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Movies to See During Upcoming Holiday Breaks (As Told by a Non-Film Major)

Ahhhh, holiday break, the one nice thought getting every college student through rough midterms and finals. Breaks provide well-deserved time for catching up with friends and family, eating good food and simply relaxing. If you’re like me, this relaxation time includes movie watching, and for this reason, I have compiled a list of movies coming out before the start of the new year. May it provide ideas of films to enjoy with loved ones during the quickly approaching holidays! 

Harriet – November 1st

If you happen to be looking for a historical period drama with a fantastic cast and story, look no further! The life of Harriet Tubman, as told in the movie Harriet, is one of extreme bravery, tenacity and rebellion. Tubman is a prime example of how one determined woman can change the entire course of history.

Doctor Sleep – November 8th

On a completely different side of the movie spectrum, we have Doctor Sleep. This sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining follows a traumatized Dan Torrance coming to terms with events that happened in his childhood. Eventually, he joins forces with a young girl that has the same gift of “shining” he possesses, and they work together to fight a cult. Sounds interesting, but it’s potentially too scary for a wholesome family-centered movie choice, if that’s the kind you plan on having.

Last Christmas – November 8th

Of course, I had to throw in an actual Christmas-related movie. Last Christmas is your classic holiday rom-com. It tells the story of a romance between complicated Kate (Emilia Clarke) and seemingly perfect Tom (Henry Golding). It looks cute, and it’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for a simple holiday movie with heart-warming themes.

Waves – November 15th

It would appear all different types of movies are being released in the next couple months. This one seems to be more of a family drama. It’s an A24 movie, the company behind Lady Bird, Moonlight and Eighth Grade, so you know it’s going to be visually pleasing and relatively deep. Overall, Waves seems to be a deeply emotional film.

Charlie’s Angels – November 15th

Whether or not you enjoyed the song released for this film (“Don’t Call Me Angel”), I would give this movie a shot. Watch the trailer here to get a sense of what the movie will be like. The cast consists of Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Stewart, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Jaclyn Smith, Lucy Liu and more, and for that reason alone, I will probably end up watching this movie. Also, Noah Centineo is in this movie, so make of that what you will.

Ford vs. Ferrari – November 15th

To be completely honest, I’m really looking forward to watching this movie. Car racing? 1960s? Matt Damon and Christian Bale? Say no more. The trailer made me miss my car, and it also made me even more disappointed that I never learned how to drive a stick.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – November 22nd

This is a wonderful movie about a wonderful man. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks tells the story of every Pittsburgh native’s favorite TV personality, Mr. Fred Rogers. This movie follows the 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor and looks just as delightful to watch. This is a perfect movie for the whole family.

Frozen 2 – November 22nd

While Frozen 2 might be more kid-targeted, I know many college students who are also looking forward to its release. Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) have fantastic voices, and Olaf (Josh Gad) is highly entertaining. Plus, now we get to hear from Anna and Elsa’s mother and father, Queen Induna (Evan Rachel Scott) and King Agnarr (Alfred Molina). This is one that the younger siblings and cousins will enjoy, too.

The Irishman – November 27th on Netflix

If your family is like mine and tends to prefer movies over football on Thanksgiving, this is the perfect film for after dinner. Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman features Hollywood legends Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (in his first production in nine years). It’s an entertaining mob drama that doesn’t require you to leave your living room! Take a break from The Godfather marathon this Thanksgiving break and check out a new Pacino movie.

Knives Out – November 27th

According to IMDB, Knives Out is a “whodunnit” murder mystery film about the “death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family”. It was directed and written by Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Looper. The cast includes your favorite Activia spokeswoman and the mom from Freaky Friday, Jamie Lee Curtis. Also, it’s about two solid hours of Chris Evans acting like his rude alter ego.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – December 6th

This film looks so pretty! It’s based in eighteenth century Brittany, France, and it follows the story of a young woman and the female painter hired to paint her wedding portrait. As my favorite cinephile excitedly told me, for the whole hour and 59 minutes, Portrait of a Lady on Fire looks like a painting itself. Based on the trailer, it looks like a lesbian romance story that sounds just as beautiful as it looks….meaning, the film is in French and features subtitles!

A Hidden Life – December 13th

A Hidden Life is a movie that I have not heard much about up until now, but from the looks of it, it’s one to put on your list. It’s a film inspired by true events; it follows the life of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who refuses to pledge his loyalty to the Nazis during Hitler’s reign of power. Jägerstätter faces execution as a result and must fight to return to his family and restore the country he knows and loves. 

Jumanji: The Next Level – December 13th

This is the third installment of the Jumanji franchise where the Rock, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black enter the digital world of Jumanji for a second time. While nothing can beat the original (RIP Robin Williams), this one features the well-known Nick Jonas and Awkwafina. It’s a ride, for sure, and is sure to entertain even your picky Grandpa.

Bombshell – December 20th

Holidays are about taking time away from your day-to-day happenings. If you even watch the news anymore, consider taking a break from it and check out Bombshell, a movie about a news station, instead. It’s about the Fox News women, Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson, who exposed Rogert Ailes’s history of rampant sexual harassment and abuse at the company back in 2016. It’s generating quite a bit of Oscar buzz with its heavily A-list cast which includes Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Kate McKinnon and Allison Janney.

Cats – December 20th

This one looks…interesting. Apologies to anyone that is actually looking forward to this movie, but I’m pretty sure that 90% of the ticket sales for Cats will go to Swifties and musical fanatics—and that’s completely okay, I support you guys. I hope the combination of Jason Derulo, Judi Dench and Taylor Swift works out somehow.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – December 20th

Okay, I can’t really speak about the magnitude of this movie because I have yet to see all the Star Wars films (I know, how could I?). I can say that the trailer gave me goosebumps, though, and I am very excited to see the action and the characters in this one. It’s the last episode in the saga, and for that, it will definitely generate a ton of praise and criticism, especially because Disney has a hand in it.

Uncut Gems – December 25th

This is Adam Sandler in a crime drama…that is also listed as a comedy, of course. In Uncut Gems, Sandler plays a NYC jeweler who takes a lot of high-stakes bets. It’s dramatic, funny and R rated – so older cousins only. Some takeaways from the trailer are Adam Sandler rockin’ the double pierced ears, the bedazzled furby necklace (Google it) and the fact that The Weeknd is apparently now an actor. There’s a lot going on in this one.

1917 – December 25th

This film is for all the war buffs out there. In my opinion, it’s a little odd to release a movie about World War 1 on Christmas Day, but hey, it’s happening. As you may have very well guessed, 1917 is violent, dramatic and it tells a good story. 

Little Women – December 25th

Unlike the other two Christmas Day releases, this one is the perfect movie to see with the entire family. The newest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel directed by Greta Gerwig brings a whole host of recognizable faces to the story. The four March sisters are played by Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen, and the cast also includes Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep. I have watched the trailer so many times, and I will definitely cry happy tears when watching this film. I cannot wait! Take your mothers, aunts, grandmas and sisters to see this one.

Maura is a senior communication and business dual major at the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time, she enjoys trying out new TV shows, spending time outdoors, reading, and attempting to bake on the weekends.
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