Holiday movies: 68 new films out this season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

If you’re hungering for movies this holiday season, there will be a ton of cinema to indulge in, from heady Oscar fare like Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” to the controversial comedy “The Interview.”




‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1’ (Nov. 21)

It’s the beginning of the end for Katniss Everdeen as we hit the first part of the final “Hunger Games” book, where she’s fighting with the rebellion. Also starring Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and a lot of other stars who shined in the past films.


‘The Imitation Game’ (Nov. 21)

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, who helped figure out how to break the Enigma encryption device during the second World War, in this biopic. Also starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode.


‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’

A vampire-centric horror film set in Iran (but filmed in California by Iranian-American indie director Ana Lily Amirpour. In Persian with subtitles. (Nov. 21)



The government had a truce with aliens, but the truce is unknowingly broken by kids in a cabin in the woods. Starring Brittany Allen, Freddie Stoma and the always awesome Michael Ironside. Written by the Vicious Brothers (“Grave Encounters”) (Nov. 21)


‘The Mule’

The Australian film follows a first-time drug mule that refuses to go to the bathroom to release the … evidence. Starring Hugo Weaving, Angus Sampson, Leigh Whannell and John Noble. (Nov. 21)


‘Reach Me’

A diverse group of people are inspired by a motivational book written by a mysterious author. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Connolly, Terry Crews, Tom Berenger, Danny Aiello and a lot more famous people. (Nov. 21)


‘VHS: Viral’

Another installment of the horror anthology. (Nov. 21)


‘Horrible Bosses 2’

The trio of Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), Dale (Charlie Day) and Nick (Jason Bateman) return for this follow-up where they’re all in business together, but an investor stands in their way. This, however, will probably be forever known for a certain gag involving Jennifer Aniston and Bateman. (Nov. 26)


‘Penguins of Madagascar’

The militaristic penguins from the “Madagascar” movies finally get their due in this animated film that reveals their origin story and how they became the secret agents that you know and love. Featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Peter Stormare, Ken Jeong and Werner Herzog, all of whom have fantastic voices indeed. (Nov. 26)


‘The Babadook’

A woman and her son are haunted by an evil presence they read about in a children’s book in this creepy-looking horror film. (Nov. 28)


‘Zero Motivation’

This comedy follows a group of female Israeli soldiers who are more than ready to get back to being civilians. In Hebrew with subtitles. (Dec. 3)


‘Dying of the Light’

What will Nicolas Cage do next? Here he’s playing a CIA agent set to retire who goes out on his own to take down his longtime nemesis in this film written and directed by Paul Schrader (“Taxi Driver”). (Dec. 5)


‘Life Partners’

Besties Sasha (Leighton Meester), who is a gay, and Paige (Gillian Jacobs), who is straight, find their BFF relationship at odds when Paige meets and falls for Tim (Adam Brody). (Dec. 5)


‘The Pyramid’

This horror flick follows some archaeologist who get trapped and terrorized in a newly discovered Egyptian pyramid. Dec. 5)



Based on a true story, Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed, who treks 1,100 miles to get past a terrible incident from her past. From Jean-Marc Vallée, the director of “Dallas Buyers Club.” (Dec. 5)


‘Still Alice’

Julianne Moore stars as Alice Howland, a linguistics professor dealing with a harsh medical diagnosis that pushes her family to the limit. (Dec. 5)


‘Top Five’

Chris Rock writers, stars and directs this comedy about a stand-up comic who wants to make the turn to dramatic actor while his reality-star fiancée wants to have their wedding on television. Also starring Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, J.B. Smoove, Tracy Morgan and other funny folks. (Dec. 12)


‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

“Alien” and “Blade Runner” director Ridley Scott gets biblical with this epic about Moses taking on the Pharaoh. Starring Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley. (Dec. 12)


‘Inherent Vice’

From the always interesting writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson comes this adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel about a Los Angeles detective looking into his missing ex. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jena Malone, Reese Witherspoon and Josh Brolin. (Dec. 12)


‘Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles’

This documentary explores the life and work of the legendary writer, director and actor Orson Welles. From Oscar-winning director Chuck Workman. (Dec. 12)


‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’

Bilbo’s long journey comes to an end as with an epic battle that, from what I hear, features five armies. From director Peter Jackson and starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage and Lee Pace, just to name a few. (Dec. 17)


‘Goodbye to All That’

