars as Clay, a ne’er-do-well who hatches a harebrained scheme to win over a potential client by inviting the mogul (played by Courtney B. Vance) to the company’s holiday party. But Clay’s uptight sister Carole (played by Jennifer Aniston) is the company’s CEO, and she is just itching to close down her brother’s branch of the business. Jason Bateman, Kate McKinnon and Olivia Munn also star in this holiday comedy.


December 16

This emotional drama stars Will Smith as a man who, after experiencing a terrible tragedy, begins writing letters to the inanimate ideas of time, love, and death in an attempt to deal with his grief. But when human iterations of these lifeless ideas begin responding to him, in person, everything changes and he slowly starts learning how to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Naomie Harris also star.


December 16

Denzel Washington directed and stars as Troy in the big screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play. It follows a black family dealing with the ebbs and flows of life in the 1950s. Viola Davis plays Troy’s dedicated wife, Rose, and newcomer Jovan Adepo plays his son, Cory. If you live in New York or Los Angeles, you’re in luck. This film opens in those cities only on Dec. 16, before it hits theaters nationwide on Christmas Day.

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December 16

President Barack Obama’s term is almost up, but this festival circuit pleaser is throwing it way back to before the presidency was even a twinkle in his eye. This biopic follows a young “Barry" as he navigates life and love while studying at Columbia University in New York City. The gorgeous Anya Taylor Joy stars as his love interest, Charlotte. No need to head out to the theater to catch this one—you can cozy up on your couch and stream it on Netflix starting Dec. 16.


The hotly anticipated Star Wars standalone film is finally here, and the details of the new epic adventure are still pretty scant. It will follow The Rebellion as they execute a dangerous plan to steal the Death Star. Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen and Diego Luna star. And of course, no Star Wars film would be complete without James Earl Jones voicing Darth Vader.


December 21

This one’s for the gamers! What started out as a lauded video game franchise will be making its way to the big screen, just in time for Christmas. It tells the story of Callum Lynch (played by Michael Fassbender), a man who, through a mysterious and cutting edge scientific development, is able to travel back in time and live in the memories of his ancestor—a master assassin during the Spanish Inquisition. Marion Cotillard also stars.

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December 21

So, what do you do when you’re headed through space in suspended animation but a spacecraft malfunction causes you to wake up 90 years early? You pray you wake up to Chris Pratt staring back at you, that’s what! Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star as Jim and Aurora, the pair who find themselves in this scenario and must work quickly to save the other 5,000 people on the spaceship.


December 21

This animated tale is for all the American Idol enthusiasts who still can’t believe the show is over for good. Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton and Seth MacFarlane are just a few of the superstar voices you’ll recognize in this musical about animals competing in a singing competition (hosted by a dapper koala, no less!). By our meter, this one might actually be too cute for words and your kids will absolutely love it, too.


December 23

Lauded director Martin Scorsese has finally prevailed in his decades-long battle to get this film made! The historical drama tells the story of two Jesuit priests (played by Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face immense persecution when they travel to 17th century Japan to locate their missing mentor (played by Liam Neeson).


December 23

If you're bringing your significant other home to meet your family for the first time this holiday season, just remember: it can't get any worse than the way it goes down in this riotous comedy. James Franco plays Larid, a quirky Silicon Valley billionaire who's meeting his girlfriend's family for the first time. And let's just say, he doesn't exactly make the best impression! The beautiful Zoey Deutch plays his girlfriend Stephanie, and Bryan Cranston stars are her overprotective father, Ned.


December 25

You always hear about John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, but rarely do you hear about the team responsible for putting him there. This is the inspiring untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), three African-American women working for NASA in the 1960s, who played an integral role in turning around the worldwide Space Race. Get your tissues ready, because this inspiring story is sure to tug at your heartstrings.