You know what month it is. After years of waiting—and a so-so prequel trilogy—a new Star Wars movie is returning to the big screen. It’s been quite the wait, full of teasers, trailers, and plenty of pretty big spoilers. But on December 18, fans old and new will get to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and finally figure out what the heck is going on with Luke Skywalker.

The bummer part is that anything else that comes out this month will pretty much be forgotten. And that sucks, because there are a lot of big movies scheduled for release, including Joy, The Hateful Eight, and The Revenant. (Oh man, I can’t wait to see The Revenant.)

Below are the movies we think are worth checking out during the month of December. Sorry, but I think I’m going to skip out on watching Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, which hits theaters the same day as The Force Awakens.


You think this is just another typical family story where aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters needlessly argue at the dinner table. But what starts off as an innocuous Christmas movie soon devolves into a complete horror film. If Santa isn’t real, are you so sure Krampus exists?

Director: Michael Dougherty

Writers: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields

Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania Owen, Krista Stadler

Release Date: December 4, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Inspired by the classic tale of Moby Dick, In the Heart of the Sea will cover the journey of a ship in 1820 that goes toe-to-toe with the legendary whale. You’ve likely read the book, so why not watch the movie?

Director: Ron Howard

Writers: Nathaniel Philbrick

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson

Release Date: December 11, 2015

The Big Short

This one looks good for a few different reasons. One, it has a pretty stacked cast, comprised of Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling. Two, it’s being directed by Adam McKay, who is better known for directing movies like Step Brothers and Anchorman. Oh, and it’s based on a book written by the author of Money Ball, which turned out to be a great movie.

Director: Adam McKay

Writers: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay

Cast: Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Karen Gillan, Steve Carell

Release Date: December 25, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

What else can I say about this movie? It looks great, and Abrams has said all the right things up until now. Either this is going to be the biggest Star Wars movie ever, or the biggest disappointment. Whatever happens, it’s going to make an ungodly amount of money. Good luck seeing it on opening night.

Director: J.J. Abrams

Writers: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan

Stars: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Andy Serkis, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill

Release date: December 18, 2015


Jennifer Lawrence, David O. Russell (no relation), and Bradley Cooper. Need I say more? No, because you know this movie will be good, just like the other movies directed by David O. Russell that featured Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. And, I mean, if you don’t like them, there’s always the joys of watching Robert De Niro.

Director: David O. Russell

Writers: Annie Mumolo, David O. Russell

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Édgar Ramírez, Elisabeth Röhm, Dascha Polanco, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Donna Mills

Release Date: December 25, 2015

The Hateful Eight

This movie almost didn’t happen, making its existence that much sweeter. You know exactly what you’re going to get before you see a Quentin Tarantino movie: Lots of violence, beautiful cinematography, and terrific dialog. Based on the trailer above, it looks like The Hateful Eight will have an abundance of all three.

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writers: Quentin Tarantino

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern

Release Date: December 25, 2015

The Revenant

If The Revenant doesn’t win Leonardo DiCaprio an Oscar, I don’t think he’ll ever get one. Even more than the movie’s performances, I’m actually interested in learning about how this movie was filmed. Apparently the director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, only used natural light, making filming a huge challenge. One scene in particular apparently took weeks because the light wasn’t quite right. The Revenant looks beautiful, intense, with just the right level of mystery and deceit. I can’t wait.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Writers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mark L. Smith

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Lukas Haas, Kristoffer Joner, Brad Carter

Release Date: December 25, 2015