After an unexpected divorce, a man works to find a new companion and get to know his daughter better. Starring Paul Schneider, Anna Camp and Michael Chernus. (Dec. 17)



“Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Quvenzhané Wallis steps into the titular role of the foster child taken in by mayoral candidate (and Daddy Warbucks stand in) Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx). Also starring Rose Bryne, Bobby Cannavale and Cameron Diaz as Hannigan. From “Easy A” director Will Gluck. (Dec. 19)


‘The Gambler’

College professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) gets in trouble because of his gambling problem. Also starring John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Brie Larson and Michael Kenneth Williams. (Dec.19)


‘Mr. Turner’

This bio pic from writer/director Mike Leigh (“Topsy-Turvy”) follows the life of British painter J.M.W. Turner (Timothy Spall, who played Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” films). (Dec. 19)


‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’

Ben Stiller returns for the third installment of this museum-centric comedy series that takes Larry and his collection of exhibits come to life all over the globe. (Dec. 19)


‘Song of the Sea’

From the director of the charming Oscar-nominated animated film “The Secret of Kells” comes this new ‘toon feature, also based around Irish lore. (Dec. 19)


‘Two Days, One Night’

Marion Cotillard stars as a woman who faces losing her job because her co-workers decided to take a bonus instead. In French with subtitles. (Dec. 24)


‘American Sniper’

This Clint Eastwood film stars Bradley Cooper as a Navy S.E.A.L. looking back at his career as a sniper. (Dec. 25)


‘Big Eyes’

The latest Tim Burton film looks at the life of painter Margaret Keane, famous for her painting of people with big eyes, and her husband who for a longtime took credit for her work. Starring Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter and Jason Schwartzman. (Dec. 25)


‘The Interview’

This controversial comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco — about a tabloid TV show that lands an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and are tasked by the CIA to kill him — finally gets released. (Dec. 25)


‘Into the Woods’

The popular Stephen Sondheim musical about a witch and some famous fairy-tale characters comes to the big screen with Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp. From director Rob Marshall, who also brought “Chicago” to the big screen. (Dec. 25)



This historical picture looks at the Civil Rights movement in Selma, Alabama, with Martin Luther King and President Lyndon B. Johnson. Starring David Oyelowo and Tom Wilkinson. (Dec. 25)



Angelina Jolie directs this sports thriller about Olympic runner Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), who is taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. (Dec. 25)


‘A Most Violent Year’

“Margin Call” and “All is Lost” writer/director J.C. Chandor returns with this film about an immigrant striving to keep his business safe in the dangerous New York City of 1981. Starring Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. (Dec. 31)



A man faces losing his home to when the mayor of his town plans to demolish his home. In Russian with subtitles. (Dec. 31)


‘Miss Julie’

Liv Ullmann writes and directs this adaptation of an 1888 Swedish play by August Stindberg about the daughter of an aristocratic family who gets friendly with one of the valets. Starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton. (Dec. tbd)



A Temporal Agent — a time-traveling cop, basically — goes after the one criminal he’s been unable to stop. Starring Ethan Hawke. (Jan. 9)


‘Taken 3’

Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, who now finds himself being accused of murder — falsely, of course — and on the run looking for the real killer. (Jan. 9)



The latest film from “Heat” director Michael Mann features Chris Hemsworth as a convict who gets out of prison to help the authorities track down a cyber hacker across the globe. Also starring Viola Davis and William Mapother. (Jan. 16)


‘Paradise Lost’

Josh Hutcherson plays a surfer in Colombia who starts dating the niece of Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro). From first-time writer/director Andrea Di Stefano. (Jan. 16)



The beloved children’s’ book character comes to life in this family film starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Peter Capaldi, Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw as the voice of the talking bear. (Jan. 16)


‘Spare Parts’

Based on a true story, this film tells the story of four Phoenix, Arizona high school students who enter a NASA competition to build an underwater robot. (Jan. 16)


‘The Wedding Ringer’

Kevin Hart stars as a best man for hire in this comedy, where he hired by awkward groom Doug (Josh Gad) for his wedding. Also starring Kaley Cuoco). (Jan. 16)


‘Strange Magic’

This animated feature, inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and with a story by George Lucas himself, tells a story with all sorts of magical creatures and a quest to land a special potion. It features pop songs from the past 60 years and a voice cast that inlucdes Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Alfred Molina, Peter Stormare and Bob Einstein. (Jan. 23)


‘Black Sea’

