11 Great Films To Watch This Holiday Season

Holiday 2019 movie picks

The holiday selection at movie theaters are aplenty every year, but this holiday season boasts exceptionally great films competing for your dollars. To help you decide which movie to catch during the holiday break, here's my picks broken down by genre. 


Action / Thriller Picks

KNIVES OUT

The whodunnit movie directed and written by Rian Johnson (LOOPER, STARS WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER) stars an all-star cast with Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Colette, LaKeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Katherine Langford ("13 Reasons Why), and Jaeden Martell (IT: CHAPTER 2) starring.

KNIVES OUT is outrageously good with a great cast, and once again the filmmaker takes risks to bring us a fresh take on the murdery mystery genre. 

 

FORD V FERRARI

James Mangold delivers a powerhouse of a film with FORD V FERRARI with electric performances by Matt Damon and Christian Bale. You don't have to be a racing or car enthusiast to enjoy this new release that's not so much about cars but a friendship that develops over creating Ford's first racing car. Too bad the Ford company doesn't fare so well as the villains in the movie. 

 Full Review: 'Ford v Ferrari' Puts You in the Driver Seat

 

TERMINATOR: DARK FATE

Despite it bombing at the box office, DARK FATE is a worthy sequel to TERMINATOR: JUDGEMENT DAY. While critic’s reviews were mixed, audiences mostly enjoyed the film with a 83% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

 

FROZEN II
The follow-up to the massive 2013 hit was equally entertaining and ten times more hilarious and magical. FROZEN 2 continues the theme of sisterly love, and the music is unique without trying to replicate the magic of “Let It Go.”

 Full Review: Funnier and More Magical Than the Original

 

LOW KEY FARE

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Tom Hanks is Mr. Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD but he's not the focus of the story. However, you'll leave the movie theater loving Mr. Rogers more even if he's not the main character. A Mr. Rogers bio pic never materialized but we were happily surprised.

RICHARD JEWELL 
Clint Eastwood directs the true story of Richard Jewell who was falsely named a bombing suspect from the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The FBI tried to railroad the security guard as the prime suspect when all he did was report a suspicious backpack and saved lives.

Performances by Paul Walter Hauser as Jewell and Kathy Bates are riveting as well as from the supporting cast (Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, John Hamm).

 

BOMBSHELL 
Another riveting true story hits the big screen starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and John Lithgow. BOMBSHELL centers around the sexual harassment accusations against FOX News CEO Roger Ailes. The movie is an expose of the toxic work environment for women at the news cable company. The story is based on Megyn Kelly (Theron) and Gretchen Carlson's (Kidman) drama in exposing the truth.

It's a hard film to watch because it makes you uncomfortable, but it's a conversation starter.

 

INDEPENDENT FILM

JOJO RABBIT

THOR: RAGNAROK director Taika Waititi tells the story of a young Nazi recruit who's told Jews are literally the devil in disguise but he's about to learn why everything he's been taught about hating others is a falsehood.

While a delicate subject matter, Waititi's satire is an endearing story of compassion and generosity.

PARASITE

This Korean film now counts as one of my all-time favorites in movie-making. PARASITE is a story about the have and have nots, but it's not black or white. South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho has created a masterpiece which combines various genres in a non-predictable plot.


THE FAREWELL

Based on Lucy Wang's own experience with her grandmother in China, THE FAREWELL is a funny and endearing intergenerational story that is universal. Awkwafina's performance is a game-changer for her.

 

WAVES

WAVES writer/director Trey Edward Shults crafted a beautifully-told story with an amazing score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The film stars Sterling K. Brown, 2019's breakout star Kelvin Harrison Jr. ("Godfather of Harlem") Taylor Russell ("Lost in Space") and Alexa Demie (HBO's "Euphoria")

WAVES follows the emotional journey of a suburban African-American family - led by a domineering father (Sterling K. Brown) who puts the pressure on his eldest to be the best in everything he does while navigating high school sports and his love life.

It's not your feel good movie but the cinematic experience is unique. Trey Edward Shults should be celebrated as an up and coming director but he will not be recognized for his spectacular work during award season due to the little campaigning by the studio on the movie's behalf.

Filmmaking 101: Conversation with 'Waves' Director Trey Edward Shultz 

'Waves' Young Stars Kelvin Harrison Jr, Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie Get Real About Lack of Lead Roles For Actors Like Them

 

HONEY BOY
Want to know why Shia LaBeouf seems to find chaos in his life? HONEY BOY directed by Alma Ha'rel chronicles LaBeouf's childhood and his relationship with his father.

LaBeouf was sent to rehab after his car accident in 2008, and part of the therapy included writing about his past which ended up in screenwriting form. The end result is HONEY BOY with terrific performances by Noah Jupe as a young Shia, and Shia portraying his kooky father.

Their relationship is unconventional, and disturbing at times, but the storytelling is phenomenal by the female director.

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