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15 Films to See in December

Written by on December 3, 2018 

10. Welcome to Marwen (Robert Zemeckis; Dec. 21)


One of the few directors who is able to still wrangle a decent-sized budget for Hollywood studio fare that doesn’t involve capes or anything of the ilk, Robert Zemeckis’ formally inventive films are still ones to marvel at. Following his remarkable return to live-action with the trio of FlightThe Walk, and Allied, his next project looks is a mix of that realm and a healthy dose of motion capture. Welcome to Marwen, another remake of a documentary from the director, is based on the 2010 film Marwencol, and after a wild first trailer, a second one shifted tones to an entirely inspirational one, perhaps fitting for its December holiday release date. The story follows Steve Carell’s character in the true story of a man who was beaten into a coma, leaving memory loss, he then constructs a fantastical World War II-era world of dolls that fight the Nazis, sharing parallel to his real world. – Jordan R.

9. The Mule (Clint Eastwood; Dec. 14)


Clint Eastwood is back… again. Following this February’s The 15:17 to Paris, the director’s second film of the year marks the first time he’s been in front of the camera since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve and the first time he’s directed himself since a decade ago in Gran Torino. Warner Bros. has been keen to insist this tale of geriatric drug smuggling is a strictly commercial effort, but we’ll find out if there’s more in the trunk in less than two weeks.

8. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Peter Ramsey, Robert Persichetti Jr., and Rodney Rothman; Dec. 14)


I’ll admit that the combination of superhero fatigue and an animation style that seemed exhausting for a feature-length film meant Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse wasn’t on my must-see list this month. However, it seems like Sony knew what they had in their hands as they set early press screenings to a rapturous response weeks before the film’s theatrical release. Now, heading into the blockbuster month, it looks like this Phil Lord- and Chris Miller-produced animation is one of the few tentpoles worth seeking out.

7. The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier; Dec. 14)


As expected when it comes to a serial killer movie from Lars von Trier, The House That Jack Built divided Cannes audiences, though we were firmly on the positive side. “Whether there’s any worth to be found in The House That Jack Built will depend on the viewer’s interest in delving deep into von Trier’s tortured psyche,” said Giovanni Marchini Camia in his review. “It’s unlikely anyone will empathize with him and it’s certain many will find the film execrable, but those willing to indulge his excess are offered a wealth of fascinating material. As far as artistic self-portraits and disquisitions on the creative process go, this one’s nothing if not unorthodox.” Now, after one-night-only screenings last month, the film will get a proper release this month.

6. Vox Lux (Brady Corbet; Dec. 7)


Following his harrowing directorial debut The Childhood of a Leader, Brady Corbet is stepping up his scope with Vox Lux. Telling the story of Natalie Portman’s character on her pop stardom journey, from 1999 to 2017, Rory O’Connor said in his review, “It’s pleasing to note that the actor-turned-director seems to have forgone none of Childhood‘s aesthetic swagger and misanthropic bite in the process of making his second feature. He has, however, significantly fine-tuned his nose for satire in that time and what we have as a result is not only a thrilling examination of fame and violence in the 21st century and how the two are intrinsically linked, it might also be 2018’s most blistering cinematic provocation this side of Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built.”

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