A submarine captain goes in search of Nazi gold in a sunken U-boat in the Black Seas. Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn. (Jan. 23)


‘The Boy Next Door’

Jennifer Lopez is back on the big screen in this sexy thriller where she hooks up with her young neighbor, also starring Ryan Guzman, John Corbett and Kristin Chenoweth. (Jan. 23)



Adapted from the book series by Kyril Bonfiglioli, Johnny Depp stars as Charles Mortdecai, an art deal looking for a painting with ties to the Nazis and a lot of gold in this action comedy. Also starring Olivia Munn, Ewan McGregor, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow, Oliver Platt and Jeff Goldblum. (Jan. 23)


‘Coming Home’

This drama was adapted from Yan Geling’s “The Criminal Lu Yanshi.” In Mandarin with subtitles. (Jan. 30)



The dead are rising thanks to the work of some medical students. Starring Olivia Wilde and Evan Peters. (Jan. 30)



A dog used in Afghanistan to help soldiers comes back to the states after it suffers some trauma. Starring Lauren Graham and Thomas Haden Church. (Jan. 30)


‘Project Almanac’

Some teens find the schematics for a time machine and build it, which, as it turns out, was a bad idea. (Jan. 30)


‘Jupiter Ascending’

The much delayed action fantasy from Andy and Lana Wachowski comes out, about a woman who is destined to great things, maybe even saving the world. Starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. (Feb. 6)


‘Seventh Son’

A young man, the seventh son of a seventh son, is brought on as an apprentice to fight evil in this fantasy film. Starring Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Kit Harington, Julianne Moore and Djimon Hounsou. (Feb. 6)


‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’

There’s a good chance you might get disturbed when this animated/live action film brings SpongeBob SquarePants and his pals to the real world where they get 3-D animated. Also starring Antonio Banderas. (Feb. 6)


‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The popular erotic romance novel is adapted with Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. It’s the fetish film you were waiting for, just in time for Valentine’s Day. (Feb. 13)


‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’

Based on a comic from “Wanted” writer Mark Millar and “Watchman” artist Dave Gibbins, this action comedy features a newbie secret agent getting shown the ropes by a veteran Kingsman, an international intelligence agency. Starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Samuel L. Jackson and Taron Egerton. From “X-Men: First Class” director Matthew Vaughn. (Feb. 13)


‘The Last 5 Years’

Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick star in this cinematic adaptation of the musical, which was recently revived last year Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre. It follows a couple’s relationship through a complicated musical timeline. (Feb. 13)


‘The Gunman’

A spy targeted by his former employer is out to prove his innocence. Starring Sean Penn, Idris Elba and Javier Bardem. (Feb. 20)


‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’

The surprise hit comedy returns with a new time spanning adventure where Jacob (Clark Duke) and Nick (Craig Robinson) have to save Lou (Rob Corddry). John Cusack does not appear to be back, though imdb.com does list someone as “assistant: Mr. Cusack.” Did I just get a scoop? (Feb. 20)


‘Jane Got a Gun’

Natalie Portman brings in her ex to help protect her family and home when her husband comes back bullet-ridden. Also starring Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro and Noah Emmerich. (Feb. 20)


‘McFarland’ (Nov. 21)

Kevin Costner is in another sports film, playing a track coach helping to make his small-town team into a winner. Also starring Maria Bello. From Niki Caro, the director of “Whale Rider.” (Feb. 20)



After a riot, a British soldier is stuck in Belfast in 1971. Starring Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid and Sean Harris. (Feb. 27)



Will Smith is a con man who brings on an apprentice, played by Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street”) in this action comic drama. All goes well until there’s a hitch in their relationship. See what I did there? From Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, directors of “Crazy Stupid Love.” (Feb. 27)


‘Little Boy’

A boy works to bring his dad, a soldier in World War II, back home. Starring Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Kevin James (not a comedy, FYI). (Feb. 27)


‘Maps to the Stars’

David Cronenberg directs this portrait of a messed up, dysfunctional Hollywood family. Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, Olivia Williams and Robert Pattinson. (Feb. 27)



A Nicolas Cage/Hayden Christensen action film released in the doldrums of February? What? This surefire box office sensation follows a warrior who fights an emperor in China or something, but does it really matter? (Feb. 27)


‘The Vatican Tapes’

Michael Peña stars in this horror flick about a botched exorcism caught on tape that accidentally gets leaked. (Feb. 27)?

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