The holiday season will usher in several highly-anticipated blockbuster films to theaters. Movies hitting the silver screen within the next month range from wholesome family features — some about friendships in a prehistoric land — to a huge fan-driven phenomenon taking place in a galaxy (far, far) away.
Whether you are looking for a movie to see with the kids over Thanksgiving or you are planning a Christmas Eve date night, Hollywood has something great in store for everyone.
Starting off this most wonderful time of the year is the long awaited final installment of the trilogy that took the world by storm, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2,” which will see its theatrical premiere on Nov. 20. Directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Peter Craig and Danny Strong, this movie stars Jennifer Lawrence returning once again as Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant face of the rebel war front in Panem, who must set aside her own well-being for the good of her family and the entire nation.
She teams up with her longtime companions Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth), and Finnick as they “turn their weapons to the Capitol.”
The following week will bring us Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur,” making its Thanksgiving debut. This animated feature, directed by Peter Sohn and written by Meg LeFauve, comes from the brilliant minds behind “Inside Out” and “Monsters Inc.” It stars Raymond Ochoa as an Apatosaurus named Arlo who embarks on a journey with a human boy he names Spot (Jack Bright).
As a general rule of thumb, any movie that starts with a desk lamp jumping on top of an “I” is probably a good one, and with “The Good Dinosaur,” Pixar has brought back the uplifting themes of love and friendship that really make movies like “Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story” worth watching.
For horror fans, though, the holiday season is usually not the best time in terms of cinema. This year, however, thanks to writer and director Michael Dougherty, Christmas is terrifying.
“Krampus” starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette, premieres on Dec. 4 and features a dysfunctional family that inadvertently summons a demonic “shadow of Saint Nicholas” when they get together for Christmas. Krampus, rather than giving gifts as reward for good behavior, punishes those who are naughty.
The comedy genre, furthermore, is also getting a great addition next month. On Dec. 18, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey reunite for “Sisters,” a film directed by Jason Moore and written by Paula Pell about two adult sisters who return to their parents’ house and throw one final high school-style party in hopes of recapturing their youth.
Last, but certainly not least, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will also be released on Dec. 18 to the delight of millions of fans around the world. Directed by J.J. Abrams and continuing the saga created by George Lucas, this epic film presents the return of much of the original cast, including Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set 30 years after the events of “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” as a new threat rises and Han Solo and his allies must face another army of stormtroopers under the command of the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).