Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to December

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Who: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis
What: Thirty years after defeating the Galactic Empire, Han Solo and his allies face a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and his army of Stormtroopers.
When: December 18th
Why: Most people would line up for a new “Star Wars” movie even if they didn’t know anything about it, but thankfully, director J.J. Abrams didn’t play quite as coy as some predicted, and based on the footage released thus far, “The Force Awakens” might actually meet fans’ sky-high expectations. The decision to bring back legacy characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia is certainly exciting, but it’s the new characters (on both sides of the Force) that really interest me, especially with so much mystery still surrounding how each one will be incorporated into this film and beyond.


Who: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest and Maya Rudolph
What: Two sisters decide to throw one last house party before their parents sell their family home.
When: December 18th
Why: It’s been seven years since Tina Fey and Amy Poehler teamed up for the comedy “Baby Mama,” and although the duo’s Golden Globes hosting gigs helped fill the gap during that time, it’s been seven years too long. The two actresses work together so well that it’s amazing they don’t do it more often, because “Sisters” looks like yet another hilarious addition to their decades-long partnership that capitalizes on their individual strengths as comedians. It’s also a really smart piece of counterprogramming to the juggernaut that is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” that should do good business in spite of its competition.

“The Hateful Eight”

Who: Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Walton Goggins and Demian Bichir
What: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception.
When: December 25th
Why: Quentin Tarantino’s latest film almost never happened – indefinitely postponed after someone leaked the unfinished script – but thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and moviegoers now have one more gift to unwrap this Christmas. Not much is known about the film beyond its basic premise, but a lot of comparisons have already been drawn to “Reservoir Dogs” and the white-knuckle tavern scene from “Inglorious Basterds.” After the slightly disappointing “Django Unchained,” it’s interesting that Tarantino chose to make another Western right away, although with a cast comprised of Tarantino regulars like Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen, it promises to be a lot of fun.

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