For the first time in as long as almost anyone can remember, there will be no long lines at movie theaters this holiday season. There won’t even be short lines.
Thanks to COVID-19, in this country, as in many other places around the world, going to the cinema just won’t be an option this year.
But there will still be plenty of options if watching a newly released movie is what you plan to do this season. Here are nine of the most anticipated offerings available now and over the next few days.
Happy Holidays and enjoy!
“Let Them All Talk”
Cast: Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges
Streep, Bergen, Wiest – the three legendary and multiple-awarded actresses share the screen in this largely improvised comedy-drama.
In it, a famous author goes on a cruise trip with her friends and nephew in an effort to find fun and happiness while she comes to terms with her troubled past.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh (“Erin Brockovich”, “Traffic”, “Magic Mike”), “Let Them All Talk” is available now on the streaming service HBO Max.
Cast: Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Jo Ellen Pellman, James Corden
Streep is back as one of a number of down-on-their-luck Broadway stars who seek to shake up a small Indiana town as they rally behind a teen who wants to go to the prom with her girlfriend.
Part of his massive deal with Netflix, prolific Director/Producer Ryan Murphy directs this star-studded musical comedy with a cast including Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells.
Cast: James Reeves, Corinne Foxx, Matthew Glave
Genre: Biographical Drama
“Safety” is based on the true story of Clemson University football player Ray McElrathbey, who, aided by his teammates and the community, succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year old brother, Fahmarr.
It’s available now on Disney+.
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Cast: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige
One of the most anticipated films of the season, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” features what’s likely Chadwick Boseman’s final film appearance. He stars along with Viola Davis in this film adaptation of the August Wilson play of the same name.
Davis plays the title character, the trailblazing 1920s blues singer. In the story, tensions rise between Ma Rainey and her band at a recording studio in Chicago in 1927.
Directed by Tony Award winning director George C. Wolfe, the film is the second in a series of Denzel Washington-produced adaptations of Wilson’s plays. It follows “Fences”, in which Washington starred and directed Davis to her first Oscar win.
There’s plenty Oscar buzz around this one too. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” debuts today on Netflix.
“The Midnight Sky”
Cast: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler
George Clooney directs himself as a lone scientist in the Arctic racing to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
Hmmm. “A mysterious global catastrophe”! Sounds familiar. Watch it on Netflix next week.
“News of the World”
Cast: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Neil Sandilands, Mare Winningham
If you prefer your survival story dramas be set in the past rather than providing possible glimpses of the future, “News of the World” may be more your speed.
Oscar winner Tom Hanks plays Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd. Five years after the end of the Civil War, he crosses paths with a 10-year-old girl taken by the Kiowa people. Forced to return to her aunt and uncle, Kidd agrees to escort the child across the harsh and unforgiving plains of Texas. However, the long journey soon turns into a fight for survival as the traveling companions encounter danger at every turn – both human and natural.
Paul Greengrass – who directed three of the films in the Jason Bourne action series and directed Hanks in “Captain Phillips” – is the captain here.
See it on Netflix on Christmas Day.
“One Night in Miami”
Cast: Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Leslie Odom Jr., Aldis Hodge
Oscar and multiple Emmy winner Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”, TV’s “Watchmen”) makes her feature film directorial debut here on this film adaptation of the stage play of the same name.
It tells the story of a fictionalized meeting between Cassius Clay (before he would become Muhammed Ali), football player Jim Brown, legendary crooner Sam Cooke, and civil and human rights activist Malcolm X.
Set to be released in the few theaters around the world still open on Christmas Day, the rest of us will get a chance to see “One Night in Miami” in mid-January.
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, Daveed Diggs
Genre: Animated Comedy/Adventure
From Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios, “Soul” features Oscar winner Jamie Foxx as a musician who has lost his passion for music, specifically jazz. When he is transported out of his body and to another realm, he must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself as well.
Foxx heads a spectacular cast including, Tina Fey, Angela Bassett, Phylicia Rashad, Questlove and Daveed Diggs.
Originally slated to be released in theaters this past summer, the film will be available exclusively to Disney+ subscribers at no extra cost on Christmas Day.
“Wonder Woman 1984”
Cast: Gal Gadot, Kristen Wiig, Chris Pine, Pedro Pascal
What was expected to be the biggest movie of 2020 finally gets its day.
Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman, squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.
Patty Jenkins is also back as a director.
After many frequent delays, “Woman Woman 1984” will be a Christmas gift to HBO Max subscribers, who can watch it at no extra cost.